2016 Toyota Hilux launch
4x4, Motoring News, new models

Fresh chapter in the Legend of the Hilux

  • Fresh high-tech for all on/off-road conditions
  • Yes, there’s still three body styles in this eighth generation
  • Cloistered condition for perhaps SA’s biggest vehicle launch

2016 Toyota Hilux launch

2016 Toyota Hilux launch

LES STEPHENSON

South African launches of new generations of Hilux bakkies over the past three decades have been in the rough – out in the bush, the mountains, Indian Ocean island forests, deserts.

Not so this week: Toyota SA chose the cloistered and controllable confines of the refurbished Kyalami racetrack in the mink-and-manure belt of Johannesburg’s posh northern suburbs and built some artificial challenges to show off the abilities of a 33-bakkie fleet of their latest pick-ups.

Why so? Well, Toyota SA has acknowleged that its bakkies, products tested in all kinds of roles in South Africa since their launch here in 1969, don’t really need to be tested in the wild because over the years they’ve filled multiple roles: bush bakkies, plumbers’ wagons, leisure vehicles and even that most dangerous of tasks – The School Run.

Oh, and winning or coming close to winning the toughest test of any vehicle, the annual Dakar Rallyl (second in 2016, in case you didn’t know). So Kyalami, for the launch week, became a test cauldron of rocky drifts, dust tracks, daunting ascents/descents and axle twisters.

2016 Toyota Hilux
2016 Toyota Hilux

The racetrack also came in handy to show off the trucks’ on-road performance and all with a cold drink and refreshments handy.

In the background – in potential buyers’ minds, at least – is the latest Ford Ranger, recently launched to great acclaim in South Africa as a real challenger to the Hilux’ sales superiority.

Calvyn Hamman from Toyota SA’s sales and marketing office, explained: “The Hilux proudly flies the flag of SA’s top-selling vehicle and serves as both a business partner and family leisure transport. It’s sales are testament to the trust that our customers place in the product and reinforce the Toyota pillars of quality, durability and reliability.”

But wait, there’s more… Glenn Crompton,viice-president of marketing, added: “The new Hilux builds on the rock-solid reputation of its predecessors to deliver a bakkie that’is tougher than ever before while providing customers with the comfort, refinement and features of a car.”

There are 23 models in the price list!

Right, guys. So what’s it got? Well, a new look – though still instantly identifiable as a Hilux. Toyota says the design team “concentrated on creating a tough stance while exuding innovation and refinement”. As, indeed, they always do…

Prominent grille, strong horizontal bars to wrap-around headlights, protruding fender flares that, the automaker says, “perfectly tie in with the strong virtual line which flows from the front to the rear of the vehicle”. There’s also a “lean backwards” intention to create an impression of speed.

The cab roof has an aerodynamic V-shape to reduce turbulence over the load deck.

2016 Toyota Hilux
2016 Toyota Hilux

As have previous generations of Hilux, this latest model has taken cabin comfort closer to that of a luxury sedan than a working truck – Jack of all Trades, remember! – with the focus on a new high-tech touchscreen audio system which, Toyota says, “floats” in the centre of the facia..

Higher-grade models get a colour 10cm TFT multi-information display wit, Toyota says, “easy-to-read displays and powerful shapes”. It can be controlled with four directional buttons on the steering-wheel – another refreshed feature with a strong horizontal spoke and capable of reach and height adjustment.

Leather upholstery is an optio on higher-grade units; double-cab models have three-seat accommodation with more legroom than the previous Hilux and a 60:40 folding split to access a storage compartment in the vehicle floor. Posher models also get a second – chillable – box in the facia.

And yes, there are power sockets for those all-important chargers…

END OF LINE FOR ROCK ‘n ROLL

All of this new stuff on a chassis “redesigned to combine improved handling, ride comfort, NVH performance and collision safety with outstanding durability in even the most extreme driving environments”. Also new is “heavy-duty” belly protection which comes with double-wishbone front and leaf-spring rear suspension – the latter with twin shock-absorbers to allow greater wheel articulation.

And what’s this “Pitch and Bounce Control”? Toyota says the intention is to reduce pitch and roll when the going gets rough and the secret is automatic adjustment of engine torque: sensors in the wheels detect surface undulations and reduce torque when the bakkie tips downwards, increase it as the nose rises again.

Al-wheel drive is, of course, a feature, and once again is electronically controlled from a rotary switch on the facia; no, Fred, there’s no longer an extra lever next to the gear-shifter. Choices are 2WD, 4WD and low-range 4WD for use up to 50km/h. Each axle has a limited-slip differential and gradient descent speed can be set by the driver.

All engines in the new Hilux are “newly developed” and include new 2.4 and 2.8-litre quad-valve, turbocharged, four-cylinder Global Diesel series units, each “placing strong emphasis on torque output and low-speed tractability”.

CHOICE OF LESS-THIRSTY ENGINES

The basic 2.4 makes 110kW/343 Nm and is installed in utility models though a more powerful version lifts torque to 400 Nm from 1600-2000 rpm. The 2.8 GD makes 130kW/420Nm – the latter from 1600-2400rpm when driving a manual gearbm on the auto version.

Fuel consumption is listed as 7.3 and 8.5 litres/100km for the 2.4 and 2.8 respectively.

