It may be outgunned, but Hilux is still King

Anyone knowledgeable about bakkies in this part of the world will tell you that the Toyota Hilux is King. There is no denying why – South Africa’s biggest selling nameplate for as long as most of us care to remember, this bakkie’s appeal is that ‘Toyotaness’ South Africans have fallen in love with.

Now boasting the new nose introduced by this Dakar Edition, which has since spread across the range; Hilux has once again squeezed itself onto Best Bakkie and deservedly so; from a design, sophistication and without doubt, quality, dependability and reputation point of view.

Although somewhat divisive, most think that new nose is a step in the right direction and Hilux’s cabin is well stacked with everything from latest multifunction steering controlled touchscreen infotainment to Bluetooth, cruise control, auto lighting and climate control. 

Add electronic 4x4 switchgear, Hill and Downhill Assist and a full suite of safety from seven airbags to VSC and A-TRAC among others. Ride quality remains a Hilux strength, as is off-road ability assisted by Hill and Downhill Assist, while handling is impressive with positive and quick steering - so in so many ways, Hilux is King. 

There is however one area where Hilux finds itself a little asking alongside a few other remaining bigger-bore turbodiesel bakkies. See the good old king may well be outgunned by some of the smaller bakkies assembled here, which makes the 130kW 420Nm Toyota, ‘Global Diesel’ 2.8-litre turbodiesel, which was perhaps so impressive four years ago, seem a little lame considering it has so much capacity.

Make no mistake, this 130kW 420Nm lump is very much still in the ballpark, but against bakkies 20% smaller in capacity, while Toyota’s 2.4 falls rather short of them too. But don’t be silly – do you really think a few hundred ccs for the same power will ever make a difference to that next Hilux sale? Nor do we.

BEST BAKKIE 2019 FINALIST:  Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 DC 4x4 Raider Dakar
Engine: 130kW 420Nm 2755cc turbodiesel I4
Drive:            6-speed manual 4x4
Payload: 962kg
Braked Towing: 3500kg
0-100km/h: 10.20 sec                      
400m:              17.1 sec @ 129km/h  
80-120km/h:    7.94 sec                                
Fuel:              9.01/100km                           
CO2:               199 g/km
Warranty/Service: 3y 90km/5y 100Kkm