Hilux. The one vehicle in absolutely no need of improvement, if you gauge the factor by which demand overwhelms supply.
Toyota’s bakkie has been South Africa’s most successful vehicle range for decades. But that has never triggered even the idlest sense of complacency. Toyota product planners keep improving the Hilux offering, and its first updates for this year concern the Xtra- and double-cab variants.
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Hilux Xtra-cab makes more sense
If you don’t have a family and own your own business, the additional loadability and VAT reclaim accounting of an Xtra-cab Hilux, makes a lot of sense. Toyota has made its Xtra-cab even more appealing by adding second-generation safety sense.
What does that bring? Hilux Xtra-cab owners will now have the additional safety shielding of a pre-collision system (PCS), high-speed-range adaptive cruise control (ACC) and lane departure alert (LDA). Considering the high cruising speeds that Hilux bakkies often travel through rural areas of South Africa, where animal and pedestrian collision risks are high, the PCS and ACC upgrades deliver real value.
There are mild styling improvements, too, with puddle lights illuminating below the wing mirrors on the Xtra-cab. Gimmicky? Quite.
JBL audio for all Hilux Legends
Toyota has not forgotten its immensely loyal double-cab fans. The brand’s early 2023 product upgrades see all Hilux Legend double-cab variants now featuring the premium JBL audio system. It has nine-speakers strategically placed throughout the cabin for optimal acoustic resonance.
Beyond equalising infotainment specifications across the entire Legend range, the raised body versions have a transmission upgrade. Hilux Legend bakkies with the six-speed automatic transmission, now have a dedicated temperature warning function.
Toyota knows that its bakkies are not exclusively used for parking on pavements at the local shopping centre. Aware that owners use their bakkies for towing, often up long inclines off-road, the temperature warning function is there to help drivers manage their bakkies’ workloads, in arduous conditions.