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THE UNBREAKABLE: Toyota Hilux is South Africa’s bestseller for a reason

THE UNBREAKABLE: Toyota Hilux is South Africa’s bestseller for a reason

No doubt, South Africa is a ‘bakkie-mad’ country. We drive them to work and to everywhere else - they are part of our motoring culture. While the bakkie market, especially for double-cabs, is ever getting tougher, the competition still has a long way to go if they want to dethrone South Africa’s bestselling new vehicle, the all-conquering Toyota Hilux.

The Hilux has comfortably maintained this position for over 40 years thanks to its rock solid underpinnings, vast dealer-network and Toyota’s old ‘unbreakable’ reliability – which is a true claim. Popular BBC motoring show, Top Gear’sJeremy Clarksononce famously failed to destroy a Hilux after parking it in the ocean, setting it on fire, hitting it with a wrecking ball and blowing up an apartment block with the vehicle placed on top.

After collecting a Silky Gold coloured Hilux in 3.0 D4-D Raider Double Cab 4x2 spec from Algoa Toyota in Newton Park, Port Elizabeth, and being a big bakkie fan myself, I felt as if I was driving its Fortuner SUV sibling.

A recent facelift has brought a new centre console with a (optional) touch-screen infotainment system, which includes satnav, park assist with reverse camera and a DVD entertainment system, as well as a revised more butch front-end styling. Our test model also featured an optional chrome bulbar, canopy and rubberised load bin which further enhances the styling and gives the Hilux its trademark purposeful yet tough appeal.

The interior plastics felt solid and well-constructed. Thanks to the silver accents around the centre screen and electric window switches, the Hilux had a more upmarket feel. Standard specs include cruise control; smart 17 inch alloys wheels, Bluetooth, ABS with EBD, six airbags and running boards.

Power is provided by Toyota’s tried and tested 3.0 litre D4-D turbo diesel engine which produces 120 kW and 343 N.m of torque.

The vehicle also came fitted with a 4-speed automatic box featuring a diff-lock and traction control. Fuel consumption is a claimed 9.7 l / 100 km while a 5-year / 90 000km warranty is standard.

In automatic guise and without some of our test models mentioned extras, the Hilux is priced at R401 600. The new Toyota Hilux sold over 9 770 units in the first three months of 2013 alone. It’s fair to say it reign and reputation will not be broken easily.

To book your test drive today, call Algoa Toyota on 041 393 2000 or visit them at 347, Cape Road, Newton Park in Port Elizabeth.