Which bakkie should I buy?

Owning and living with a bakkie is more than just walking into a dealership and paying for your truck. Your experience of and with the dealership can make or break your attitude to your bakkie and the brand.

If the purchasing and servicing experience is important to you this is going to help you decide which brands to look into.

The best buying and servicing experience is measured continuously by an independent research company, called Ipsos, for the industry.

Historic data

The owners of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) in South Africa are getting a very good deal in terms of their purchasing and servicing experience according to the results of the 2015 Ipsos customer satisfaction market research of the local automotive industry.

The good level of customer satisfaction in terms of the LCV purchasing and servicing experience in South Africa is underlined by the fact that four brands; Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen, won gold awards for purchasing and three; Isuzu, Nissan and Toyota  won gold for servicing in the 2015 survey. So the top brands to own are Isuzu, Nissan and Toyota.

Chevrolet and Ford got silver awards for purchasing, while Chevrolet and Volkswagen earned silver for servicing. Ford was the only recipient of a bronze award for LCV servicing. This may be down to the massive growth of their market share last year.

The results of the survey are subjected to four separate checks and balances or so-called quality gates to ensure validity.

bakkie sales q

The servicing winners are:

bakkie servicing

“These 2015 figures are absolutely outstanding,” commented Patrick Busschau, the Ipsos SA Automotive Business Unit Director. “The very impressive results show that both the buying and servicing experience provided by dealers franchised by the participating brands in South Africa is world class.

“Buyers of light commercials are also not short-changed from a product, as well as a sales and after-sales experience perspective, and this is very important in view of the large number of people who now buy top end LCVs for both personal and leisure use. They pay a lot of money for many of these vehicles, which are now competing with mid to high-end SUVs in the quality and comfort stakes, and it is good to see that the manufacturers, importers and dealers are putting a lot of focus on providing excellent service to those buying and operating LCVs. The Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen brands, in particular, in the LCV segment are to be commended for the consistently excellent service delivery when customers purchase or service these vehicles”.

Servicing over time

The servicing experience has improved over time as can be seen from the graph. Satisfaction has increased from 80% to 90% over the last few years.

Latest data from 2018

Bear in mind that this research is always a year behind and many bakkies have been upgraded or renewed in the last 12 months. This is just a rough guide as to the perceived quality.

In the graph below the lower the score the better.

The smaller bakkies have the disadvantage that they are noisier and have smaller engines. It is actually wrong to compare them with the bigger bakkies.

Safe motoring.

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Servicing my car – who is best?

Purchasing & Servicing quality awards

Ipsos, the market research company, measures the Competitive Customer Experience of car owners each year.

Its divided into the buying experience and the quality of servicing. It is split between cars and LCV’s (or bakkies and vans).

Here are the car results for this year.

PURCHASING

Ipsos interviewed more than 23 000 customers about their purchasing and servicing experience in 2015, representing more than 75% of all cars sold, or 15 of the locally available brands. The missing brands include BMW and Hyundai/ Kia.

The biggest changes over the previous survey include a 3.7% improvement in the free of faults result but a 4.7% drop in the handling of queries or faults. So the dealers need a bit of polishing, but the manufacturers are improving.

Over time the quality has been improving and now sits at almost 95% for the industry, up from around 90% in 2004.

The gold medal achievers in the sales department are VW and Audi. GM, Mercedes Benz, Nissan and Toyota come next. Ford, Lexus, Renault and Honda also did well.

sales time

“The achievements by the industry overall in our ongoing study over the past four years have been outstanding and are a tribute to staff at the manufacturers’ head offices who are responsible for training and supporting the dealers as well as for the commitment of the dealers themselves. In particular the consistent excellence of Audi, Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen brands must be highlighted for special praise,” said Patrick Busschau, the Ipsos SA Automotive Business Director. “It is amazing how the retail industry manages to lift the bar ever higher each year.”.

SERVICING

The Servicing Experience over Time has improved by 1% a year over the past decade and has now reached 90%.

Customers feel the are more appreciated and  are happy that they are offered transportation to the next destination. They are unhappy about the preparation of the staff and contact about progress.

Interestingly there is no difference between men and women concerning their perception of the servicing experience.

There are big differences between the races.

Servicing Race

Asian, not Indian, customers are the most unhappy while whites are happiest.

And the servicing awards go to:

Servicing winnersAudi received a platinum award for sustained customer satisfaction in both the passenger car purchasing and servicing experience categories, having won gold awards every year from 2012-2015. The Volkswagen brand received a platinum award for the purchasing experience with cars and LCVs from 2012-2015.
Other brands to receive platinum awards were Isuzu for the LCV purchasing experience, while Toyota and Nissan received these prestigious awards for LCV servicing in the period 2012-2015.

It is interesting the BMW withdrew from the research and that Hyundai may be sure of their product quality but not about their customer relations.

 

Isuzu KB generation 6

The new KB is here at last.

Its bigger.

Its bolder.

Image

But, is it better?

The new KB is 260mm longer – that’s more than 5% – than the previous model. It’s also 60mm wider (up 3%) and 60mm taller (up 3,5%).  This translates into an increase in interior space as well as a more space efficient load box. That’s good.