Three petrol engines are on the spec sheets:

  • A two-litre four-cylinder making 100kW/182Nm
  • The familiar 2.7 delivering 122kW/245Nm.
  • The also familiar four-litre V6 producing 175kW/376Nm

They are variously connectable to all-new five (workhorse models) and six-speed manual transmissions or a six-speed auto whose first gear is now 10% lower and top gear 23% higher – if I have to tell you why you should not venture off-road or cruise at more than 100km/h.

Manual-transmission fans, Toyota says, “will revel in the new six-speed Super Intelligent Electronically Controlled (Toyota’s capital letters) automatic transmission” which includes the first appearance of (heck, the Japanese really do like these fancy names, their quotes and capitals) ‘High-speed Gear Effective Utilisation Control’.

Then there’s ‘Deceleration Downshift Control’ which shuts off the fuel line during downshifts to reduce fuel consumption and “promote engine braking”.

LOTS OF CRASH-PROTECTION GEAR

A consequence of the revised engines is an increase in permissable towing capacity: the 2.8 GD-6 4×4 is rated for 3.5 tonnes.

The new Hilux has a driver’s crash bag, anti-lock brakes with ‘sudden stop’ emergency pressure assistance and an anti-theft system across all grades – of which there are four:

The entry grade comes with power-asssisted steering, remote-controlled central locking, power windows.

  • The mid-grade SRX adds reach and rake steering adjustment, multi-information display, 12-volt power socket, steering-wheel switches and USB and auxiliary inputs.
  • The flagship Raider grade, Toyota says, “adds a full complement of comfort, convenience and safety features, among them auto aircon, colour multi-information display, touchscreen six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, USB, auto-on/off head lights, daytime running lights, 17” alloy wheel rims, metallic interior trim and chromed exterior accents.
  • A new SR grade, specifically for mining customers, is based on the SRX but adds front, side and curtain crash bags and stability control to comply with a five-star ANCAP safety spec. It drops the audio system and access -steps due to the utilitarian nature of the vehicle.

Three body types are available; Single, Xtra and Double Cab (the Xtra having rearward opening doors to access the rear of the cab. The double cab, of course, has four normal doors.

Below the image is a summary of equipment on various models, their prices, and their service and maintenance conditions:

2016 Toyota Hilux
2016 Toyota Hilux

Workhorse
⦁ Power windows with auto down for driver
⦁ Reading lamp with illuminated entry system
⦁ 12 volt power outlet
⦁ Eco indicator
⦁ Black electrically adjustable mirrors
⦁ ABS brakes
⦁ Driver airbag
⦁ Remote central locking with auto door lock
⦁ Anti-theft system

SRX adds:
⦁ Steering switches
⦁ Tilt and telescopic steering adjustment (Extra and Double cab)
⦁ Economy meter
⦁ Multi Information Display
⦁ Audio system with Radio/CD, Bluetooth and USB
⦁ Door ajar display
⦁ Over fenders
⦁ Side steps
⦁ Driver knee airbag
⦁ ISOFIX on double cab
⦁ 3-point rear centre seatbelt
⦁ Eco drive mode (Eco/Power switch)
⦁ 17”sSteel wheels rims

Raider adds:
⦁ Metallic interior accents
⦁ Luxury patterned seat fabric
⦁ Reversing camera
⦁ Telescopic steering-column adjustment
⦁ Colour TFT Multi Information Display
⦁ Touchscreen audio with DVD and video playback
⦁ Cooling function in glove compartment
⦁ Auto lights with follow me home
⦁ Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
⦁ Chrome grille and exterior trim
⦁ Wide integrated overfenders
⦁ Variable intermittent wipers
⦁ Automatic climate control
⦁ 2 x 12V power outlets
⦁ Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT)
⦁ Hill Assist Control (HAC)
⦁ Downhill Assist Control (DAC) [4×4 models only]
⦁ 17” Alloy wheels

MODELS

Single Cab
⦁ 2.0 VVTi 5spd
⦁ 2.0 VVTi 5spd A/C
⦁ 2.4 GD 5spd
⦁ 2.4 GD 5spd A/C
⦁ 2.4 GD-6 Raised Body SRX 6spd
⦁ 2.4 GD-6 4X4 SRX 6spd
⦁ 2.4 GD-6 4X4 SR 6spd
⦁ 2.7 VVTI Raised Body SRX 5spd
⦁ 2.8 GD-6 RB Raider 6spd
⦁ 2.8 GD-6 4X4 Raider 6spd

Xtra Cab
⦁ 2.4 GD-6 Raised Body SRX 6spd
⦁ 2.8 GD-6 Raised Body Raider 6spd
⦁ 2.8 GD-6 4×4 Raider 6spd

Double Cab
⦁ 2.4 GD-6 Raised Body SRX 6spd
⦁ 2.4 GD-6 4X4 SRX 6spd
⦁ 2.4 GD-6 4X4 SR 6spd
⦁ 2.7 VVTi Raised Body SRX 5spd
⦁ 2.8 GD-6 Raised Body Raider 6spd
⦁ 2.8 GD-6 Raised Body Raider 6spd a/t
⦁ 2.8 GD-6 4X4 Raider 6spd
⦁ 2.8 GD-6 4X4 Raider 6spd a/t
⦁ 4.0 V6 Raised Body Raider 6spd a/t
⦁ 4.0 V6 4X4 Raider 6spd a/t

SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE
All models will be sold with a five-year of 90 000km service plan (whichever occurs first). Service intervals 10 000km.

PRICES
Single cab: from R228 900 to R435 900
Xtra cab: from R333 900 to R470 900
Double cab: from R377 900 to R593 900

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