Battle of the bakkies
Everyone loves a good bakkie, whether you are a farmer that loves a lekker braai, a small delivery company owner or a lady that loves big cars and can’t stand the small boot space for all that shopping in sedans. We all want a bakkie that is both comfortable and doesn’t break the bank. I took the time to look at this year’s additions to the bakkie category, I chose the bold and big Volkswagen Amarok which is Volkswagen’s first ever bakkie and the not so big but bold Chevy Utility bakkie. Both cars have personalities of their own, the Amarok has been called the conqueror of the mighty titan, the Toyota Hilux while the Chevy Utility is GM’s very own little wonder.
The Chevy Utility looks a lot more like its predecessor the Corsa Utility. This one has a cabin that is very comfortable and well laid out. The seats are comfortable and adjustable. The new design means they can move back further or allow more stowage space (164 litres) behind the seats. The new bakkie looks at first glance very much like the old one but when you look carefully, you realise quite a lot has changed. The nose is more vertical and a lot bolder. The load box is shallower which increases rearward visibility and the lights seem to glower at you.
The Amarok is a pleasure to drive, the cabin is spacious, the steering wheel is high and reach adjustable. It is easy on the pocket with an average fuel consumption of just 7.9 litres per 100 km. It has ample space in both the cabin and the load bay. The extra carrying capacity and the class leading cabin are all strong points. The top models have traction control and a rear diff lock. There is a rear facing light for the load bay. Volkswagen first brought us the 2 litre turbo diesel engine and have now given us the double cab followed by the single cab and petrol engine. The bakkie is available with either a 90kW or a 120kw version of their 2 litre turbo diesel engine. It is a big vehicle, capable of carrying in single cab format 1.25 tons. Possible negatives include the actual size – the car is wide and long. The Amarok will not fit into all garages and parking spaces.
The Chevy Utility is available at Auas Motors for N$117,764 for the 1.4 base model and N$176,172 for the 1.8 Sport while the Volkswagen Amarok is available at Autohaus and Zimmermann for N$321,300. for the Amarok Double Cab 2.0 TSI 118kW 4×2 Trendline and N$435,500 for the Amarok Double Cab 2.0 BiTDI 132kW Highline 4Motion.
They say the proof is in the pudding. Here one would say the proof is in the driving. The Amarok packs a great drive but breaks the bank a little, however for both cars the more features you tick, the bigger the smile on the salesman’s face.