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Marindra Pik-Up road test

by Ken Walker

10th October, 2010

Home > Road Tests > Mahindra

Mahindra & Mahindra from India entered the Australian automotive market several years ago with various versions of its Pik-Up utility (excuse the spelling). The updated version was released recently and the Next Car team took advantage of an opportunity to see what has changed since the original release. An automatic transmission has been mooted but not yet available, so perhaps in 2011 it may arrive.

All Mahindra Pik-Up models are fitted with a 2.5 turbo diesel with the common rail injection system combined with a 5 speed manual transmission.

The package supplied to our team is the single cab 4 x 4 tray back version. The alloy tray on the road tester is a 'beaut' and the first rattle-free job I have driven for many years. This point alone is a bonus. The Pik-Up is built like a tank (so to speak); it is tough with a matching ride quality which is equally as tough and quite rigid. But put a load in it and the ride quality becomes pure limo (in a sense).

Rear suspension is akin to and certainly looks like it was transplanted from the Land Rover 110 Defender and there is nothing wrong with that set-up at all. In four wheel drive and off the black top the mighty Mahindra performed well with a load. The front rack and pinion power steering is light, easy to use and does not overburden the driver. Gear changes were slick and positive. Pik-Up was certainly at home in the rough dirt tracks of a state forest with excellent suspension travel and the 'slip diff'. There was never a hint of traction loss at any time.

Cabin appointments are very high with an AM/FM Radio with CD player, MP3 adapter, air conditioning and carbon fibre look garnish around the centre dash pod providing an appearance of luxury. With seating only for the driver and one passenger this layout will not appeal to all, but it is the industry 'norm' these days for single cab utes/tray backs. The seats were comfortable and supportive.

Dual airbags are featured for occupants. Power windows are also fitted.

Unusual styling is also a notable 'trademark' of the Pik-Up with its high cabin on both the single and dual cab variants, but this allows plenty of headroom for those motorists among us who like to wear ten gallon hats.

Fitted with a 2.5 litre common rail turbo diesel, the performance is quite lack lustre to be very kind to this otherwise formidable work horse. Remember the old Holden Rodeo? Well thatís the performance of Mahindra Pik-Up. A newer euro style engine would most definitely enhance performance.

Fuel consumption is rated by the importers at 9.9/100 km. With an 80 litre fuel tank, the driving range is considered quite good.

Overall the update of the Mahindra Pik-Up has certainly improved on the model that was initially launched in Australia and hopefully improvements will continue in this rugged hard working vehicle that is very capable of standing up to the harshest conditions that can be thrown at it. I, for one, would be happy to take a properly prepared Mahindra to the gulf country of Northern Australia and to the deserts of central Australia.

There is just one final consideration, the Mahindra Pik-Up is priced to suit thrifty buyers!

More Mahindra News ..... here.

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