With the ever-increasing dominance of SUV and crossover on Dhaka street, the rise of Overlanding and the practicality of having a large cargo bed, the idea of switching to a mid-size/small pickup truck for daily use is becoming less outrageous and more plausible for many.
Pickup trucks offer a few advantages over their SUV counterparts. They are on average 30% cheaper than comparable sized SUVs, fall under a different tax bracket and up until very recently, their diesel engines made them very cheap to run.
Much like cars, trucks come in all shapes and sizes, with one being good at one thing compared to the rest. Here are four trucks that cater to a specific segment, one of which might just be what you are looking for.
Well rounded: Mitsubishi L200 GLS
Dealer: Rangs Ltd.
Price: Tk 48,50,000
The most balanced option on the list, the Mitsubishi L200 GLS is well suited for anyone looking for a daily driveable truck that is not overtly utilitarian.
Design-wise, the L200 has the most well-executed iteration of Mitsubishi's "Dynamic Shield" design language. The almost futuristic looking truck features some nice modern touches such as LED DRL and taillamps with LED accents.
Inside, you get sturdy fabric seats, colour LCD multi-information display, a touch infotainment screen, dual SRS airbag and manual climate control. The rear bed can reportedly carry an impressive 1,045kg of cargo.
The 2.4-litre turbo diesel makes 134 Hp and 324Nm of torque, delivered to the four wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. For off-roading, the L200 has a ground clearance of 210mm, wade 600mm of water and it is possible to lock the rear differential via the press of a single button.
The proprietary Super Select 4WD II allows the truck to switch between 2x2 to 4x4 effortlessly between speeds up to 100km/h, while there is an optional "off-road mode" button on the cabin that helps off-road traction by switching between the gravel, mud/snow, sand or rock settings.
To summarise, the Mitsubishi L200 GLS is the only truck on this that ticks "good enough" on all boxes, but doesn't excel in any one thing in particular. If you are looking for something more specialized, keep reading.
Opulent: Great Wall Motors POER Super Luxury
Dealer: Ace Autos Ltd.
Price: Tk 43,75,000
Unlike the L200, the Great Wall Motors POER Super Luxury pickup is built specifically for people looking for a slice of the off-road lifestyle, but don't care much for utility.
The inside of the truck is as well-appointed as a luxury SUV, featuring pleather upholstery, optional sunroof, powered front seats, a six-speaker audio system, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system and many high end features usually found in vehicles double its price tag. To keep its occupants safe, the truck also comes with 6 airbags, lane departure warning system as well as a 360-degree camera setup.
Power comes from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel which makes 161 Hp and 400 Nm of torque, sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Low-range gearing and locking rear differential are standard across all models, while the 232mm minimum ground clearance, 27-degree angle of approach and the ability to ford 500mm of water give it better than expected off-road capability.
Being a Shino product, this ritzy truck is also paradoxically the cheapest one on this list. So if you want a luxury truck but don't have the budget or want to go through the nightmare of importing and owning an F-150 Platinum in Bangladesh, this will do you nicely.
Enthusiast special: Ford Ranger Raptor
Dealer: AG Automobiles Ltd.
Price: Tk 95,00,000
While POER is focused on luxury, the Raptor trim of the Ford Ranger is for those who are serious about taking their vehicle off-road.
The 210 Hp and 500 NM of torque made by the truck's 2.0-litre Bi-turbo diesel engine is the highest on this list, All that power is sent to the four wheels through a 10-Speed Automatic with paddle shifters. Allowing this mid-size truck to carry 600Kg of payload with ease.
The off-road specific feature list of this truck is massive, and an entirely separate article can be written about it. With this in mind, here's is a quick list of some of the most notable ones: e-Locking Rear Differential, Underbody Protection Bash Plate, Hill Descent Control, Hill Launch Assist and a collection six pre-set driving modes, one of which is inspired by the gruelling Baja 1000 Dessert Race.
The Fox Racing Shox Dampers connect the truck's extremely capable double-wishbone/ Coilover shocks with Watt's linkage suspension with the 17-inch, 285/70 wheels. The setup lifts the Raptor a respectable 283mm off the ground, giving it the ability to wade 850mm water and a whopping 32.5-degree angle of approach.
Being the Crème de la crème of the Ranger model, the Raptor also comes with lots of premium features such as Alcantara leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat, six-speaker audio system, an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto and so much more. Front, side and curtain airbags are also present, backed up by a plethora of other sophisticated safety features.
Of course, all the capability does not come cheap, and there is a 180 day waiting period. That said if you have the money and want an out of the box solution that can almost literally go anywhere, this is for you.
Blank canvas: Toyota Hilux Double Cabin
Dealer: Navana Ltd.
Price: Tk 56,25,000
Although the Raptor is the best off-road option on this list, chances are, both you and your bank account had a minor heart attack looking at its price tag. For something a bit more affordable, there is the indestructible Toyota Hilux. That only nameplate on this list that officially survived being crushed by a building, the Hilux's legendary durability makes it ideal for any off-road project.
The official Hilux in the country is a bit on the light side when it comes to features and creature comfort, especially for its price. The 2.4-litre 4 cylinder In-Line turbo diesel sends 148 Hp and 400 Nm of torque to all wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. Disk brakes are available on the front only and the rear suspension is a rigid leaf spring setup. Ground clearance is excellent at 310mm, and around 860-920 Kg of payload can be carried on the rear bed. Inside, you get fabric seats, manual climate control, a radio and a pair of airbags.
So why are we talking about such a basic truck? Because of its aftermarket scenario. The Hilux is a darling of the off-road community, meaning there are hundreds, if not thousands of customization options available. From simple light bars to a bed tent to a complete suspension swap, the Hilux is a true blank canvas for anyone looking to build their own truck. And if you think I'm insane for suggesting one hack up a brand new truck, who said anything about buying new?
Hilux of all generations are spread all across the country, doing mundane work truck jobs. Pick one up that fits your budget and go wild. From a workhouse to a rock crawler, with the right mods, a Hilux can be anything it wants to be.