By Khulekani Dumisa
Mahindra’s pay off-line is ‘Rise’ and there is no doubt that the brand has been on the ascendancy in the country. Last year it was the car brand that grew the most. Contributing to the growth was the Mahindra Pick Up bakkie which has found favour with the local market. Due to growth and demand, Mahindra has introduced an automatic offering. We got the opportunity to find out if it is up to the challenge; after all the local arm of the car marque’s pay off-line is ‘always up for a challenge.’
The Automatic Transmission
Mahindra has rolled out an all-new six speed automatic transmission on the Pick Up. It features a sequential self-shifting option and it also offers Hill Decent Control in 4×4 models. Mahindra says, ‘transmission has been designed to offer near-imperceptible shifts and to best utilise the 320 Nm of torque delivered by Mahindra’s mHawk turbodiesel engine, while the engine mapping has been fine-tuned to work perfectly with the standard cruise control system, for effortless long-distance cruising.’
We got to sample the new transmission in the range topping S11 Double Cab where it is paired with Mahindra’s mHawk 2.2 litre turbodiesel engine that makes 103 kW and 320 Nm. We found the transmission to be super smooth and accurate. Power delivery was precise and this was on both the open road and on the off-road course. The car did not feel flustered whether in low speeds or high speeds. We did notice that the bakkie prefers not to be hurried as it shows a strong workhorse bias. This will not be a problem for buyers looking for a workhorse they can employ on farms and on occasion, take on a drive to town and the city.
Range topping S11
We got to experience the new automatic transmission in the range topping S11 but that is not the only change in the car. The new S11 specification level boasts a new grille and bumper, upgraded headlamps and other subtle luxury changes to the design. This is ‘to make sure that it immediately stands out as the top-of-the-range model,’ says Mahindra.
Other exterior changes include new chromed fog lamp surrounds in the wide, lower air intake, colour-coded side mirrors with integrated indicators. At the rear of the new model, there are S11 and Automatic decals as well as the addition of a new reverse camera that has to date not been available on any Pick Up model.
Inside, the prominent addition is a brand-new 7″ touch screen infotainment system with standard navigation and display function for the reverse camera. The screen quality could have been better and often suffers from glare due to its positioning in the upright dash. We have no doubt that Mahindra will improve this as is the case with all its products that keep on getting better and better.
Other driver conveniences that are on offer include an automatic climate control system, power electric windows, cruise control and an adjustable multi-function steering wheel that controls the infotainment, phone and cruise-control systems.
S11 Karoo AT
Mahindra first launched the Karoo Special Edition late in 2018 to celebrate the successful opening of its local assembly facility in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. This has proved to be popular on models such as the S6 and S10.
Mahindra has extended the Karoo treatment to the S11. Outside, all-new S11 Karoo Automatic will feature a unique decal design on the side panels and nudge, styling bars and alloy wheels with a blacked-out design with chrome detailing. This model also has a custom-designed and lockable roller deck system for the load box as standard, while all S11 Karoo models will have a rubberised load bay.
Pick Up DNA
Notwithstanding the luxurious appointments of the S11, the car is still very capable. All Pick Up Double Cab models feature a standard ground clearance of 210 mm, an approach angle of 34 degrees, a departure angle of 15 degrees, and a breakover angle of 18 degrees.
The Mahindra Pick 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) and thanks to a heavy-duty Cushion suspension system load up to 1,095 kgs in the 4×2 models while 4×4 models can easily transport up to 995 kg.
The Mahindra Pick Up range has been a welcomed addition to the South African bakkie market. The Pick Up Auto takes things further. It offers value and options to customers who are looking for reliability, durability and capability at affordable rates. The Pick Up Auto also ensures that Mahindra Pick Up range is always up to the challenge.
The double cab pricing is as follows:
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
Mahindra Pik Up S11 AT 4×4 R414,999
Mahindra Pik Up S11 4×4 Karoo AT R429,999
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.
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