Toyota HiLux 2.8 GD-6 4×4 Raider
HiLux is dead, long live HiLux. The king of the bakkie world is back with a bang.
The latest HiLux is a big improvement over the previous model in almost every way, but especially in the important aspects like ride quality, handling and fuel consumption.
My wife, Danita, was impressed by how much better the ride is of the new HiLux. She says it does not feel like a truck anymore. She could even see over the bonnet.
“What I really liked was the smoothness of going from wet muddy conditions onto gravel, thick sand and the brutal climbing power in very windy conditions on the slippery slopes of the mountains above Kleinmond! I really like it’s versatility … a stylish loyal workhorse clad in an elegant suit. I felt safe inside, protected by the powerful engine and strong body. I have never been quite so relaxed during a 4×4 trip in challenging weather conditions!”
Visibility is good for a double cab. The whole aspect of handling and control has been taken to a new level and is now much easier and you feel more in control. Although it is substantially bigger it doesn’t feel clumsy or vague to drive.
HiLux is selling very well, so it must be ticking the right boxes. I thought the Toyota engineers have done a good job of refining what was in its day a highly competent bakkie.
The new Hilux is available in four grades, from workhorse to Raider with SRX in the middle. There is also a specialist SR spec for the mining industry. In total there are 23 models.
Drive Mode Select (Eco and Sport) with iMT
The gearbox is really good. Toyota is using an intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) on top models. iMT effectively incorporates rev-matching technology on both up- and downshifts, to provide a smooth drive as well as assisting drivers with smooth take-offs.
Using the 4WD change-over switch, the driver can select between 2WD, 4WD and 4WD with low range. The system allows the driver to switch between 2WD and 4WD ‘High’ on the fly, up to speeds of 50 km/h
The Active Traction Control system (A-TRC) found in the Land Cruiser family of vehicles is now also fitted to top HiLux models. A-TRC uses a combination of engine torque control and brake pressure modulation to provide maximum traction under most conditions.
Toyota claims 7.1 litres per 100 km. I got just over 8L/100km, making this bakkie light on fuel. The 2.8 diesel delivers 130 kW and 420Nm from 1600 to 2400 rpm. The 2.8 GD-6 4×4 models allow a solid 3.5 tons of towing capability.
The eighth-generation HiLux, Toyota says is fit-for-purpose. After a week at the wheel that is my overriding impression. They know how to build bakkies having sold HiLuxes since 1969.
Little nitpick niggles
The rear bumper sticks out quite a bit from the body and may snag things especially in the veld but also add wind resistance.
The rear legroom is still tight and not as good as the competition.
The infotainment screen and instrumentation is much better than the previous model but has not quite caught up to the Ranger and KB.
The bakkie we tested cost R529 900.
Pricing is as follows: Single cab: From R228 900 to R 435 900
Xtra cab: From R333 900 to R470 900
Double cab: From R 377 900 to R593 900
There is a 5 year or 90 000 kilometre service plan. The standard factory warranty provides cover for 3 years or 100 000 km, but you can extend it to 6 years or 200 000km for R7 200.
Bear in mind four new bakkies are coming to market in 2016/17. They are the new Mitsubishi Triton and Nissan Navarra as well as the launch of the FIAT Fullback and Mercedes bakkie.
The Ford Ranger and Isuzu KB series are formidable competition. VW Amarok will catch up when it gets its facelift and new engines soon.
Also have a look at the two Steed ranges from GWM. You may just be very surprised.