Idioms and expressions – in the English language certainly – can sometimes be unfair or even politically incorrect and the (oft) used ‘so ugly he/she/it is beautiful’ comes to mind when referring to the all-new Mahindra PikUp.
It is unfair because the designers have made significant changes to the styling, especially at the front, and even if it does look as if it were carved from a brick, the return on that is excellent front and rear headroom – often compromised on the more svelte looking opposition.
Although it retains much of the look of the original Scorpio bakkie, the most compelling changes are to the front of the Mahindra Pik Up, where the grille, headlights, bonnet and fog lamps have all undergone a substantial redesign.
The new grille design is smarter, utilising a glossy black finish with subtle chrome accents, as well as a more prominent Mahindra badge, while the lower air intake has been reshaped to provide a stronger visual integration with the grille.
Black mesh inserts are consistently applied to both the main grille and the lower air intake, creating a more consistent appearance.
The headlights on either side of the grille are also completely new, with a cleaner, more resolute appearance and a new curved LED daytime running light signature for the S10 Double Cab.
Bolder fog lamps are mounted in restyled apertures that are linked to the lower edge of the headlights. The redesigned front-end styling is accompanied by 16-inch alloy wheels.
These, however, need a redesign and the protruding wheel centres are ugly and cheapen the overall outside appearance.
Inside, the most obvious improvements are the upholstery and the large six-inch, full colour touch screen display on the S10 Double Cab models located in the centre console.
The Mahindra Pik Up’s cabin is also comprehensively equipped. As the flagship model of the range, the S10 Double Cab gets remote central locking, cruise control, navigation and a multifunction steering wheel.
Safety features such as anti-lock brakes, EBD, Dual air bags, crash protection crumple zones and collapsible steering column are standard features.
The management system provides vehicle related information, while the automatic temperature control maintains the cabin ambience.
On the driver’s side the easy to read instrument cluster provides the vital statistics of the drive and journey and the new steering wheel incorporates cruise control, audio and telephone controls.
Other advances include the introduction of Micro-hybrid technology that enables the engine intelligently to switch into standby mode when not in use, saving on both fuel and the environment. Rain and light sensors automatically turn the lights on in adverse lighting conditions and the wipers on in the rain.
There are three headrests in the rear and three-point seat belts for all seats along with two ISOFIX anchors in rear seat. Static bending headlamp technology improves the comfort of driving during the night.
The Pik Up has an updated 2,2-litre four-cylinder mHawk turbo-diesel engine, which makes use of a variable geometry turbo-charger to produce 103 kW. The torque peak of 320 Nm is reached at just 1 600 r/min and sustained to 2 800 r/min,.
The turbo-diesel engine is linked to a six-speed manual gearbox driving the rear wheels and features ‘on-the-fly’ switching from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive. The entire range is fitted with an Eaton MLD (Mechanical Locking Differential) as standard.
Initial impressions on the launch drive were of a quiet engine, much improved ride and handling, less deviance in cross winds – in short, a capable vehicle that should have huge fleet appeal, especially in the small business sector.
This is emphasised by its 1 000 kg maximum payload and 2 500 kg braked towing capacity – supporting the pay off line of ‘Loves Work, Loves Weekends’.
It offers a load space measuring 1 489 x 1 520 x 550 mm and even with some intrusion from the rear wheel arches, the additional depth of the load bed compared to other double cabs on the market is some level of compensation.
Comparisons are inevitable, if possibly a little unfair as the PikUp has no garden party aspirations where the only ‘off-road’ experience likely are urban speed humps and the odd pothole.
The PikUp is designed to work and play and most weekend off-roaders will be a lot happier to press this into more demanding ‘donga-diving’ with the chance of a couple of dings and scrapes than they would their vastly more expensive kerb-crawlers.
Against vehicles such as the Hilux 2.4 GD6, Amarok 2.0 BiTDi, Triton 2.4Di and Ranger 2.2, it does give away a fair bit in terms of both power and torque – the Hilux offering 110/400, the Amarok 132/420 and the Ranger 118/385 for example. It is, however, a tad stronger than the Isuzu KB 2500 D-Teq, which has 100 kW and 320 Nm.
There is not a lot in it – on the highway the PikUp will easily chortle along at the speed limit with enough in reserve for most overtaking requirements without the need to drop a cog and it runs with an overall fuel consumption of 7,9 l/100 km. Carbon emission are 211 g/km.
In 4×4 country, it offers more than enough low rev grunt to weasel its way through pretty much any obstacle. Perhaps its biggest downfall in really tight situations is its 5 175 mm length but compensation for this is the good height of the driver’s seat and the forward vision over the shortish bonnet.
The 6,7 metre turning circle radius could, I believe, be improved and it needs a rear parking distance sensor – but definitely needs to lose the audible shriek every time reverse gear is engaged.
The pricing – well below that of its opposition – includes a 4 Year /120 000 km Warranty and roadside assistance, and a 5 Year / 90 000 km Service Plan. Services are at 20 000 km intervals or every 12 months, whichever comes first.
In the world of double cab off-roaders, the Mahindra PikUp is the unsophisticated sophisticate.
What the difference in Retail price is really worth:
|Retail Price||R354 995||R570 700||R596 200||R586 900|
(4 years/120 000km
|R7 253||R11 660||R12 180||R11 990|
|Insurance – Monthly||R1 509||R2 425||R2 534||R2 494|