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Mahindra PikUp 2024 review: S11

The MY23 Pik-Up S11 dual-cab has for the first time been equipped with an automatic transmission. (Image: Mark Oastler)

Daily driver score

3.5/5

Tradies score

3.5/5

The current generation Mahindra PikUp has been with us since 2007, which is a long time given major players in this market tend to introduce a new generation every decade, or close to it.

However, with Mahindra reportedly developing an all-new ute, based on the underpinnings of its latest Scorpio SUV, the budget-priced PikUp is destined for retirement within a few years.

Better late than never, the latest MY23 version of the S11 dual-cab has for the first time been equipped with an automatic, which is sure to increase buyer appeal in a market in which self-shifting transmissions rule.

We recently revisited this Indian-built dual cab to see how it measures up for tradies in such a competitive market.

Price and Features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

Our S11 PikUp test vehicle is available only with a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine and new Aisin-sourced six-speed automatic, for a list price of $38,500, drive-away.

Our example is also equipped with a Mahindra genuine accessory winch-compatible steel bull-bar which adds $3500 (fitted).

The S11 comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels and 245/75 R16 tyres with a matching spare.

The S11 comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels. (Image: Mark Oastler) The S11 comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels. (Image: Mark Oastler)

There’s also LED daytime running lights and dusk-sensing halogen headlights with static bending (which automatically illuminates inside kerbs when cornering at night), front fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, side-steps, rear sports bar, load tub-liner, automatic rear diff-lock, reversing camera and more.

There’s fabric-trimmed seating for up to five occupants, with the front bucket seats equipped with unusual but welcome fold-down inboard armrests.

There’s also a USB port, two 12-volt outlets, centre console air-vents for rear passengers and a multimedia system controlled by a 7.0-inch touchscreen with multiple connectivity options, including links for Apple and Android devices. (Image: Mark Oastler) There’s also a USB port, two 12-volt outlets, centre console air-vents for rear passengers and a multimedia system controlled by a 7.0-inch touchscreen with multiple connectivity options, including links for Apple and Android devices. (Image: Mark Oastler)There’s also a USB port, two 12-volt outlets, centre console air-vents for rear passengers and a multimedia system controlled by a 7.0-inch touchscreen with multiple connectivity options, including links for Apple and Android devices.

Mahindra also offers a genuine accessories range, from towbars, nudge bars and bullbars to engine snorkels, wheel options and lots more.

Design – is there anything interesting about its design?

The PikUp has a 3040mm wheelbase and 5175mm length, 1820mm width and 1915mm height.

So, compared to a Ford Ranger XL equivalent, it’s 230mm shorter in wheelbase, 195mm shorter overall and 98mm narrower, so it’s relatively compact for a dual cab ute.

Built on a traditional ladder-frame chassis, its twin-wishbone front suspension uses torsion bars instead of the more common coil springs, while under the tail is a leaf-spring live rear axle. Brakes are front discs and rear drums.

The PikUp has a 3040mm wheelbase and 5175mm length, 1820mm width and 1915mm height. (Image: Mark Oastler) The PikUp has a 3040mm wheelbase and 5175mm length, 1820mm width and 1915mm height. (Image: Mark Oastler)

With 210mm of ground clearance, its steep 34-degree approach angle is excellent but its 15-degree departure angle is less than half that figure, so it's prone to tail-dragging in the rough stuff.

And its bafflingly large 13.4-metre turning circle (kerb-to-kerb) demands numerous three-point turns.

The interior appears to have a good standard of finish and provides a visually-pleasing mix of black and grey surfaces with satin chrome highlights throughout. Driver controls are easy to see and operate and the front bucket seats are comfortable.

Features LED daytime running lights and dusk-sensing halogen headlights. (Image: Mark Oastler) Features LED daytime running lights and dusk-sensing halogen headlights. (Image: Mark Oastler)

The rear bench seat is quite firm with good lumbar support, but it’s a squeeze for three adults given its relatively narrow width.

Even so, there’s adequate kneeroom and heaps of headroom even for tall adults, which is no doubt appreciated by hat-wearing farmers and tradies.

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside?

With its 2115kg kerb weight and 3150kg GVM, the S11 PikUp offers a 1035kg payload rating so it’s a genuine one-tonner.

It’s also rated to tow up to 2500kg of braked trailer but given Mahindra doesn't publish a GCM rating (or how much it can legally carry and tow at the same time) we don’t know if it can retain its maximum payload while towing that weight.

Strangely, the load tub does not have any internal load-anchorage points. The only option for securing ropes or straps are external hooks, which are located along both upper sides of the tub and across the tailgate.

However, these would be ineffective in securing loads that are lower than the tub sides.

Offers a 1035kg payload rating so it’s a genuine one-tonner. (Image: Mark Oastler) Offers a 1035kg payload rating so it’s a genuine one-tonner. (Image: Mark Oastler)

Front cabin storage is limited, as there are only narrow bins and no bottle holders in the front doors and you won’t find any cup/bottle holders or storage for small items in the dash, either. However, there is a single glove box and an overhead glasses holder.

The centre console has an open storage tray at the front and single cup and bottle holders in the centre, which are fine for one occupant but not two.

