Along with a restyle, the Hilux 2.8 gets a punchier turbo diesel engine. Picture: SUPPLIED
Along with a restyle, the Hilux 2.8 gets a punchier turbo diesel engine. Picture: SUPPLIED

You're not looking at an all-new Toyota Hilux but the second facelift of SA’s best-selling vehicle since its launch of 2016.

According to Toyota, an entirely new model is likely to arrive circa 2027. Meanwhile, this is the most aggressive looking Hilux yet thanks to a complete redesign of its front face with squinty headlamps, reshaped daytime running lights (DRLs) and a bulging grille that’s finished off in black plastic cladding in some models. The contrasting black panels are repeated as surrounds above the wheel arches, forming protection against scrapes and mud splatters.

Not all Hilux models get this new face though. Entry-level SR models retain the old face to keep the value proposition in check. Also, the SRX range now falls away and the Raider moniker, which benefits from a large, trapezoidal front grille with broad chrome border and horizontally-separated 3D grille elements and new boomerang-shaped fog lamp bezels, takes over as the mid-tier offering that strikes a balance between luxury and utilitarian. 

The Legend becomes the flagship model and this is where the black outline is found. It also gets a bonnet protector and skidplate.

An optional "RS" accessory package (referring to Roller Shutter) is offered on Legend models with a motorised roller shutter, graphite-coloured sportsbar, rubberised bedliner, assisted tailgate with central-locking function and dust-defence kit.

Interior upgrades on Raider models include a new instrument cluster design with metallic accents. New-generation infotainment includes a 20.3cm infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Google Maps, Waze, JOOX, Spotify and SoundCloud while all Hilux models also enjoy standard in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and complimentary 15Gb data.

The Raider and Legend models boast an all-new infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Raider and Legend models boast an all-new infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Picture: SUPPLIED

Inside, the Legends get unique accent treatment to the instrument cluster, interior trim panels, switchgear, gear lever, blue door illumination, perforated leather upholstery and black roof lining above the highlighted tech.

Safety includes the first time fitment of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) in the Hilux range with a Pre-collision warning system, Lane Departure Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control. This is standard on Legend 4x4 models.

Ride comfort is improved thanks to new spring rates, shock absorbers and suspension bushes for more agility. 

Mechanical changes see a larger turbocharger that results in a significant power increase to 150kW and 500Nm (up from 130kW and 420Nm) for the 2.8 GD-6 turbo diesel auto models. The towing capacity rating of the smaller 2.4 GD-6 turbo diesel 4x4 model now increases to 3.5 tons, matching the 2.8 GD-6 4x4.

As before the 33-model range is also available with a choice of three petrol engines: 2.0, 2.7, and 4.0, in a line up of single-cab, xtra cab and double cab variants. Prices range from R386,700 to R765,600.

All models come with a three-year/100,000km warranty and a nine-services/90,000km service plan.

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