Most car manufacturers like to introduce model updates from time to time. Some call them enhancements, others life cycle improvements, but the reality is that the extent of the changes can vary immensely.

Sometimes, improvements can be significant, other times (and this really has happened) it can just be a new door handle.

Toyota is one of the major advocates of regular model updates and the latest to benefit are the Fortuner and Hilux stablemates. Interestingly the updates to South African models happened just a few weeks after Toyota Australia announced similar updates to the same models there. That’s no big thing you say, but down under, the company cut the prices of the models by a significant 10%. No reduction in SA, says Toyota SA.

So what is new? Well let’s start with the Hilux, which sees six models receive the option of an automatic transmission. The six-speed auto is available on a number of models from the basic single cab to the more luxurious double cab.

Interiors of the Hilux get upgrades to materials, while some models get more safety including items such as vehicle stability control, hill assist control and trailer sway control.

Raider models get new alloy wheels as well as LED headlamps with daytime running lights and a 220V power outlet.

Over to the Fortuner and the company has introduced a six-speed auto version of the 2.4 GD-6 4x4. The GD-6 and 2.7 models get side and curtain airbags. The 2.8 GD-6 and V6 models get a 220V power outlet and an electrically operated tailgate. These models also get LED headlights and inside they also get automatic climate control, reverse camera, touchscreen infotainment, a leather and wood steering wheel and electric driver seat adjustment.

Pricing for the Hilux range starts at R243,200 rising to R589,900 and the Fortuner runs from R462,900 to R675,600.

One thing the Aussies also get is a full 11-speaker JBL sound system on some Fortuner models. Now wouldn’t that be nice.

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