September 20, 2023

Volkswagen Amarok Dominates Inaugural South African Bakkie of the Year Competition

In a thrilling showdown at the Nampo Cape Agricultural exhibition that took place in Bredasdorp on 16 September, the Volkswagen Amarok emerged triumphant as the first-ever South African Bakkie of the Year (SABOTY).

The Volkswagen Amarok Panamericana 3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion, a formidable contender that was introduced to the South African market earlier this year, seized the coveted title after undergoing an extensive evaluation process. The assessment encompassed three distinct disciplines: 4×4 driving and capability tests, off-road performance tests, and towing performance on- and off-road.

The SABOTY competition, tailored to scrutinize specific requirements and critical performance measurements, established a new standard in assessing bakkies. These prerequisites were meticulously evaluated in a quantifiable and verifiable manner, ensuring a fair judgement.

The VW Amarok Panamericana 3.0 V6 TDI impressed a panel of expert motoring journalists and industry specialists with its exceptional dynamics, impressive towing capacity, comfortable on and off-road handling, and top-notch interior quality.

The event also recognized category winners:

100 – 120kW category: GWM P-Series LTD (120kW)

121 – 150kW category: Nissan Navara Pro4X 4×4 AT (140kW)

151 – 190kW category: Volkswagen Amarok Panamericana 3.0 V6 TDI (184kW)

Notably, the Mahindra Pik Up 2.2 S11 Karoo Storm clinched the title for the lowest cost of ownership, reinforcing its reputation as the “Best Value for Money Bakkie.”

The intense towing tests, featuring various camping trailer models, placed the Amarok Panamericana 3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion at the forefront, demonstrating its superiority. The off-road trials, conducted on challenging terrains encompassing sand, rock, shale, and wheel articulation, further solidified the Amarok’s standing.

The performance tests, done under the auspices of Sarel van der Merwe, were conducted on suitable tar and dirt roads close to Franschhoek. Performance evaluations encompassed acceleration, braking, and handling, with the smaller Volkswagen Amarok PanAmericana 2.0 BiTDI 4Motion AT emerged victorious.

Dirk Gallowitz, the convener of the SA Bakkie of the Year competition, lauded Volkswagen South Africa for their achievement, praising the Amarok as a “worthy winner” across multiple categories.

The competition’s innovative inclusion of “Cost of Ownership” as a criterion, with data sourced from Lightstone, shed light on maintenance, insurance, fuel consumption, and trade-in price over a 4-year/80,000km period. The Mahindra Karoo’s cost-efficiency secured its “Best Value for Money Bakkie” accolade.

The eagerly anticipated South African Bakkie of the Year competition is scheduled to return in 2025, providing ample time for new models to make their mark in the local market. As the automotive industry continues to evolve, the bakkie segment promises to be highly competitive, and the next chapter of SABOTY awaits with great anticipation.