Double-cab bakkies serve multiple purposes in South Africa. They are workhorses, but they are also family vehicles used for a wide variety of leisure activities and they are often seen clambering up rocky mountain roads or towing boats and other leisure vehicles and accessories. For the average double-cab bakkie buyer in South Africa, outright capability is sometimes more important than fuel efficiency, but if you consider that these vehicles often commute within the city too, then fuel efficiency becomes more relevant. After all, fuel efficiency has a direct impact on the overall cost of ownership of the vehicle and it should form part of your decision-making process when you are looking to buy a double-cab.
Since we compiled our first most fuel efficient double-cab list over a year ago, new and improved products have come to market in the form of the Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and the recently launched Fiat Fullback. With this in mind, we thought it best to revisit the topic to determine the most frugal double-cab bakkies in the land for 2016.
Note that the list is determined according to claimed manufacturers' fuel consumption figures. In the real world, consumption will vary depending on factors such as driving style, load, road and terrain conditions and so forth, so consider this a guideline.
The Ford Ranger is a popular choice in the double-cab market and the 2.2 Hi-Rider 4x2 XL is very efficient.
The facelifted Ford Ranger came to market with improved claimed fuel efficiency figures and now sits atop of our most fuel efficient double-cab list. The entry-level 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine produces 88 kW and 285 Nm of torque (the more powerful 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine offers 118 kW and 385 Nm of torque) has a combined fuel consumption of 6.9 L/100 km.
Pricing will depend on which derivative you choose as there are various trim levels to choose from but as a starting point, the Ranger 2.2 Hi-Rider 4x2 XL double cab is priced R356 900 and comes fitted with two airbags and ABS with EBD. For a full complement of features, you may want to consider the Ranger 2.2 4x4 XLS for R490 000.
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The Toyota Hilux 2.4GD-6 4x2 SRx is arguably the "sweet spot" in the Hilux lineup.
The all-new Toyota Hilux is proving to be a popular choice and is currently the best-selling bakkie in South Africa. If you are looking for an efficient double-cab Hilux, then the 2.4GD-6 4x2 SRX derivative is a good starting point. Its 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine produces 110 kW and 400 Nm of torque while returning a claimed fuel consumption figure of 7.1 L/100 km. A total of 3 airbags and ABS with EBD is included as standard. Pricing for 2.4GD-6 SRX double cab starts at R423 600.
If 4x4 capability is what you’re after, then the 2.4GD-6 4x4 SRX is priced from R449 100 but fuel consumption increases marginally to 7.3 L/100 km.
More Toyota Hilux content:
Toyota Hilux 2.4 GD-6 4x4 SRX (2016) First Drive
In-Depth Comparison: New Hilux vs Ranger vs KB vs Amarok (video)
Drag Race: Hilux vs Ranger vs Amarok vs KB
2016 Toyota Hilux vs Ford Ranger – Offroad & Review
New Hilux vs Old Hilux – An Expert’s Opinion on What’s Changed
2016 Toyota Hilux - 5 Things You Need To Know (Video)
The Volkswagen Amarok is somewhat underrated in the local market, but the 2.0TDI 4x2 Trendline is particularly efficient.
The Amarok cracks the nod with the 2.0TDI 4x2 Trendline derivative putting Volkswagen bang in the middle of this list. The 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine produces 103 kW and 340 Nm of torque with a claimed consumption figure of 7.6 L/100 km. Pricing for this derivative starts at R468 700. Two airbags and ABS with EBD is included as standard.
For 4x4 capability, you can consider the Amarok 2.0 TDI 4Motion Trendline, which consumes 7.7 L/100 km and is priced from R519 200.
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The Isuzu KB is a solid choice if you are looking for a rugged workhorse with decent fuel consumption.
The Isuzu KB 250D-Teq double cab claims fourth position on this list with a fuel consumption figure of 7.7 L/100 km. The KB 250D-Teq is powered by a 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine offering 100 kW and 320 Nm of torque and is priced from R435 200 while the 4x4 version is priced at R457 400. ABS with EBD as well as two airbags is included as standard.
For more power, the KB 300D-Teq LX derivative offers 130 kW and 380 Nm of torque and is priced from R486 900 with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 7.8 L/100km.
More Isuzu KB content:
Isuzu KB 250 D-TEQ Double Cab 4x4 LE (2015) Review
The new Fiat Fullback offers decent performance and the 2.5-litre 4x2 derivative is expected to be popular in South Africa.
Fiat recently launched its mid-size Fullback bakkie in South Africa and the 2.5-litre turbodiesel 4x2 LX derivative offers a claimed fuel consumption figure of 7.9 L/100 km, which means it squeezes itself onto our list for 2016. This particular derivative offers 100 kW of power and 200 Nm of torque and is priced from R402 900. The 4x4 version features the same engine (but with power and torque outputs of 131 kW and 400 Nm respectively) and a price tag of R468 900.
More Fiat Fullback content:
Fiat Fullback launches in SA - Specs and Pricing
Fiat Fullback (2016) First Drive
5 Things You Need to Know About the Fiat Fullback
The Mahindra Genio 2.2CRDe is one of the cheapest family double cabs in South Africa (it has ABS and two airbags) and as it turns out, it’s also one of the most fuel efficient. The Genio is powered by a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine with 89 kW and 290 Nm of torque and it’s attractively priced at R230 995.