If looks could kill
Look, maybe I’m a sucker for the underdog, or perhaps a lover of boxy things, but for all it’s off road credentials we’ll eventually discuss, in truth I’m already sold on the aesthetics. If you call it ugly, I won’t fight you – just know that I find it endearing for the very same reason.
Sort of like a bulldog, it’s face a mess of folds and creases and the rest of its body even more so, it’s those puppy dog eyes (headlamps now lined with running LED lamps for eyebrows) that make me want to show it its best life.
I just said I find the Mahindra Pik Up cute! It’s an honest interpretation of ye olde double cab bakkie, dare I say more old Land Cruiser than Hilux with miniscule alloy throwing stars for wheels in each gaping corner. Its (long) profile features a scored crease from its nose, via fender vents featuring a Powered-by-mHAWK logo, to its bum where a 4x4 decal lives. At 5175mm long, it’s about the length of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But this is where similarities end.
Beautiful on the inside
A comfortable interior and better appointed than you might think
Divisive exterior aside, hop aboard and immediately I arrive at a 1980’s British band who named their debut single after themselves, Living in a Box. But this is no cardboard box, rather a late 90s era bakkie cabin that’s better appointed than you’d expect.
There’s plenty of headroom in the tall and narrow cabin, also two airbags here (plus ABS and EBD, although no ESP) and a generally improved cabin versus the old Scorpion. The panel gaps are no longer chasms, the materials are fairly pleasant to the eye and to the touch and it’s all been rendered in subdued shades of dark grey (practically black really) with the occasional silver accent thrown in hither and thither.
The crown jewel is the new multimedia screen and audio system, another great reminder of the Mahindra’s 2018 aspirations. Even the instruments ahead of the driver get a stylishly futuristic overhaul without coming across as tacky. Colour us genuinely impressed.
Styling issues aside, the interior and Instrument cluster, especially, is bang up-to-date
Getting on with it
Your money, R355k of it, buys you a 4-cylinder 2.2litre turbodiesel with a mHAWK badge on it. It’s good for 103kW and 320Nm, is rowed via a six-speed manual ‘box and sips allegedly to the tune of 7.4l per 100kms from an 80 litre fuel tank.
The experience is rough, but very lekker. While it isn’t meant to be a consummate highway cruiser, this new drivetrain combination means venturing north of 120kph is possible and it doesn’t have to be a terrifying experience either. There’s a lot of torque and it’s availed early on in the rev range and with total conviction which means the above experience happens just over 2000rpm.
It also means that the Pik Up is well suited to challenging terrain, especially with the marque’s 4WD system complete with a low-range transfer box for shifting with the rotary knob between 2H, 4h and 4L modes.
They’ve also included something they like to call a Micro-Hybrid system. It’s essentially a Stop/Start system and it is not a very good one. I like to think of it as a Stop-Sometimes-Start system, and disengaged it most times.
Okay, let’s wrap this up
The Mahindra S10 Pik Up is agricultural I guess, rough and ready but with some serious potential for life beyond that of a mere workhorse. You could definitely live with one with onlookers perfectly oblivious to how comfortable the living quarters are, how frugal the journey can be and of course there’s the fact that it will roll over almost anything you put in its path.
Who’s it for then? Well, anyone who doesn’t feel the need to spend a fortune on a machine that doesn’t mind getting its wheels dirty, nor its load bay neither. Did I mention that I kinda love it?
Mahindra S10 Pik Up 2.2 MHAWK 4x4 Double Cab Specs:
|Engine ||4-cylinder 2.2 litre turbodiesel|
|Torque ||320Nm |
|Fuel Tank Size||80 litres|
|Average Fuel Consumption||7.4 l/100km|
|CO2 Emissions||221 g/km|