Review: Mahindra Pik Up last drive

By: Matt Wood

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Matt Wood takes a last drive in the Mahindra Pik Up ute he’s had on long-term loan

After bringing you a few stories on the Mahindra Pik Up ute, including a Toyota LandCruiser comparison, it’s probably quite obvious by now that the Mahindra Pik Up appeals to my inner tight-arse.

So after putting a few beach and bush kays on the clock of our Pik Up I figured it was time to get serious. Nothing had fallen off the red Mahindra to date and it still felt pretty tight so I decided a decent run out to Birdsville was in order as well as a foray into the Simpson.

After a few hours in the saddle though, it became clear that the seats in the Pik Up aren’t the most comfortable for a long trip. I found myself wiggling and squirming on occasion to get comfy and smooth out the aches. Those benches could do with a bit of padding.

The truck itself was happy enough to eat up country highway miles at highway speeds. It’s no powerhouse, and the 2.2 litre AVL donk is pretty coarse once wound up, but it keeps on trucking.

Mahindra Pik Up ute

It was once I hit the dirt on the Birdsville Development Road west of Windorah that I figured some short comings would start to make themselves known.  To be fair the Pik Up still cruised the dirt well at speed, I didn’t have a great deal of weight in the tray either. The rear end still rode okay. But that torsion bar front end, while probably strong enough, doesn’t soak up the bumps as well as it could.

Everyone I spoke to on the road was quite curious about the "pretend Toyota" I was driving. The proprietor of the Windorah Roadhouse even predicted that she’d be towing me back to town. But the little Indian ute kept on plugging away.

I didn’t have time for an actual crossing of the Simpson Desert but I did take the QAA line about 50km into the Munga-Thirri National Park to see how the Pik Up handled in the worlds largest parallel dune sea.

Mahindra Pik Up ute

Ultimately it was very much at home out in the sand and scrub. Ground clearance was still the biggest issue as the Mahindra had to bulldoze it’s way across the top of some dunes.

The standard equipment Eaton autolocker was invaluable when it came to keeping momentum on some the steeper softer dunes.

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to watch the sun go down from the top of Big Red, the Simpson Desert’s largest and easternmost dune. With a bit of momentum, and after a couple of goes, the Mahindra plowed its way to the top, engine screaming, in time to see the setting sun paint the surrounding dunes an iridescent red.

As a long distance cruiser, the Pik Up can handle the pace, it’s not the most comfortable beast for hours on the highway though. I did notice that, once I’d gotten back to Brissy 3,600km later, that the ute was sitting a little lower in the front end. It’s safe to say that the stock shockers aren’t really up to a constant Outback pounding.

Our budget fourby has gone back to Mahindra now. But it has left in its wake a little admiration for sub-continental bush basher.


Date Acquired: July 2016

Kilometres this month: 4,288

Fuel Economy: 9.82/100km

Price as tested: $32,990 Drive Away

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Mahindra pik up ute on long outback road "Ancient landscape, all drivers must use defined track only" Mahindra pik up ute on long outback road
Mahindra pik up ute in desert sunset Matt Wood has had to hand the Pik Up's keys back to Mahindra Mahindra pik up ute in desert sunset

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