Mahindra Pik Up 4×4 S11 Auto Karoo Edition

Mzansi is the flagship market for Mahindra’s passenger cars and SUVs so, they take our market very seriously. It is after all a market where over 70% of double-cabs costs over R450,000. Thankfully the entire Pik Up range including this, the S11 mHawk DC 4×4 sits neatly underneath that figure at R430k – a smart strategy indeed.

What is it?
Warning, long full name incoming – meet the Mahindra Pik Up 2.2 mHawk DC 4×4 S11 Auto Karoo Edition. Remember that S11 Auto Pik Up we recently drove? Well, this is the special edition Karoo model featuring stickers, a new nudge, and sporty roll bar plus a slew of Karoo badges littered throughout. There are also new two-tone alloy wheels in each gaping archway. Is it a looker? Well, sure in the same way a Land Rover Defender is – and yes, that’s being very kind. There’s something about its vertical greenhouse and simple controls that hark back to my time at the wheel of the Landy – and this endears me greatly.

What about living with it?
The Karoo edition is not as budget-orientated inside as you might expect.
The six-speed auto is fairly refined and paired to the marque’s 2.2 litre turbodiesel – good for 103kw and 320Nm. It’s an agricultural beast but the cabin is a surprisingly well-appointed box so you’re hardly sat in a tractor. In fact, here you’ll enjoy standard contemporary appointments such as a new 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth capability and integrated navigation. It also incorporates a reverse camera, updated infotainment system and then there are the hardy surfaces throughout adding to its robust demeanour.

How does it go?
Well, I can tell you that it goes almost anywhere it wants to thanks to its 34-degree approach and 15-degree departure angles, as well as a ground clearance of 210mm. 103kW and 320Nm might not sound like much but was more than adequate during my test period. And that was mostly spent cruising the national highways. In the fast lane. Sure, handling is mildly tallboy-like but grunt is linear and gracious power delivery and comfortable living space. The few occasions I had to take it onto the dirt revealed a suspension made for the rough stuff so I only regret not having more time with it, to really put it through its paces. But then again, less than 5% of 4×4 owners ever do. So I’m in good company.

I enjoy simple, robust cars almost as much as a flashy European – in fact, it’s often here at the cheap end where you’ll find some really interesting metal. The S11 Auto Pik Up we recently had on test was such a bakkie, a capable 4×4 double cab with loads of character and rugged charm. The Karoo Edition is essentially the same car but with Karoo stickers and a bunch of hop-ups. And at this price point, a truly unique prospect.

Quick stats: Mahindra Pik Up 2.2 S11 mHawk DC 4×4 Auto Karoo Edition
Powertrain: inline 4-cyl 2.2 litre turbodiesel, 6-speed S11 Automatic transmission, 4×4
Performance: 103kW, 320Nm, 7.9l/100km, 210 g/cO2

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