The top specification Isuzu KB LX models are available with a 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission mated to the 3,0 litre D-TEQ diesel engine. Features include driver operated sequential shift as an alternative to full automatic shift and a torque converter lock-up clutch. That’s better.

The new Isuzu KB chassis is both longer and wider than the previous generation model in overall dimensions and has a longer wheelbase, up by 45mm on the previous model. Track on both the 4X2 and 4X4 models in increased by 50mm. Both of these increased dimensions improve ride and handling, overall vehicle stability and comfort. That’s better.

The driver is able to select from a number of 4X4 driving modes using the Terrain Command Dial. The 2 wheel drive to 4 wheel drive high ratio change can be implemented on the fly at speeds of up to 100km/h. The vehicle, as with all 4X4 vehicles, must be stopped to change to the extreme condition 4L (low-range) mode. This selection is also initiated via the Terrain Command Dial.

All LE and LX models, as well as the 4X4 Fleetside models, have a driver activated differential lock as standard equipment, operated by an easily accessed push-button switch. That’s better.

The engine range starts with the 2,4 litre petrol 16V DOHC engine available on the Base, Fleetside, and LE models. This multi point fuel injected engine produces maximum power of 112 kW with 233 Nm of torque. Fuel consumption for the combined cycle has been measured at 10,4 l/100km with CO2 emissions of 245 gm/km (4X2 models).

Next up in the engine range is the 2,5 litre low pressure turbo diesel engine available on the Base and Fleetside specifications. This engine provides 58 kW of power with 170 Nm of torque.

The latest generation 2.5 litre D-TEQ engine is available on Base, Fleetside, and LE specification levels and produces 85 kW of power with maximum torque of 280 Nm available from a low 1800 r/min.

The top engine in the new Isuzu KB range is the upgraded 3,0 litre D-TEQ engine that is offered on LX specification models and now has maximum power of 130 kW – up by 10 kW – with 380 Nm of torque. That’s good.

We hope to test the KB soon and will then give a full description and evaluation.

Prices:

DIESEL

Single Cab

Isuzu KB 250 D-Teq                                                            R229,300

Isuzu KB 250 Fleetside D-Teq                                         R242,700

Isuzu KB 250 Fleetside D-Teq (Safety)                       R244,900

Isuzu KB 250 LE 4×4                                                          R315,700

Isuzu KB 250 LE                                                                  R274,800

Isuzu KB 300 LX                                                                  R311,700

Isuzu KB 300 LX 4×4                                                         R362,300

 

Extended Cab

Isuzu KB 250 E/Cab LE                                                      R290,700

Isuzu KB 300 E/Cab LX                                                      R359,400

Isuzu KB 300 E/Cab LX 4×4                                              R412,300

Double Cab

Isuzu KB 250 Double Cab LE                                           R363,200

Isuzu KB 250 Double Cab LE 4×4                                   R384,100

Isuzu KB 300 Double Cab LX                                           R410,400

Isuzu KB 300 Double Cab LX Automatic                    R423,400

Isuzu KB 300 Double Cab LX 4×4                                   R464,400

PETROL

Single Cab

Isuzu KB 240 Base                                                              R218,900

Isuzu KB 240 Fleetside                                                     R233,700

Isuzu KB 240 Fleetside 4×4                                            R258,500

Isuzu KB 240 LE                                                                  R253,200

Double Cab

Isuzu KB 240 Double Cab LE                                           R309,100

Isuzu KB 240 Double Cab LE 4×4                                   R380,200

Service Plan 5yr/90,000km (Except on base models)

Warranty 5yr/120,000km

Isuzu KB72 250 D-TEQ 4×4 review

Isuzu KB72 250 D-TEQ 4×4 – A double cab bakkie for all seasons. The KB72 is the culmination of the development of the KB series of bakkies. It’s economical, comfortable, very capable and well built.

At R350 400 (which includes accessories like 16” alloy rims, aluminium running boards etc. of R19 000 thrown in) it’s not cheap, but it is value for money compared to the competition. It ticks all the right boxes.

The 2.5 litre turbodiesel will get you to 100km/h after a leisurely 17.7 seconds and will get to it’s top speed of just over 140km/h, but not in a rush. GM claims fuel consumption of 9.3L/100km, but I got just over 11 L/100km. The engine produces 85kW at 3 600 rpm and 280Nm from 1 800 over a wide power band. I took a loaded KB72 over a few mountain passes and on the N2 and can confirm the almost effortless ease with which it performs.

Isuzu KB72 4x4

My wife commented that it was the best bakkie overall that she has travelled in recently, better than the Amarok and the Navarra. I agree with her, bearing in mind that the other two are much bigger. The cabin is not car like, it’s a bakkie, dammit. It is comfortable, ergonomically right and has all the things you want like aircon, power steering, cruise control, sound system and really comfortable seats. The all round visibility is excellent.

I found the KB72 a pleasure to drive. If you need rapid acceleration and higher top speed the KB 300 D-TEQ with its 120kW is highly capable.

The KB bakkies drive better than the Hi-Lux competition especially when unladen and on a gravel road. They are, I think, a better package than the Toyota.

All Isuzu’s come with a 5 year / 120 000 km warranty and a 12 month service plan.