The monthly sales battle between the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger is proof that South Africans adore their big bakkies. As if we needed any.
The folks over in the United States share this love, although it tends to be directed at even larger pick-ups.
So, we decided to have a look at five mammoth pick-up trucks that are particularly popular in America, but unavailable here in South Africa.
Why can’t we have them? Well, there are a variety of reasons, ranging from the sheer size of the things to cost and, of course, the age-old right-hand drive issue.
Naturally, a handful of particularly determined South Africans have managed to bring in a few examples of these behemoth bakkies over the years, but the process is as costly as it is complicated.
Anyway, let’s have a look at what we’re currently missing out on…
The Ford F-150 has owned the title of best-selling vehicle in the US every single year since 1981. The latest iteration features a body and load-bed fashioned from aluminium, which brings obvious weight advantages. The base model employs a 3,5-litre V6, while a 2,7-litre turbocharged V6 and a 5,0-litre V8 are also available. The angry SVT Raptor model, meanwhile, makes use of a twin-turbo 3,5-litre V6 EcoBoost mill.
The Chevrolet Silverado is said to be one of the more refined full-size pick-ups around, with a fairly composed ride to boot. The entry-level model is powered by a 4,3-litre V6, while a pair of V8s – in 5,3-litre and 6,2-litre flavours – are also on offer. The GMC Sierra, meanwhile, is essentially a slightly posher version of the Silverado.
Thought your Hilux was big? Think again. Although it doesn’t come even remotely close to matching the F-150 on sales in the States, the full-size Tundra has built up a solid following in America. A 5,7-litre V8 tops the engine line-up, while a 4,6-litre V8 serves as the base mill.
The second-generation Nissan Titan has only just launched in the US. Interestingly, it can be had with a diesel-flavoured 5,0-litre Cummins V8 or a thoroughly revised version of the 5,6-litre naturally aspirated petrol V8 from the first generation. A V6 petrol mill is also expected to join the range at a later stage.
Unlike the four other vehicles on this list, the brand new Honda Ridgeline isn’t a full-size pick-up – it’s rather smaller than that. And, in addition, the new Ridgeline employs a unibody chassis (shared with the Pilot SUV). And that means it’s likely to be considerably more comfortable, even if it can’t quite match its rivals off-road or in the towing department. The only engine option is a 3,5-litre V6 petrol.