Well, I was a couple of weeks ago - so did a bit of running around and research. Who knows, maybe it will help some one out there. Before getting one i was using my wifes car (2004 palio - now 191K km) and my old bakkie (bantam 1989 195k km) and got to the point where one or both cars where about to die. I do not do a huge amount of kms a year, around 10K for business, most of which are on the highway. I do not carry heavy items, but often quite bulky - boxes of shoes ect. I am Vat resisted so decided to take advantage of that (otherwise would have confided a toyota avanza) and by a bakkie and claim the vat back. 1 tonners are too expensive and running costs (petrol consumption) too high. I wanted air -con. So looked at the half tonners - bantam, corsa and nissan np200.
I quick scan of the internet shows the Nissan is junk - so toss that.
Quite even between the bantam and the corsa - bantam quite a bit cheaper but they have stopped making them (why I do not know), not a big problem though - you will still get parts for many years to come - and being a ford they are reasonable + servicing is also reasonable and cheaper than the Corsa's running costs. After test driving decided bantam was the way to go..........but then.
Enter the Daihatsu Gran max. They had an advert on TV saying they where giving a free canopy, so decided to go have a look (before it was just out my price range).
It's quite hard to compare the Gran Max to a half tonner - but because of the price I will.
Bantam - more comfortable (as in sitting) and looks nicer, (Gran Max is a bit of a pig) and service intervals are longer 15000km instead of 10000Km. Parts will be cheaper and easier to obtain.
Both should be fairly reliable - the Gran Max is a toyota in other parts of the world and the same engine is in Toyota's avanza 1.5.
The gran Max has a much bigger, flat (no wheel arches) load bed. It's also got drop sides (only usefull with the canopy off, but uses full all the same!). Great fuel economy - they say 7.5l 100kms ( we will see) and carries 1 ton (bantam 600km). I would say if both had standard canopies on - the gran max would carry double the volume of a standard 1/2 ton. I am very tall - 6 foot 6, so NO bakkie is going to be great and the bantam or corsa would be better than the gran max, but it's not too bad. Did around 200km yesterday and it was ok.
Anyway, decided as it is for deliveries, to go with the gran max - that huge load bed was just too tempting. Bought the hi spec with aircon, abs, 2 airbags, canopy, rubberized, immobilizer, tow bar and JVC usb/cd for just under R140K - same price as a new corsa 1.4 club.