Editor: Jason “The Bok” – Date 15 Jan 2020

Mahindra is a brand which has been synonymous with offering vehicles which are rugged, tough and feature-packed, all while remaining incredibly good value for money at the same time. It is this outlook that has made Mahindra South Africa’s fastest-growing OEM. With this being said, I was invited up to Johannesburg to experience the new Scorpio PikUp Doublecab which is now for the first time ever globally offered with an automatic gearbox.

Why the hype?

Pickup’s, particularly doublecabs or as we call them in South Africa, bakkie’s are very much part of our daily lifestyles. With their unique ability to blend both work, and rugged adventure and family commuting, they are the one type of vehicle that seems to be able to do it all.

It was some time back that I first drove this generation of Mahindra PikUp. I spent an extended period of time, in fact, driving it, and fondly remember its ability to be both feature-packed ability and affordability. With rugged looks, a wealth of safety and media features and a great price, the PikUp offered a lot overall, but the one thing it might have had you asking for is an automatic gearbox.

While the manual box available in the PikUp works great, it has always been my personal opinion that bakkie’s are more suited to an automatic gearbox. Well, now and after more than 1,000-man-hours Mahindra SA has brought us the PikUp which addresses this requirement.

The Drive

All powered by Mahindra’s 2.2-litre m_Hawk turbodiesel engine which features variable turbocharging geometry. It develops 103 kW at 3 750 rpm and 320 Nm of torque from only 1 600 rpm. The PikUp delivers impressive on and off-road power and performance. With its 80-litre fuel tank and the efficiency of the m_Hawk engine, the PikUp automatic is able to deliver impressive fuel range and economy for those longer commutes. Finally, the automatic gearbox, the star of the show here, and I am glad to report that it definitely impresses. From its smooth gear shifting-ratios to its 1,000 plus man-hours in development, you can see that Mahindra has been adamant to ensure that the auto box has been tried and tested and performs well no matter the scenario to which it is presented.

With its generous 210 mm ground clearance, pliant suspension set-up, and its 245/75 16-inch tyres, the PikUp is certainly geared to take care of all its occupants no matter where the adventure lies. I was very impressed by the way in which it was able to handle the rather technical off-road course during launch, even when spending time in the 4×2. The 4×4 further benefits from vehicles 4-wheel drive.

The Mahindra Pik Up double cab range is certified to tow a braked trailer of up to 2 500 kg, and all double cab models are fitted with Mahindra’s mechanical differential lock (MLD).

Passenger Comfort and Cabin Tech

Since the release of this generation of PikUp, Mahindra introduced a cabin space and interior which is far more focused on features and overall creature comforts than that of its predecessor. Starting with its comfortable seating, fold-down armrests, help make the seating comfortable for front passengers, while the wealth of headroom height, helps make the cabin feel very large and spacious overall.

Safety is taken care of by an array of airbags throughout the cabin, while media and features come across in the form of the centrally operated touchscreen media system with Bluetooth connectivity, USB facilities and multi-functional steering wheel-mounted controls. This range-topping S11 model also has a top-notch reversing camera.

Whether seated upfront or on the rear bench, the PikUp is able to make the best use of its high roofline and space accommodating interior and offer a genuinely spacious place even for rear occupants, something which can’t always be said for doublecabs.

Menacing Styling

Finally, to top off the package, the PikUp offers a striking “in motion” type of styling. Even from first glance, you are immediately greeted by its sharp angular edges, LED daytime running lights and raised “feline” style bonnet and profile.

It is evident that Mahindra wants the PikUp to stand out from the crowd, and it’s a job which they certainly have achieved.

Conclusion

The Pik-Up really manages to combine work-horse capability, striking looks and in true Mahindra style proper value for money motoring. With this being said, is it any wonder that Mahindra has risen to become South Africa’s fastest-growing OEM?

As far as I’m concerned, this new automatic PikUp is simply another product from a brand on a trajectory to exceed expectations. 2019 saw Mahindra obtain a growth percentage of 28.7%. Amongst its many awards over the period, 2020 ahead also will see the introduction of many new models including the XUV300 W4 priced at just R234,995, the KUV100 NXT #Dare editions among others.

PikUp Pricing in South Africa (As at time of publish)

Mahindra Pik Up S6 4×2                                 R312 499

Mahindra Pik Up S6 4×2 Karoo                       R322 499

Mahindra Pik Up S6 4×4                                 R342 499

Mahindra Pik Up S6 4×4 Karoo                       R352 499

Mahindra Pik Up S10 4×2                               R347 499

Mahindra Pik Up S10 4×2 Karoo                     R352 499

Mahindra Pik Up S10 4×4                               R377 499

Mahindra Pik Up S10 4×4 Karoo                     R382 499

Mahindra Pik Up S11 AT 4×2                          R384 999

Mahindra Pik Up S11 4×2 Karoo AT                R399 999

The all-new S11 Automatic and S11 Automatic Karoo will be available with a standard 4-year / 120 000 km technical warranty and free Roadside Assistance plan. It also has a comprehensive service plan for 5 years or 100 000 km. The first lubrication service is at 10 000 km and every service thereafter will be done at intervals of 20 000 km.

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