These are SA’s most expensive single-cab bakkies
Single-cabs don’t have to have steel wheels and vinyl seats. For those who need only two doors, but require a huge loadbin, the single-cab 4x4 is a wonderful tool.
Not all local bakkie brands offer a top-spec single-cab 4x4. As such they are rare, but we looked up some of the best equipped, and capable, single-cab bakkies you can buy in South Africa now.
Isuzu D-MAX 300 LX 4X4 R485 100
Nobody builds more diesels in a year, than Isuzu. That is the reason why their bakkies have such an enviable reputation for reliability and powering the 300 LX specification D-MAX is a 3-litre turbodiesel good for 130kW and 380Nm. Six manually shifted gears mediate between performance and economy, whilst always delivering smooth surges of torque.
Isuzu’s suspension engineers have also managed to optimise the ride-quality of their bakkies, without compromising load capacity. You get 1141kg of carrying ability and 220mm of ground clearance. The cabin is also remarkably intuitive regarding its ergonomics, with pleasantly light controls and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system which plays nice with your Smartphone.
Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD 4x4 auto R539 000
The dearest two-door version of South Africa’s most popular vehicle range. It might also be the rarest of all Hilux derivates ordered through Toyota’s vast local dealer network. One of the very few automatic transmission single-cabs available, it combines the proven 130kW 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine with a long loadbin.
That six-speed auto makes it effortlessly easy to manoeuvre through technical off-road terrain, and that is crucial.
Single-cab Hilux owners are more likely to use them for moving heavy equipment and gear to remote places than a double-cab drivers, and when your bakkie is heavily loaded, you want to only worry about steering, throttle and brakes when venturing off-road – without the added burden of having to change gear. The Hilux 2.8 GD single-cab also makes for a hugely appropriate platform should you wish to add an aluminium long-range touring canopy, creating a true Cape to Cairo safari vehicle with the comfort of independent front suspension.
And because it is an auto, the 2.8 engine makes 450Nm, which is 30Nm more than a comparable six-speed manual Hilux – and that additional torque is handy, when you have packed its loadbin or that canopy to capacity.
Nissan Patrol pick-up 3.0 Tdi R645 500
A unicorn product in Nissan’s local portfolio. The Patrol bakkie is a heavy-duty off-road vehicle, with a ladder frame chassis and solid axles front and rear. The design is charmingly old-school, with huge black plastic fenders and a bonnet scoop, which feeds a secondary channel of cooling air to the diesel engine.
Powering the Patrol pick-up is 3-litre turbodiesel, configured for durability instead of highway overtaking performance. Peak power is only 110kW, supported by 371Nm of torque, but the Patrol does have an extremely low-range ratio transfer case, which mean crawling speeds that allow it to roll up and over virtually any terrain.
Built for committed off-road work in remote locations, the Patrol pick-up has a huge 175-litre fuel tank. Its only weakness is the absence of a lockable front differential.
Land Cruiser 79-Series V8 R697 800
The only bakkie a Hilux owner secretly desires. Fittingly the most expensive single-cab bakkie you can buy in South Africa, is a Toyota. And for many, these Land Cruisers are the ultimate off-road working vehicles. Toyota’s Land-Cruiser might be less attractive in terms of appearance, compared to its natural rival from Nissan, the Patrol, but it’s ruthlessly over-engineered.
With solid axles at both ends and load capacity biased suspension, ride quality is awful, but its durability in rough terrain remains incomparable. Phenomenal engine too: a turbocharged 4.5-litre V8 which operates with the reliability of Japan’s train system, producing 151kW and 430Nm.
Best of all is the fact that these Land Cruiser single-cabs have three differential locks: front, centre and rear. That means that if you manage the impossible and get one stuck, you are sure to become an internet meme of some renown.