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Friday 24 November 2017

The pick-up in the economy

The Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger
Nissan Navara
Toyoya HiLux
VW Aramak

Aidan Timmons

The economic upturn has led to a renewed focus on pickups, but quality secondhand stock is scarce and values are holding firm.

Aidan Timmons reports on five good options in the used market

VOLKSWAGEN AMAROK

Background

The Amarok (above) hasn't exactly set the pick-up double cab market on fire since its launch in 2011. It's a big imposing and hardy jeep but in my opinion it is the easiest to live with on the road. On a like for like basis (or as close as it can be balanced) the Amarok is the most expensive pick up in its class. Still, it's not all show and no go - it's ready to get its wheels mucky and can hack a hard day's work.

Engine and Cabin

Surprisingly the Amarok is fitted with a 2.0 TDi engine. Power is beefy, though, 180bhp (or 163 for the 2011 and 2012 models). There's loads of torque too.

The engine feels more at home on the road than any other pick up. Weirdly, there isn't a lot of sound insulation and the engine has no cover.

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The interior is massively comfortable. Most buyers opted for Highline models, which gives you Bluetooth, cruise control and a leather multifunctional steering wheel.

There is no lock on the tail gate on early models but the tailgate itself is plenty heavy and won't buckle under a sizeable weight.

I towed a huge trailer with about 70 bags of fire logs (nearly 2t) with the Amarok and the engine pulled with plenty of strength. Opt for the heavy duty rear leaf springs and the payload jumps from 942Kgs to 1041Kgs.

Residual values

The new price works against it. Used Amaroks make very sensible choices but we need buyers in the new market to make the commitment in the first place.

 

FORD RANGER

Background

Despite the enormous stature of the Ranger (above), it is often overlooked when it comes to buying a pick up double cab. It performs similarly to the L200.

There is lots of choice of different specifications within the range but high trim levels are priced at the upper end of the scale.

Engine and Cabin

If you're buying a used Ranger then you won't have much of a choice in engines. You'll have to take whatever is on offer. This can range from anything as small as a 2.2l diesel (from 2012 onwards) to a 3.2l diesel. The older models which ran from 2007 until 2011 came with a mix of 2.5 and 3.0 litre diesel. Specifications are also wide ranging. Expect to see plenty of XLT, Wildtrack and Limited models.

The last option is most popular in the new model with the 2.2 diesel engine and comes with a heap of comforts including heated leather seats.and cruise control.

Residual values

A new 2.2 diesel Limited will cost as-near-as-makes-no-difference €36,000 including VAT. Values don't quite perform at HiLux levels but they don't plummet either. Rangers are scarce and there doesn't need to be a huge following for them for prices to remain fairly steady.

 

MITSUBISHI L200

Background

Before the Navara came along, the L200 (above) was arguably the only legitimate rival to the HiLux. But when Mitsubishi launched a new model in November 2006, it arrived to a very mixed reception.

Plus, in just over a year the economy would grind to a screeching halt and the pick-up market became one of the biggest casualties.

Still, with prices operating quite a bit below its rivals; the L200 is a sound choice for someone not too caught up with wanting to pay a premium for popularity.

Engine and Cabin

There are a few different trim levels to choose from. Keep a watchful eye for the Dakar Edition which ran for a brief stint in 2008. Otherwise you’ll find plenty of Invite and Intense models. The latter is the better spec and holds a premium of up to €2,000 above Invite versions. Intense models come with air con, alloys and a multi-functional steering wheel.

Canopies are a common addition but they taper a little more than the Navaras so check that the space inside suits your needs. Or remove it altogether and get a decent protective coating for the cargo area. A revised model was launched in 2012 but save for a new front grille and some minor feature upgrades, the L200 looks virtually identical to the model which ran from 2006 onwards.

Residual values

The L200 starts life a bit cheaper than its rivals and stays there but doesn’t lose an acre of ground to them. It’s always been a solid performer and it’s a sensible purchase for buyers in this market.

L200s are very scarce as sales plummeted in the last few years so you might have to wait to find a good clean one. Mitsubishi dealers are most likely to see them so make them your first port of call.

 

NISSAN NAVARA

Background

Nissan really fancied their Navara as a potential threat to the HiLux crown. At one point the Navara (pictured below) represented 50pc of all the new pick ups sold. The now "old model", which ran from very late in 2005 until 2011, was priced a little cheaper than the Toyota.

It was a brave move considering these prices compare a manual Navara to an automatic transmission HiLux. But Nissan's pick up packed a mighty punch and it has stood its ground when a lot of other double cabs fell out of favour.

Engine and Cabin

The Navara was generally considered a pretty 4x4. Perhaps rugged sounds better. It was a looker, shall we say? Most buyers sensibly chose the LE spec and fitted a canopy. Some even opted for the higher level Premium version. There were all sorts of IT packs and other features that could be fitted so depending on your intended usage for the Navara, you could find one with all or none of the goodies.

Navaras were popular among workers in the construction sector. This means that while the mileage might be high,they likely haven't had a hard life towing or dragging themselves around mucky fields. The interior and cargo area will tell you a lot about how it was used. If it's got a canopy, check that it locks securely and hasn't been broken into.

Residual values

The Navara is a fine choice and back in hot demand. The newer model arrived with a cheaper spec XE model and a payload of 845K gs. Values for the last of the old model 2011 LE spec can sometimes look a little expensive against the first of these base models from 2012. Don't be put off by this. Always compare like with like. The new model LE spec is roughly priced where the old model left off.

 

TOYOTA HiLUX

Background

Toyota's HiLux (above) has enjoyed years of seemingly operating on a different level to the rest of the pack. Toyota's claim to building the most reliable vehicles in the world sounds a little lofty but not when the HiLux is concerned. It's virtually indestructible (within reason, of course).

Engine and Cabin

Most buyers opt for the 3.0 litre diesel SR5 version which kits the interior out with enough creature comforts to please even the most discerning owner.

It's got road manners in spades but don't expect it to be an exceptionally comfortable daily cruiser, especially on nobbly tyres.

It's the HiLux's well-roundedness and versatility in coping with whatever is thrown at it that really defines this pickup.

Euro pallets fit in the cargo area comfortably and the torque from the engine is content with towing horse boxes or heavy trailers all day.

It's got a payload of 945kg - right at the upper limit for most pick up double cabs.

Only the VW Amarok fitted with heavy duty leaf springs surpasses this to any noticeable degree. As tools of the trade go, the HiLux is the master key; it will do it all and then some.

Residuals

Residual values, particularly for the 3.0 litre SR5 Auto, almost perform at the levels of the Landcruiser, which is at the summit when it comes value retention.

Even high mileage HiLux's are sought after - once they reach a price they tend to sit and represent value for money for some buyer or another. The 2.5 diesel is generally a couple of grand behind the 3.0 litre and is a fine choice for those of you who want a HiLux but don't quite need to call on the extra reserves that the bigger engine has at its disposal.

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