Peugeot is officially back in the bakkie market, but while many had assumed that it would turn to the Hilux as a donor vehicle, given that PSA has existing alliances with Toyota, the French carmaker instead opted to base its imaginatively-named Pick Up on its Chinese partner’s one-tonner.
While that was an evidently more rudimentary option, given that the Dongfeng-built bakkie in question is in fact based on Nissan’s NP300, which has been around since the early 2000s, this starts to make sense when you consider where Peugeot is pitching its new Pick Up.
The newcomer is squarely aimed at the African market, where cost is going to be a bigger consideration than sophistication in many parts. But then when is the Peugeot load-lugger coming to our southern patch of the continent?
Our contact at Peugeot SA told us that the Pick Up is coming here, but oddly only in 2021. The local importer would very much love to bring it here earlier than that, but its parent company in France has not earmarked it for our market any sooner than that.
This also means that we won’t be getting the exact product that you see above as the vehicle will benefit from various upgrades between now and then, perhaps (and hopefully) even being replaced by a totally new model.
The Peugeot Pick Up is available in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations and powered by a 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox and producing 85kW and 280Nm.
For now it's only available in double cab guise and it remains to be seen whether Peugeot will expand the range with single and club cab body styles.
The double cab has a payload of 815kg and its load bed is 1.40 metres long and 1.39m wide.
This certainly isn't the first time that Peugeot has competed in the bakkie world, with pick-ups based on the 404 and 504 (above) having proven themselves as sturdy workhorses in the '70s, '80s and beyond, particularly in Africa.
Until recently Peugeot also offered a half-tonner called the Hoggar to its South American customers, based on the 206 hatch. But in this case we’ll have to say that beauty is really in the eye of the beholder.