ICYMI | Here are all the automatic bakkies already launched in SA this year

If you haven't heard by now, the best-selling vehicle in South Africa is a bakkie. The Toyota Hilux, to be precise. Behind it, The Volkswagen Polo, Polo Vivo, and Ford Ranger – also a bakkie – slug it out for the title of ‘best of the rest.’

Every month, there's a tightly contested sales battle between these four vehicles, but the Hilux always walks away with the gold.

Sticking with bakkies for a moment. The market for these vehicles changed the last few years as they are not bought solely to perform labour-related duties. Bakkies are bought by families for leisure purposes, to see to their lifestyle needs. And the majority of these bakkies are fitted with automatic gearboxes.

That's why Isuzu and Mahindra launched critical models to their respective bakkie ranges that are fitted with automatic 'boxes. The leisure market is after the ease of driving and the comfort of the journey. While Isuzu’s D-Max and Mahindra's Pik Up are very much workhorses, the automakers believe that they've struck a chord.

isuzu d-max,bakkie

2020 Isuzu D-Max 250 Auto. Image: QuickPic

Mahindra Pik Up

Launched in middle January 2020, the Pik Up is the latest updated to the new range that’s been introduced in October 2017. 

For 2020, a new S11 Automatic model, in both 4x4 and 4x2 guise, is the new range-topping model. With pricing between R384 999 and R429 999 for this S11 Auto, Mahindra aims to undercut the market leaders by offering a comprehensive package at a fraction of the price.

READ: South Africa the first country to launch new Mahindra Pik Up, globally!

The range does consist of other double cab models too, starting with the Pik Up S6 4x2 (R312 499), up to R382 499 for the S10 Karoo that slots in below the S11 models.

The Pik Up range is powered by a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine that produces 103kW and 302Nm of torque. Mahindra claims a fuel return of 7.9-litres/100km.

mahindra,pik up,karoo

2020 Mahindra Pik Up S11 Auto. Image: QuickPic

Isuzu D-Max auto

Isuzu's D-Max has been around for as long as we can remember. The bakkie forewent the KB nameplate and adapted the international D-Max badge. Even the name change did little to deter to bakkie from being a hit locally.

To make D-Max more appealing to South African buyers, Isuzu SA opted to fit the 250 range with an automatic gearbox. This five-speed auto is mated to the automaker’s 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine and sends drive to the rear wheels. The engine develops 100kW and 320Nm.

READ: What? Isuzu SA has five new auto models in its D-Max 250 range - We have pricing and specs

In total, four 250 models are fitted with the automatic gearbox, while a fifth model, the 300 double cab Hi-Ride, is fitted with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Dominic Rimmer, senior vice president, Technical Operations at Isuzu Motors South Africa, said: "Buying trends in the bakkie segment are changing rapidly, and we have seen a major upswing in the demand for automatic gearboxes in recent years."

2020 Isuzu D-Max

2020 Isuzu D-Max 250 Auto. Image: QuickPic