The Battle Of The Bakkies – South Africa Motoring

Toyota Hilux
The bakkie market is super competitive
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South Africa Motoring, The bakkie market is super competitive with a range of high performing and fuel-efficient options

South Africa is known for its rocky terrains,scenic trails and potential for great adventure. With that in mind, the demand for a reliable, resilient and multi-functional vehicle is higher.

Toyota Hilux
The bakkie market is super competitive

The bakkie market is super competitive with a range of high performing and fuel-efficient options. Drivers are becoming increasingly drawn to the luxury and sophistication of new generation Bakkies and opt for these vehicles to satisfy their varying needs. From being a competent commercial workhorse to adventuring out to tackle the mountainous road, Bakkies has much to offer. We looked into the 3 top-selling Bakkies of December 2017 and provided a brief review of each below.


First up is the Toyota Hilux

With 3 612 units sold over the course of December, the Toyota Hilux is a clear favorite countrywide. It has reigned over the bakkie market since its emergence in 1973 and has become a part of SA culture. Its popularity can be attributed mostly to its undeniable toughness. The Hilux is known for its durability, reliability, and quality, with every update remaining true to its original design. It offers a comfortable ride despite its ruggedness, with a few refinements made to the 2017 model.

The 3.0l engine has been replaced by a 2.4l diesel engine to boost efficiency. There are higher levels of torque available in the latest engine as well. The Hilux has been tuned further for a better off-road experience and its suspension has been reworked too. Other off-road features include hill descent control, a low-range gearbox, a rear diff lock as well as the choice to switch between the two and four-wheel drive.

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In close second is the Ford Ranger

At 2911 units sold in 2017, the Ford Ranger is a definite threat to the Hilux. The Ford Rangers spike in popularity has put an end to the Hilux dominating the bakkie market without a worthy opponent. The numbers over the past year indicate the Ranger’s position of strength, with the vehicle exceeding Hilux sales at the very beginning of the year as well as during the months of April, May, June, and October.

The Ranger has a stance like no other. Although its focal point for many lies in its design, the Ranger is no stranger to resilience. It is built to endure. In addition to being a highly capable off-road option, the Ford Ranger is a great lifestyle vehicle. Those who opt for the double-cab option often use their car for family road trips and group escapades. In terms of upgrades, the 2017 model has an updated front end with changes made to the grill, bonnet, and bumper. Interior tweaks include upgrades to the infotainment technology as well as a range of features for high-spec models including adaptive cruise control, driver fatigue alert, lane-keep assist as well as park assist.

The third position has been filled by the likes of the Nissan NP200, Nissan NP300, and the Isuzu KB throughout 2017.

December saw the Nissan NP200 climb two places to third, causing the Isuzu KB to be pushed down one place to fourth. The Nissan NP300 likewise fell to the fifth position.

The Nissan NP200 has seen spouts of popularity over the course of 2017, holding the third position numerous times. Though its sales figures fall far behind that of the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux, this hardworking half-ton bakkie has been successfully serving the South African market since its inception. With more optional features and add ones being offered over the years as well as the release of a limited edition version just over a year ago, this bakkie had the potential to be a promising option for both commercial and personal use. It comes standard with a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a five-speed gearbox. Its 800kg payload and 1 2250 liter rubberized load box is suggestive of its practicality and the inclusion of safety features like ABS (automatic braking system) and EBD (electronic brake force distribution) is notable.

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The Hilux and Ranger have not just dominated the bakkie market. Recent statistics show the Hilux and Ranger holding a 1st and 2nd position in the list of top-selling vehicles in SA. A bakkie in the top two spots says a lot about what the SA market is looking for these days.

Whilst the Hilux and Ranger battle it out for the top spot in January 2018, position number 3 remains unpredictable with the Isuzu KB and Nissan NP200 likely to be within a few units of each other. Make your choice and put your favorite bakkie on the map in 2018!

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