The rear bench seat’s base cushion is fixed, so it can’t swing up and be stored vertically (like many dual cabs) if more internal cargo space is required. (Image: Mark Oastler) The rear bench seat’s base cushion is fixed, so it can’t swing up and be stored vertically (like many dual cabs) if more internal cargo space is required. (Image: Mark Oastler)

In contrast to the front doors, there are no bins in the base of each rear door, but they do get a large-bottle holder and what looks like a phone holder at mid-height.

There are also pockets on each front seat backrest, but the fold-down centre armrest does not have any cup/bottle holders.

There are no bins in the base of each rear door, but they do get a large-bottle holder and what looks like a phone holder at mid-height. (Image: Mark Oastler) There are no bins in the base of each rear door, but they do get a large-bottle holder and what looks like a phone holder at mid-height. (Image: Mark Oastler)

The rear bench seat’s base cushion is fixed, so it can’t swing up and be stored vertically (like many dual cabs) if more internal cargo space is required.

However, it does at least provide some open storage space underneath for soft items like jackets etc.

Under the bonnet – what are the key stats for its engine and transmission?

The latest version of the S11’s 'mHAWK' 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel meets tough Euro 6b emissions standards using AdBlue.

Armed with an intercooler and common-rail fuel injection, it produces a modest 103kW at 3750rpm. Its 320Nm, available across a 1300rpm-wide torque band between 1500-2800rpm, highlights good flexibility particularly under load.

The latest version of the S11’s 'mHAWK' 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel meets tough Euro 6b emissions standards using AdBlue. (Image: Mark Oastler) The latest version of the S11’s 'mHAWK' 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel meets tough Euro 6b emissions standards using AdBlue. (Image: Mark Oastler)

It’s coupled with an equally refined Aisin-sourced six-speed torque converter automatic transmission, driving the rear wheels and offering the choice of sequential manual-shifting.

There’s also a Borg Warner part-time dual-range 4x4 transfer case and an Eaton automatic rear diff-lock.

Efficiency – what is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range?

Mahindra claims an official combined average of 9.3L/100km. At the conclusion of our 265km test, which was conducted without a load and in mostly city and suburban driving, our ‘real world’ figure based on fuel bowser and trip meter readings came in at 9.4 which is lineball.

Mahindra claims an official combined average of 9.3L/100km. (Image: Mark Oastler) Mahindra claims an official combined average of 9.3L/100km. (Image: Mark Oastler)

So, it should deliver an excellent driving range of around 850km from its 80-litre tank.

Driving - what’s it like to drive?

The fold-down inboard armrest combined with the door’s armrest allows the driver to evenly rest both elbows, which reduces strain on shoulders and arms particularly during long highway hauls.

This set-up could work even better if the wheel had reach adjustment in addition to its adjustable height.

There’s no rake adjustment in the seat’s base cushion, either, but fortunately there’s a big left footrest to help the driver to maintain a comfortable posture.

The driving position is high relative to the bonnet and the tops of the doors, which is ideal for vehicle placement when off-road driving as it provides commanding views over the front and out the sides.

Unladen ride quality is quite firm, as you’d expect of a 4x4 designed to carry one tonne of payload, but is supple enough to provided acceptable comfort.

The steering weight is linear with easy turning effort; handling and braking response is satisfactory and engine and tyre noise are pleasantly low.

The 2.2-litre diesel has modest outputs, it provides decent performance in city and suburban driving with its smooth-shifting auto. (Image: Mark Oastler) The 2.2-litre diesel has modest outputs, it provides decent performance in city and suburban driving with its smooth-shifting auto. (Image: Mark Oastler)

Our only major gripe is the huge turning circle, which is nudging that of a full-size American pick-up. The need to often do three-point turns, in situations that you really shouldn’t have to in a vehicle of this size, is annoying (and in some situations embarrassing).

Although its 2.2-litre diesel has modest outputs, it provides decent performance in city and suburban driving with its smooth-shifting auto.

It’s also a low-stressed highway cruiser, requiring less than 2000rpm to maintain 110km/h which is comfortably within its peak torque band.

We didn’t get to do our usual GVM test due to a hiccup with our weight supplies, but we have previously tested a cab-chassis PikUp with just under one tonne of payload (990kg) which it hauled with an all-round competence that belied its relatively small engine output.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating?

ANCAP only awarded it three out of five stars - and that was back in 2012. There are dual front airbags for driver and passenger, electronic stability control and ABS plus a reversing camera and LED daytime running lights.

There are also ISOFIX child seat anchorages and top tethers on the two outer rear seating positions.

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs?

Warranty is five years/150,000km. 12 months roadside assist is renewable with each scheduled service at Mahindra dealers.

Service intervals are 12 months/15,000km whichever occurs first.

Capped-price servicing for the first four years or 55,000km totals $2296, or a pricey average of $574 per service.

Its sub-$40K pricing undercuts the cheapest Ford Ranger or Toyota HiLux 4x4 equivalents by $10-15K and it’s backed by a decent warranty and 60-strong dealer network (mostly regional). It’s also largely absent from the federal government’s vehicle-recall listings, which suggests solid build quality.

However, it’s also short on safety, has relatively high servicing costs and numerous design quirks. Fact is, such low pricing comes with compromises, so, if you can learn to live with those, this sturdy and willing auto-equipped workhorse could represent good value for those shopping on a budget.

$38,500

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Daily driver score

3.5/5

Tradies score

3.5/5
Price Guide

$38,500

Based on new car retail price

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.