With news that Mercedes is about to enter the pickup truck market with the launch of the X-Class, it seems timely to look at some of the most popular pickups on the market. Of course, saying that any pickup is popular in Ireland is somewhat misleading, as only around 1,500 are sold here per annum.
Nonetheless, they are becoming increasingly popular internationally, and are no longer just something that we associate with American television shows and films. As such, Mercedes could not ignore a potentially very lucrative market. There is an increasing number of options out there for Limerick motorists who fancy a practical and powerful vehicle that is especially useful off-road. The tax bracket can be prohibitive, unless you are registering it as a commercial vehicle (as the majority of pickups in Ireland are), so it is perhaps not the ideal type of vehicle for doing the school run or going for the weekly groceries.
The X-Class, starting at €39,950, is not available just yet but will be on Irish roads in 2018. The X-Class is built in the same Barcelona factory as the Nissan Navara pickup, and shares the same chassis, structure, and 2.3 and 2.5-litre diesel engines with the Navara. The X-Class is something of a paradox – off-road ruggedness mixed with a luxurious interior. More information at Truckcar Sales (Fanningstown, Patrickswell, 061 600720)
Considered by many to be the most comfortable ride in the class, the Nissan Navara is powered by a four-cylinder 2.3 litre diesel engine, with a choice of 158bhp or 187bhp. The Navara is available in five trim level, starting with the Visia which boats a 5-inch TFT display, a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth and steering wheel controls, and 16-inch steel wheels. Top-of-the-range Tekna has 18-inch alloys, a reversing camera, DAB radio, roof rails, leather seats, rear parking sensors and a four-camera surround view system. Prices from €34,995. For a test drive, contact Pat Tiernan Motors (Ballysimon Road, 061 402000).
Now on its fifth generation, the Mistubishi L200 is one of the biggest players on the pickup market, combining reliability with affordability. This year, it received something of a makeover on the exterior, while the interior boasts improved sound insulation and better seats. The driving experience has also noticeably improved; it is not just a vehicle for cross-country hauling, with the current L200 far more composed on the road that its predecessor. Prices start at €26,995 for the single cab or €30,250 for the most basic double cab option. For more details, contact James Barry Motors (Dock Road, 061 224000)
Known all around the world, the Hilux has been a staple of Toyota’s commercial range for many years, and will celebrate 50 years in production in 2018. The latest version sees Toyota replace its bulkier 3-litre diesel with a 2.4-litre alternative. The eighth generation Hilux is roomy, too: there is plenty of space up front, and adequate room in the back for adult passengers. There are three trim levels to choose from, starting with the entry-level Active to the Icon right up to range-topping Invincible. The latter offers 18in alloy wheels, LED headlights, climate control, keyless entry and Toyota’s Safety Sense active technology. Prices start at €29,250. More information from Brian Geary (Raheen, 061 225225).
Volkswagen’s entry in this category underwent a power-based makeover late last year, with a beefy 3.0 V6 TDI engine now on offer, with a choice of 201bhp and 221bhp versions. Three trims are available – Trendline, Comfortline, and Highline. The Amarok is only available as a five-seat double cab, and is one of the biggest pick-ups in its class with the widest load bed, with a whopping volume of 2.5 square metres. The Amarok is on the road from €37,450. For more details, contact Frank Hogan Volkswagen (Dublin Road, 061 416000)