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Peugeot finally launches Landtrek bakkie

Many of us who were born after a certain time will not know that Peugeot used to sell bakkies (pickups) in South Africa.

By Thami Masemola on 10 Nov 2021
any of us who were born after a certain time will not know that Peugeot used to sell bakkies (pickups) in South Africa. The 404 and 540 were staples on our roads, alongside the usual Japanese choices. In fact, Peugeot first produced a bakkie named the 202 way back in 1938. Now they have launched the Landtrek, their re-entry into this crucial and lucrative segment. Therefore to say they are newcomers would not be strictly true.

The Landtrek, which is built in China, is a massive new step in the right direction for the Peugeot brand that was grown from strength to strength since returning to South Africa. Now under the Stellantis international company, Peugeot is wanting to expand its global reach to markets outside its traditional stronghold of Europe, and the Landtrek is one of the best-suited for our market, seeing as how much we love our bakkies.

With only one engine and two models – ALLURE and 4ACTION - on offer, Peugeot is aiming at the most popular sub-segment, which is the double cab, leisure entry to mid-level. That particular segment is worth 40% of the bakkie market, which is quite massive. And of course, most lucrative. Within that too is that 64% of double cab buyers prefer automatic transmissions, while 95% go with diesel.

Landtrek is quite a large vehicle, even just looking it at from the outside. It is 5.3 metres long (one of the longest in its segment), 1.9 metres wide (mirrors folded), with a wheelbase of 3.18m long and a ground clearance of 23.5cm. Importantly it comes with a wading depth of 600mm, highly competitive. Safety is important of course, and the vehicle is fitted with 6 airbags, ESC, ABS with EBD, Hill Descent Control and others.

The large lion logo on the front grille has not been updated to the current Peugeot emblem. Yet it does represent what the brand stands for regardless. Big headlights with LED tech and foglamps at the bottom give enough illumination for any task, daily or special. Chrome-look side mirrors and door handles give it an upmarket feel, while buyers will get either 17-inch for the Allure, or 18-inch wheels for the 4Action. The rear load box is half a metre deep and 1.6m long. The colour palette on offer consists of six paint options.

Inside Peugeot has opted for hard plastics for the dashboard and door side panels. Yes some items – like the alloy toggle switches and multifunction steering wheel – are definitely off the Peugeot parts bin. Others though, appear to be from elsewhere. Nevertheless the cabin is comparatively easy on the eye. The 25.4cm HD touch screen for the infotainment system is a source of pride, and gives access to all sorts of features, including Bluetooth connectivity, radio and media functions, as well as Android Auto and Apple Carplay functionality. It also displays what the exterior cameras shoot. The Allure has a 180-degree camera system, while the 4Action carries the full 360-degree Monty. The latter proved quite useful on the off-road track. Innovatively, the rear seats are configurable in a number of different ways for added versatility.

As previously stated, the LandTrek is offered with one engine, which is a 1.9-litre turbo diesel producing 110kW at 4 000rpm, and 350Nm of torque between 1 800 and 2 800rpm. Not the highest figures out in the segment, but they do cover a sizeable are of it. Both models on offer come standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission. In the Allure it sends power to two wheels, while the 4Action takes on the 4x4 mantle for the pair. Not that it matters much, but Peugeot says the Allure will accelerate from 0 – 100km/h in 14.9 seconds, and the 4Action will do the same in 15.85 seconds. Top speed is 171km/h. From the full 80 litre diesel tank, Peugeot says you can expect to average between 8.9 and 9.1 litres per 100km in fuel consumption.
Driving the Landtrek one could feel that it experienced some turbo lag on take-off, but quickly got up to speed. Under cruising circumstances the bakkie is stable and comfortable, with very little body roll, thanks to the leaf spring rear suspension. Even on uneven surfaces such as gravel or badly-maintained tar, it felt composed. I did note some extreme lightness in the steering wheel, which is great for people who are not too keen on dynamic driving. The turning circle was also impressive.

Peugeot is entering the lion’s den so to speak, with a bakkie that is packed with features, is highly capable off-road and easy to drive on the road. What the car has to convince potential buyers of, is that all this plus standard features, are worth the asking price.

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