The best bakkie in South Africa – based on Average Joe’s needs

The VW Amarok 3.0TDI V6 4Motion Canyon has been voted bakkie of the year, by Leisure Wheels magazine.

The German bakkie, up against nine other double cab bakkies for the crown, scored 90.5% ahead of Ford’s Ranger Raptor (86.3%) and Toyota’s Hilux 2.8GD-6 Legend 50 (85.4%).

Leisure Wheels said that its new competition format was based on Average Joe’s bakkie requirements, “and not flippant matters such as 0–100km/h acceleration times.

Instead, the competition focused on real-world issues such as fuel consumption, load carrying ability, towing, safety, handling, 4×4 ability, interior, long-term ownership and, counting 20% of the overall score, a subjective driving test score, as adjudged by five industry experts and professional drivers, the magazine said.

The Leisure Wheels team, supported by independent vehicle dynamics test experts, spent a week at the Gerotek Vehicle Test facility, putting the bakkies through a variety of dynamic tests, collecting comparable data.

This data was incorporated in the different segments to ensure a more scientific approach to the results, instead of merely offering the opinion of a panel of judges, it said.

To ensure an even more comprehensive approach, the bakkies were subjected to a dynamometer test at Dastek Automotive Service City to determine actual horsepower at the wheels. This, combined with weighing each vehicle on Gerotek’s specialised scales, provided actual power-to-weight ratio results, which proved very interesting indeed.

Some of the results are bound to be controversial, Leisure Wheels  said.

“For one, the Mitsubishi Triton, a pre-event favourite, took some hard knocks in the long-term ownership segment, where its parts bin comparison result proved an eye-watering 322% more expensive than the most affordable bakkie in this particular comparison, the Isuzu D-Max.

“The erstwhile Toyota Land Cruiser 79, as tough as it may be, was upstaged in the dynamic department by all the young ‘uns. The powerful Mercedes-Benz X350d, fitted with a trendy but expensive aftermarket styling package, recorded the second slowest time in the emergency double lane change test.

“And the Ford Ranger Raptor, with its cool cabin and bespoke suspension, recorded the third lowest power-to-weight ratio result – adding impetus to the school of thought that it deserves more horses under the bonnet, and that more horses may have elevated the Raptor to the top spot on the podium.”


1-Volkswagen Amarok 3.0TDI 4Motion Canyon AT – 90.5%

2-Ford Ranger Raptor – 86.3%

3-Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 4×4 Legend 50 (manual) – 85.4%

4-Ford Ranger 2.0 Bi-Turbo 4×4 Wildtrak AT – 83.4%

5-Mercedes-Benz X350d 4Matic – 81.6%

6-Isuzu D-Max 3.0DT 4×4 LX (manual) – 78.9%

7-Nissan Navara 2.3D 4×4 Stealth AT – 78.8%

8-Mitsubishi Triton 2.4Di-D 4×4 AT – 75.9%

9-Mahindra Pik Up 2.2CRDe 4×4 Karoo – 70.4%

10-Toyota Land Cruiser 79 Namib – 64.2%