- "Watch out for those Sandkings, they think they own the road."
- ―Race description for Through the Grapeseed
The Vapid Sandking is an off-road utility vehicle first introduced in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and have made repeated appearances in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and Grand Theft Auto V. This car considered to be a successor of the Cartel Cruiser, gang car of the Colombian Cartel in Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. The Sandking is absent in Grand Theft Auto IV, assumed by some to be replaced by the Contender.
In the 3D Universe, it appears as a 2-door compact, sports-oriented custom SUV. The Sandking assumes the design either of a 2-door pickup truck dubbed the Sandking SWB or a sporty 4-door crew cab pickup truck known as the Sandking XL in Grand Theft Auto V.
The Sandking appears to be a variant of the Rancher with customizations similar to a Bowler Wildcat. In all of its appearances, the Sandking is depicted with myriad modifications commonly associated with other customized off-road vehicles such as the Dune, Bandito and Injection. The Sandking boasts large MMT branded offroad wheels, a large spoiler, and several air scoops on the hood and roof. It has the words "Sand Masters Cup" written on the side and rear, and racing liveries, similar to the decals available in Wheel Arch Angels. The space for the racing number, however, is blank.
The Vapid Sandking is updated, now a semi-monster truck, which is the lifted variant of the Sadler. It comes in a short-wheelbase extended cab version called Sandking SWB as well as a long-wheelbase crew cab version called the Sandking XL (though the two share a similar wheelbase). The design, overall, is strongly related to that of a third-generation Ford Super Duty, with some design cues from the first and second gens, such as the rear taillights. The split headlights take cues from numerous generations of Chevy Silverado pickups. Unlike the Sadler, the Sandking does not feature the F-series signature "dip" along the beltline near the mirror.The Sandking looks to have the equivalent of an 8" lift kit with 40" tires. All Sandkings come with extremely knobbly tires, though the wheels can be changed to an array of comically massive wheels with very low profile tires.
Upgrades include (but are not limited to): a bed cap, large front "skid plate" with winch, and semi-truck style chrome or black extended fuel tanks. It can also be equipped with the usual upgrades such as different horns, bright HID (High-Intensity Discharge lamps) headlamps and armor. The Sandking can be painted in a multitude of color choices, being that there is a two-tone lower paint option with painted bed rails similar to the F-series King Ranch models.
The Sandking seems to be mechanically related to the Rancher, and shares its off-road credibility. Its acceleration is above par and is an improvement on the rather quick Rancher. The suspension is stiffer than the Rancher, sacrificing some of the ride, but it's still very absorbant over rocks and other obstructions without rolling over easily. It does have a high center of gravity. Its handling is a big improvement over the Rancher but the suspension is still pretty soft so it rolls and pitches respectively; but it's still very impresive for a vehicle at this size and height. In GTA San Andreas, it is sometimes available with hydraulics common in lowriders to further improve its off-roading capabilities. It fares well on road but it isn't the best due to its soft suspension and height but is still competitive. Like the Rancher, it only seats two. Some renditions have the same engine sound as its predecessor, while others have the same sound as the Rancher.
The Sandking has a high amount of ground clearance. The inline-6 turbodiesel provides it with good power and torque, allowing it to get over obstacles easily. A known glitch or design flaw in the game was that the truck did not feature full 4WD, so offroad traction on steep hills was limited. However, as of update 1.08, the truck now features fully functional 4WD, so it is now an extremely capable off-roader. In game, it acts almost like a monster truck and with proper speed the player can drive right over most low-profile cars. The truck has poor handling on the roads, offering fairly low levels of grip, due to the truck's heavy body. Off-road, the truck handles better, but the heavy weight of the truck and its long wheelbase contribute to its handling not being the best of the off-roaders, although suspension upgrades can make a noticeable difference. The short-wheelbase version has slightly better acceleration and better handling, making it the more desirable variant. Like the Rebel and other off-road vehicles, however, its exposed tires make an easy target to be shot, unless it is fitted with bulletproof tires.
GTA Vice City
- At Sunshine Autos after completion of the third list for the Sunshine Autos Import Garage. It will be on the second floor.
GTA San Andreas
- Next to The Big Ear under the satellite in the fenced area.
GTA Vice City Stories
- Seen driving on trails in and around Blaine County.
- Parked near the Del Perro Beach boardwalk on the beach where the triathlon starts.
- At the end of a dirt road near the ocean in Palomino Highlands.
- Seen rarely driving around Sandy Shores with its SWB counterpart.
- In GTA San Andreas, the Sandking is a great choice for off-roading, street racing (although it is unstable and easy to flip), mountain climbing, cruising, launching off ramps and picking up girlfriends (as it boosts the player's sex appeal to about a 75% level, undamaged).
- Due to programming error, the PC version of the GTA San Andreas Sandking features white squares in place of sponsorship stickers.
- The Sandking plays the following radio stations by default when entered:
- K-DST in GTA San Andreas.
- In GTA San Andreas, the Sandking sometimes has hydraulics installed.
- Due to it's height, the GTA V Sandking's roof will scrape against the door when leaving some garages such as Franklin's new safehouse or various safehouses in GTA Online such as the Del Perro safehouse.
- The taillights found on GTA V's Sandking resembles the ones found on the Granger.
- It is possible to drive a Sandking with an Akuma in the bed on GTA Online, although power does greatly suffer.
- It is stated that Sandking drivers are arrogant. This is a nod to the stereotype that pickup truck drivers are selfish.
- Cartel Cruiser, 3D Universe counterpart to the HD Universe Sandking.
- Contender, GTA IV equivalent.
- Sadler, stock model designed for road use.