I’m convinced that being South African has something to do with having an inherent love and appreciation for the classic bakkie. Having travelled and seen “pick up trucks” and “recreational vehicles” in many other countries, I am confident in my opinion that there is a particular passion for this type of vehicle on home soil. No-one is quite as enthusiastic and supportive of the bakkie-type vehicle than we are, and when it comes to the quintessential bakkie, no-one does is quite as well as Toyota does.
Respecting the culture and custom of the unique nature of the South African motoring community is a golden-thread running through the services and products on offer at Freeway Toyota. Understanding how important the bakkie is in our community, Toyota proudly showcases the Hilux as their contribution to this segment. Situated in Ormonde in Johannesburg, Freeway Toyota is perfectly located to provide quality services and vehicles of unparalleled innovation and reliability to the greater Johannesburg area. With a team comprised of product specialists, department managers and after-sales experts, Freeway Toyota has the knowledge and experience needed to provide for their client’s every motoring need.
Sales Manager Mohammed Laher has always been gracious in sharing his knowledge with me; under the tagline, “tough from every angle”, the Hilux is Toyota’s answer to the need for a powerful, hardy and practical vehicle that can be both comfortable, and hard-working. Available in a wide range of variants, including single cab, double cab and an “Xtra Cab” range, the Hilux is designed to be the perfect combination of leisure and commercial needs. Available in 21 derivatives starting from 2.4 litre 4×4, to 4 litre V6 4×4, each model is also available in either automatic or manual transmission.
The Hilux single cab is an ideal workhorse or leisure vehicle, and is popular in the market for small businesses. The Xtra Cab was developed to meet the growing need for the same reliable and practical workhorse with a little extra space for important equipment within reach. The ever-popular Double Cab has the same powerful engine and design with the added benefit of space in the back for passengers. As the most popular vehicle of its kind in South Africa (and selling over 860 000 Hilux vehicles since its introduction to the market in 1969), the Hilux has been refreshed and upgraded to better meet the needs of the market.
In each of the variants, the Hilux has one thing in common – rugged good looks, marked by a striking and bold design that radiates confidence and strength from every view. The sturdy body is indicative of the vehicles capability to work hard, and the modern, flowing lines hint at the adventurous and exciting nature underlying it. The interior is set around the concept of “strength with elegance”, and the modern dashboard is characterised by clean lines, convenient layout and innovative use of space. With high-end finishes and quality upholstery, the Hilux interior could easily fool you into thinking you are in an SUV.
I like that the old-fashioned “lever” system for changing between 2H, 4H and 4L has been scrapped in favour of a modernised rocker on the dashboard, and the mutli-function steering wheel means I can control all my audio needs with the flick of my thumb. All the goodies (including Bluetooth connectivity, climate control and a full-house of airbags) are where they should be, and I feel comfortable and familiar in the cabin.
The reinforced frame, added to the combination of advanced security features and safety systems, make the Hilux one of the safest bakkies on the road. Advanced features include Active Traction Control, Downhill Assist Control and Hill Assist Control to assist with rougher terrain. Similarly, Trailer Sway Control is available to assist with the stabilisation of the connection between the vehicle and anything you tow. Going off-road with this vehicle is now also as easy as flipping an electronic switch to alternate between 4-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive low and 2-wheel drive.
The magnificent, powerful engine is arguably the most talked-about aspect of the Hilux. A new generation advanced engine produces greater power in each variant, with better torque definitions, enhanced performance and decreased fuel consumption. This, in a nutshell, would be the dream combination, and Toyota claims they have mastered this concept.
Manufactured in South Africa, the Hilux remains the best-selling vehicle in Southern Africa (and globally one of the most popular vehicles to boot). With around 2 500 units being sold every month, the Hilux has been the best-seller for more than five years; the team at Freeway Toyota strive to remain the chosen supplier for this brand, building on their already positive reputation.
Freeway Toyota boasts a stunning interactive website where all their vehicles and services are catalogued for ease of reference. There is also a live-chat feature which enables you to communicate with a team member In real time and obtain any information you may need immediately. Booking a test drive can easily be done online, or a direct WhatsApp line to the Sales Team can be made use of. Shopping for a vehicle has never been this easy! For more info, follow this link: Freeway Toyota
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson