Mzansi’s best-selling vehicle of any body type has received a mild mild-life facelift. The Toyota Hilux, recognised as the leader in its segment, has been changed slightly to reflect a more 2008 look. Front end has been changed to look more aggressive, and so has some of the rear end too.
Hilux is comfortable inside, giving the feeling of almost driving an SUV, rather than a bakkie. I sampled models fitted with air conditioning, power steering, CD/ radio player, central locking facility and electrically-adjustable side mirrors. Doesn’t sound like a bakkie does it? Of course you pay for most of these comforts, but baseline models which are cheaper, can come bare without them.
Three new engine additions are included, and these are 3.0D-4D Raised Body Raider automatic with a 4X2 system, and the 3.0D-4D 4X4 Raider automatic. The third new Raider model in the Hilux range is a 4.0-litre V6 petrol Raised Body Double Cab Raider 4X2 with 5-speed automatic gearbox. You might try and knock these auto boxes on a bakkie, but damn, I can assure you, they rock.
We took these babies out to the wild bush through places that even walking would make any one sweat, and they just kept on. Rock faces on mountains where you have to do 2km/h to make it, shifty sand dunes and of course average gravel. Toyota’s new slogan for the Hilux is “Beyond Tough” and the Hilux sure lives up to this.
On the road it surprised again by being able to handle itself around twisties in the Cape mountains. Granted, it was driven by someone who knows his stuff around fast cars, but still, that a Hilux could go up and down a mountain pass faster than a lot of sedans, says a lot for the car’s handling ability.
Buyers of Hilux now have a choice of 18 derivatives to choose from, from basic workhorse models through to the luxury Raider specification models that provide a versatile combination of utility space and a luxury specification passenger cab. Ten of these derivatives have a single cab configuration and the remaining eight are double cab models.
New 2008 Toyota Hilux prices range from about R140 000 to around R370 000, depending on model.