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Toyota Hilux Double Cab

Broadcast date : 22nd April 2007

Two years after its launch, the Toyota Hilux Raider still couldn’t be described as pretty. Imposing, yes, with its massive Pope’s nose, and in top-spec form, given a veneer of urban elegance with its smart alloys and running boards.

Of course its pristine build quality has made it one of the top-selling vehicles in South Africa, outselling many passenger cars.

The remarkable evolution of the double-cab pick-up from Toyota and its competitors has seen these great road Goliaths accepted as bonafide daily transport.

With 175 kiloWatts on tap from its bullet-proof engine, you can watch the speedo climb to well over a 100 km/h in second-gear.

This gives it a sub 10 second 0-100 time from a vehicle the size of a small cluster home, and an unladen weight of around 1750 kilograms.

The engine pounds out tarmac-shredding torque from under 2000 revs, with 343 Newton metres on demand at 2500 rpm.

But with no traction control or stability controls lurking in the electronics, this big bakkie demands respectful use of the throttle on the road. In deep agricultural territory, of course, it’s in its element.

Toyota’s build great off-road vehicles – no fancy bells and whistles, but the real off-road kit is just so well-engineered.

Despite all the torque, the throttle is sensitive enough for taxing low-speed manoeuvres, not always the case with some so-called icons we tested recently, like the Jeep Wrangler.

In axle twists, again, a simple diff-lock and a well-located live-axle does the job with no drama and no fancy planetary gears or clutches to go wrong.

That live axle is designed to take serious loads and cope with them on farm roads for years, if not decades.

Even so, the unladen ride on dirt is not too bad, nowhere near as bone-jarring as it was a few Hilux generations ago.

The latest-generation Hilux may be due for a cosmetic makeover soon, but the basic design will remain unchanged for a good few years which means an extremely elevated ride high above that rugged ladder-framed chassis.

That’s good for both on-road use and in off-road conditions, whether you are game-viewing or counting sheep.

As for that tendency to swing the tail out, yes, you need to treat the throttle with respect, but it makes the Hilux a great plaything on dirt roads where there’s enough run-off to avoid scuffing up those shiny alloys and running board plates.

Take it out of four-wheel-drive, which gives you rear-wheel-drive only, and you can hang the tail out with the best of them. Plus the V6 engine sounds the way a pre-diesel era Dakar rally-engine used to sound.

Toyota Hilux Raider 4,0 Double Cab

  • Engine: V6 petrol, 3 596 cc
  • Power: 175 kW @ 5 200 rpm
  • Torque: 343 Nm @ 2 400 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, four-wheel-drive, plus low range
  • 0-100 km/h: 9, 34 seconds
  • Top speed: 180 km/h (limited)
  • Fuel consumption: 16,3 litres/100 km (Car Magazine)
  • Price: R313 100

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