A Tale of Two Bakkies
n our way to the Kalahari Oasis pub, which was the location for the iconic Boet en Swaer ads

Vehicle Reviews

By Howard Keeg

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief. With these words ringing in my ears, during late August and early September 2023, I had the pleasure of doing road tests on two of South Africa’s best-selling bakkies, on some of South Africa’s best and worst roads.

My two steeds were the Toyota Hilux DC 2.8 GD6 4X4 GR-S A, and the Next Gen Ford Ranger Wildtrak 3.0L V6. An alphabet soup of not cheap vehicles, but selling like hotcakes in the depressed South African economy in the year 2023. Charles Dickens would surely say something about that. I have written reviews on both the Hilux and the Ranger in their many guises in the past, so I have decided to rather do a brief pictorial montage this time, to tell my story. Suffice to say that when it comes to bakkies, South Africans are spoilt for choice, with 22 bakkies available on the market at last count, with the Hilux, Ranger taking the two top spots on vehicle sales this year, with the Isuzu D-Max taking fourth spot. Saffers really like their bakkies! So on to the montage, and all I can say about my experiences with these bakkies, is that it is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.

Making Merry in Mabalingwe

The first outing was to the Mabalingwe Game Reserve in Limpopo in late August, with the Hilux adding value, in many ways:


we were slowed down by elephants not using the zebra crossing


a kudu cow walks past, after sussing out the Hilux

Arriving in Style at the Automechanika

The second outing was the Automechanika Johannesburg in early September, with the Wildtrak adding value, also in many ways:


loading the Ranger with aBr magazines, and many kilograms of Words in Action


The Wildtrak ready to take on Johannesburg’s urban warriors