Small bakkies are everywhere. Just take a look around you. I see at least half a gazillion per day. Okay, but seriously now, they have become a big part of how smaller businesses run their transport.
The UTE is here to replace the Opel Corsa and I think it’s a great little bakkie as the Corsa started to look a little dated and could not really keep up with the newer cars from the other brands. The interior in the 1.8 Sport is pretty good. The seats are supportive and the steering wheel is adjustable by height. It has electric one touch windows and a funky speedo and on board computer will give you all sorts of estimations and readings and it’s easy to find yourself fascinated by these small things. Yes, these are little things which aren’t found in any other little bakkie in its class. For starters, estimated fuel range, estimated fuel used, temperature, combined fuel consumption and average speed. A couple of years ago, you would only find those things in cars which cost over R300 000.
The radio sounds good. It’s a frontloader with USB and Bluetooth and it has built-in microphones in the roof; yes, nogal in a bakkie! The 2 front speakers with 2 tweeters have more than enough volumes – highs and lows come through impressively. It also features an auto-headlight-on function and, combined with front spotlights, your visibility at night is very good for a halogen-based light setup. On the safety front, naturally there are 2 airbags; passenger and driver.
The 1.8 makes 77kw, 161nm and accelerates pretty well. It has a bit of an induction roar that’s just a tad too loud, one could argue that they were trying to go for the younger demographic, but under hard acceleration it can become tiresome and a little too loud. Think of a car with a drilled airbox and you will get what I’m trying to say. Under closer inspection, it seems that they have created an air intake from behind the front grill. This is not bad seeing as this will force cooler air into the air box. It also features 15inch alloy wheels with a decent profile tire, should you need to venture on to slightly rougher terrain, such as a gravel road. On the freeway the car is good. There is nothing strange, apart from the gearing being a little short for my liking. 120km/h sees you at about 3900rpm. Most cars do that at about 140kph. The dash controls are in easy reach and very easy to set and adjust to your preference. The aircon perfoms flawelessly for our summer weather, too.
The 1.8 has a payload capacity of 733kg. Space is a little smaller than the Corsa it replaces, but it is still pretty big – big enough to fit a quad or a dirt-bike, for those of you who are lifestyle orientated.
Overall, the 1.8 Sport is a great bakkie. It’s bold, it’s new and by now almost anybody would be familiar with the new UTE. On average our fuel consumption was around the 9l/100km mark and with a rather large tank of 56l, we got around 580km before we had to refuel. This was obviously under mixed driving condition and I’m pretty sure you could push that up to mid 600km per tank.
In my opinion, with most models priced so close together, it makes sense taking the top of the range sport model over the others due to the interior spec and also the extra power. Not only would it have more power, it should carry loads better and also tow easier.
Car as tested at R171 000.
Test drive one today at your local dealer.