Ground clearance is a critical specification if you’re planning to use your bakkie for more serious off-roading than pavement hopping.
It can mean the difference between scaling a tricky obstacle unscathed and having a long, dusty scratch mark on your 4×4’s otherwise shiny body panels.
Luckily, there are at least 17 different bakkies to choose from in South Africa’s new-car market from a dozen manufacturers, with more than a hundred specifications between them.
Ground clearance for the vast array of commercial and lifestyle vehicles ranges anywhere from 170mm for the single-cab Mahindra Bolero workhorseall the way up to 286mm for the athletic Toyota Hilux GR-Sport double cab.
The reading not only affects the maximum height that the bakkie can cross without hitting any underlying components, but also its approach, departure, and break-over angles.
The further off the ground the nose and tail, the larger these angles will generally be, and the better the bakkie will handle the less-beaten track.
Keep in mind that the wheelbase and overhangs, as well as the physical shape of the bumpers also play a role in the maximum angles it can handle and that ride height isn’t the be-all and end-all of a vehicle’s capabilities.
The below table details where all the bakkies on the South African market rank in terms of their maximum ground clearance.
|Rank||Model||Min. ground clearance||Max. ground clearance|
|7.||Toyota Land Cruiser 79||235mm||235mm|
|13.||Mahindra Pick Up||210mm||210mm|
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