The Toyota Hilux has always been a firm South African favourite. It’s almost like boerewors and braaivleis and honestly I don’t think South Africa’s agricultural market would be the same without it.
Sure there is a lot of competition in this segment and most of these bakkies are equally good both on and off road, but some just offer a little bit more in terms of ride quality, comfort and obviously resale value at the end of the day.
The Hilux we have here is the 3.0 D4D 4×4 Raider and is Toyota’s flagship Hilux diesel model. Build quality is relatively good, with a firm emphasis being placed on versatility and durability. No leathers to be scuffed up, durable plastic and a lot of storage compartments and cup holders. Purely South African, I think.
The Interior is functional. The steering wheel is adjustable for tilt only and is fitted with multifunction radio control, cruise control and a trip button to control the on-board computer. The radio is a touch screen unit with Bluetooth for your phone and also supports USB, Aux and plays Mp3 and WMA disks. There is a navigation option on the head unit, but sources tell me the software is not yet available.
The D4D engine is a gem. Making 120 kw and 343nm of torque, it has proved itself to not only be reliable but also a solid workhorse and I know of a couple of D4D Hiluxes with way over 200 000km on the clock. All of them trouble free. The engine is mated with a 5 speed manual gearbox which runs a part time 4wd system. 4W Hi can be engaged on the fly, but you will need to stop when you engage 4w Lo. This also deactivates the vehicle stability control. There is also a rear diff-lock, fitted standard.
Vehicle stability control can be disabled, but will re-enable itself when you go over 50kph. This is a safety feature built into the Hilux. The VSC can be pretty intrusive on bad gravel roads and you can clearly feel it doing its work. When 4w Hi is engaged, you feel it a lot less, mainly due to the added traction. It’s a good feature and it will keep a lot of amateur gravel pilots out of ditches.
The Hilux is fitted with 8 airbags, ABS, EBD, VSC as well as Emergency Brake Assist. This puts the occupants in a pretty safe place. The VSC, as mentioned, is already pretty good. The front brakes are ventilated discs and the rears are drums.
On good roads the Hilux performs flawlessly and mostly feels like you are driving a car. The independent front suspension has good travel and good damping to match. I fear the leaf spring rear setup, like on most bakkies, will make the ride a little harsh if you are not carrying a load or the tire pressures are too high.
The Hilux is a great bakkie and I can see why it’s such a popular, do-it-all vehicle. Its good on fuel with an average of 10.5l/100kph and with a 80l fuel tank, it gives you a range of 700km plus. It also goes nearly anywhere with its capable 4wd system. Towing is rated 1.8ton braked which is pretty much industry standard.
The Hilux retails at R431 300 and has a 5 year /90 000km Toyota service plan and a 3 year /100 000km warranty.
For more details, check out www.toyota.co.za