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Browsing: Off-road tests

The second generation Mahindra Pik Up, based on the Scorpio, has had a host of updates which brings it into the 21st century, putting it on top of the budget double-cab-bakkie pile. It is a simple and robust take on the workhorse concept, which is refreshing in a world where fancy car-like features and showy finishes sell a vehicle. This one feels more old-school, rather like an early FJ Series Land Cruiser, and is all the better for it. We drove India’s best for about 1000km, including a trip to a very snowy Matroosberg, to see what it’s made of.…

I jumped at the chance to take the newest Prado for a jaunt to Arniston and surrounds on the Cape east coast. I’d driven up there in a Ford Ranger and 200 Series GX Land Cruiser in the past year, and it’s a great destination for exploring fishermen’s rock- and sand tracks along the coast, driving gravel, and cruising on some excellent hilly tarmac – notably the R316 to Bredasdorp via Napier. The sort of varied terrain one expects owners will want to tackle in their new fourth-gen J150 Prado. The press launch had included a drive up Sani Pass…

Can Mitsubishi’s Triton-with-a-twist escape the shadow of its Fortuner and Everest classmates? We put the futuristic 7-seater family SUV to the test. SPECIFICATIONS Price: R599 995 Engine Cylinders/Capacity: 4/2442cc Aspiration: Turbocharged Fuel: Diesel Power: 133kW @ 2500rpm Torque: 430Nm @ 2500rpm Transmission: 8-speed automatic Controls Steering type: Power assisted rack & pinion 4WD type: Part-time with viscous coupling Chassis/Suspension Chassis type: Ladder frame Suspension (F): Double wishbone, coil Suspension (R): 3-link, coil Turning circle: 11.2m Fuel index (l/100km) Fuel capacity: 68l Combined: 8.1 (claimed) Range @ average: 840km Brakes Front: Ventilated discs Rear: Drum-in ventilated discs ABS: Standard & off-road Traction…

The much anticipated new Navara has been on our roads for around a year now, and although they’re still not selling as well as Ford or Toyota, it’s a credible alternative with an interesting, high-tech approach. So far, South Africa has received only the premium diesel double-cab versions, which use coil springs to control the solid rear axle. It’s an interesting take, perhaps due to the fact that the platform and development strategies have been shared with Renault (for the upcoming Alaskan bakkie) and Mercedes-Benz (the X-Class). Now it seems that the next Triton will carry the Navara DNA, since…

The road-holding ability of the Sprinter is brilliant: at 120km/h, it is a rock-solid drive with its permanent AWD. When overtaking big trucks and other vehicles in 5th gear, the Sprinter is (as its name suggests) a sprinter. SPECIFICATIONS Engine: Intercooled 4-cyl TD Displacement: 2143cc Power: 110kW @ 3800rpm Torque: 330Nm @ 1400-2400rpm Gearbox: 6-speed manual AWD: Permanent with centre diff lock Towing unbraked/braked: 750kg/2000kg Ground clearance: 192mm Price: R920 800 The big mirrors give a good view of what is happening behind you. The driving position was more comfortable than in a lot of 4x4s I had driven before. The…

Words by Andrew Middleton Keeping up with the neighbours is getting more difficult nowadays, and if Oom Piet from across the valley has just bought one of these to take the sheep to market, you’re all but trumped. The big numbers alone are something to behold: 165kW and 550Nm, a sticker price around R700k, and eight gears. One of our esteemed colleagues touted it as the ‘Bush Lamborghini’, and what a fitting name that is! All this V6 hoopla comes nine years after the Amarok’s initial launch, and countless ‘Only milk and juice come in 2 litres’ bumper-stickers. The long…

Words and pictures by Andrew Middleton Unbeknownst to most, the Mitsubishi Triton can trace its roots as far back as 1978 when the brand’s first pick-up, the ‘Forte’, was launched in Japan. South Africa got the second-gen Colt, also known as the L200, from the mid-eighties, and then there was the Rodeo… Now in its fifth generation, the Mitsubishi one-tonner remains a fringe product in SA’s bakkie segment, but majors on a great reputation for reliability, good value and a unique 4×4 system to entice customers. The Triton is available in four double-cab flavours including manual and auto options, with…

Words and pictures by Andrew Middleton My first article about an overland trip was supposed to be about the bush, the animals and the family around a campfire. Although all of this was amazing and memorable, I learnt a couple of lessons on my recent trip to the Okavango Delta in Botswana that could help future overlanders. It was very early that Saturday morning when we took to the roads on our way to Botswana. For me, this was a dream come true − for years my folks would return from their bush trips and share their adventures with us,…

Words & Images Andrew Middelton You’ve all but forgotten about the BT-50, haven’t you? The Ranger T6-based bakkie has been kicked into the ‘reserves’ team since its launch in 2011. And, while the rest of the squad is getting better all the time with updates and new tech, the Mazda has been left behind. Unfortunately for Mazda, dealers reckon that the Ford Ranger (on which the BT-10 is based) outsells it by ten to one. And, while the new Ranger and Hilux sport a host of new technologies and refinements, the Mazda has to make do with the new ‘Drifter’…

Words Damian Haun (aged 12) For the Easter weekend, my father and two of his friends had decided to do a trip in the Karoo. So, that was one Landy Lightweight (Etienne de Kock), a CJ-6 (Ian Nuttal), and my dad (Bobby Peyrot) in his CJ-2A. Early on Good Friday morning, we all met up in Villiersdorp and started the trip. We hit the dirt around about 11:15. And that’s when the fun started. All was going well, smooth sailing, until Sunday morning. We had spent the night at Skurweberg, and when we had to leave for Die Mond, instead…

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