This price puts it up against the “mid-range” bakkie king, the Toyota Hilux 2.4GD-6 Raider.
Next to the Toyota, this Mahindra strikes a more rugged appearance with its purpose-built body kit, while also offering a 4×4 drive.
We see how they compare, below.
A mix of generous cargo capacity, off-road capabilities, and a spacious cabin is appealing to bakkie buyers in South Africa, while high ground clearance and powerful engines play a role, too.
The Mahindra Karoo Dusk and Hilux Raider trade blows in each of these categories.
In the Mahindra, a 2.2-litre, turbo-diesel engine generates 103kW and 320Nm, and sends power to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
This Toyota is fitted with a 2.4-litre, turbo-diesel motor producing 110kW and 400Nm, as well as a six-speed automatic transmission – but drives through the rear wheels only.
Off-road enthusiasts will also like to know that the Karoo Dusk features low-range gears, with the Hilux getting a limited-slip differential.
Both bakkies sport a rear axle mechanical locking differential, too.
As a result, the Karoo Dusk boasts a maximum payload capacity of 995kg, a maximum braked towing capacity of 2,500kg, and combined fuel consumption of 8.1l/100km.
This is compared to the Hilux Raider’s maximum payload capacity of 855kg, maximum braked towing capacity of 2,750kg, and combined fuel consumption of 7.3l/100km.
In addition, the Toyota measures larger in length and width and provides 286mm of ground clearance – whereas the Mahindra stands 127mm taller and provides 210mm of ground clearance.
However, thanks to the Karoo Dusk body kit fitted to the Mahindra, it does offer a few extra features to enhance your off-roading adventure.
The double-cab bakkie is wrapped in a hard-wearing matte black film that provides more protection against scratches than paint, and gains 16-inch alloy wheels, steel side steps, a rear roll bar, additional recovery points and mounting spots, and steel overlanding bumpers to increase the approach, breakover, and exit angles.
The Hilux is then offered in one of 10 exterior colours, comes with steel side steps with plastic covers, sits on 17-inch alloys, and features body-coloured bumpers with no off-road-focused additions as standard.
While off-roading is fun, modern bakkies will spend most of their life on tar roads – meaning cabin amenities are something to consider before spending your money.
Fortunately, the Mahindra Karoo Dusk and Toyota Hilux Raider both offer a selection of high-end features to make your daily trips more enjoyable.
You will find a central touch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, a four-speaker sound system, automatic headlamps, cruise control, a reverse camera, and a multifunction steering wheel in both bakkies.
Additionally, the Karoo Dusk in S11 guise adds rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, an automatic air conditioner, integrated navigation, and two airbags to its standard equipment list.
The Hilux competes in this category with a manual aircon, front and rear parking sensors, brake assist, hill assist control, trailer sway control, and seven airbags.
Toyota Connect is also supported in the Hilux, which allows the owner to book service appointments, check vehicle battery health, call for roadside assistance, and activate an onboard WiFi hotspot from a smartphone app.
The Mahindra Pik Up 2.2CRDe Double Cab 4×4 S11 Karoo Dusk has a South African price of R549,999.
Each purchase includes a 4-year/120,000km warranty and a 5-year/90,000km service plan.
The Toyota Hilux 2.4GD-6 Double Cab Raider Auto has a South African price of R546,300.
Included in the price is a 3-year/100,000km warranty and a 9-services/90,000km service plan.