You can drive a Ranger, Amarok or a KB and say what you want about Toyota. One thing is clear that there are no bad bakkies in this age. However, Toyota knows how to do one thing and that’s how to build a product that the masses love.
The previous generation Hilux’s were good. The roads are filled with them and that’s not because they were giving them away for free, that because they are reliable and hold their second-hand value exceptionally well.
Now this new bakkie is on a whole different level. The previous model I had a few concerns with the overall cabin being very, well bakkie-like and the ride quality was hard, like most of us knew that about the Hilux. Toyota has changed up the game with the new model, increasing cabin space, towing capacity and making the overall bakkie feel more like a car.
The dash Is all new and while the cabin shares a few bits with the Fortuner, it’s surely a tad more utility like, with rich looking plastics and fake stitching on the dash. Not that we mind as it does give the interior decent finishing touch. The tablet-like touch screen which we’ve also seen in the Fortuner is a present here with a 6 speaker audio system, Bluetooth USB and a rear reverse camera. There is no PDC, but should be available optionally. The center console also houses the on-demand 4WD setting as well as the Rear diff lock. This Raider comes standard with single zone climate control as does most of the other models in the 2.8 range.
The 2.8 engine is lively and responsive and comes with 3 driving modes, Eco, normal and power. What this really does is reprogram the Ecu and offers a faster or slower, maybe more a numbed throttle response. I found that driving in sport (power), the power was too instantaneous and you had to be more cautious with the throttle. The power did, however, feel the same, just the way how it was delivered changed. Our model was also fitted with an Intelligent mode, which is only available on the 6-speed manual. With this active, it will rev match your rpm to your downshifts, making them as smooth as possible. At first, it was a little strange, but I soon got used to it.
The consumption on the new 2.8 has been nothing short of impressive. If you consider the 130kw and 420nm engine, we could easily attain low 8l/100 figures, but overall it settled in the 9’s. This is mainly due to the tall gear ratios which send your overall cruising speed up. Speaking of speed, the 2.8 has a claimed top speed of 180kph and will do the 0-100 dash in 11.8seconds. The latter figures are sort of irrelevant as nobody buys a bakkie for acceleration. The front stoppers are ventilated disks, with drums backing it up from the rear. Things like traction, stability, brake assist and trailer sway control all are standard.
Utility and versatility are the names of the game and the Hilux will tow a 2.75 ton braked with no problem. Ground clearance is also a mammoth 286mm which means it’s ready to hit the bundus out of the box. The Hilux just enforces what’s already been said and done in the bakkie segment. They are so good nowadays that they can replace a sedan or SUV with no compromise in ride quality or space. The Toyota Hilux is really that good.
Pricing starts at R468 900 for the 4×2 2.8 Raider and R529 900 for the 4×4 2.8 Raider. The service intervals are 10 000km and a 5 year 90 000km service plan with a 3 year 100 000km warranty is standard. For more info, – Toyota.co.za