I’m quite vocal about the fact that being South African, in my opinion means you have an inherent love and appreciation for a proper bakkie. There’s nothing quite as South African as a braai, a beautiful sunset and a rough-and-ready bakkie standing nearby, is there? In my travels abroad, I have often seen “pick up trucks” and “recreational vehicles” in other shapes and forms but can quite emphatically state that no other country is quite as passionate about these vehicles as we are. And none has quite the history and legacy as the Toyota Hilux.
An underlying theme at Freeway Toyota is the respect for the culture and customs of the South African motoring community, which is so different from any other in the world. What we appreciate and hold dear is unique to us, and none more so than what we view as essential when it comes to our bakkies. Freeway Toyota showcases their offering in this segment at their dealership in Ormonde, Johannesburg – which is in the perfect location to service the local community by providing quality products and innovative service.
The team at Freeway Toyota consists of knowledgeable and people-oriented product specialists, department managers and after-sales experts, which include the experienced and friendly Nomsa Legodi, New Vehicle Sales Executive. With a year of experience in the industry behind her, Nomsa Legodi shares with me that her passion for people, coupled with her drive to see them happy is what developed her enthusiasm for the motoring industry. Seeing that customers leave happy is what spurs her on, as well as the ever-changing world of motoring where she has found herself.
Sales Manager, Mohammed Laher is – as always – welcoming and gracious about sharing information with customers regarding the fantastic products on offer. Noting that the tagline for the Hilux is “tough from every angle”, this vehicle is Toyota’s response to the desire for a strong, tough and practical vehicle that will work hard as well as provide the driver and passengers with comfort. Released as single, double and “Xtra” cabs, the Hilux range is designed to be the ideal combination that will meet both your leisure and commercial needs. With 21 derivatives available in the entire range, the Hilux is also released in either automatic or manual, across a wide variety of engine types.
Starting with the Hilux single cab, this vehicle is the perfect vehicle if you need a hard-working or hard-playing vehicle for your small business or off-roading needs. The Xtra Cab variant was designed to meet a very specific need that called for the same reliability and practicality with a little more space for equipment or documents or other items in the cabin. The most popular derivative is the double cab, which boasts the same powerful engine and design with the additional space in the back for passengers as well. As the most popular vehicle of its kind in South Africa, over 860,000 Hilux vehicles have been sold to the public since its launch in 1969. Now refreshed and updated to meet technological advances head on, and better respond to the needs of the market, the Hilux is in its finest incarnation yet.
All the variants have a commonality: rugged good looks emphasised by a striking and bold design that asserts confidence and capability from every angle. It has a sturdy body that is a direct indicator of what it was designed to do – work hard and play hard. Despite this, there are modern, flowing lines that also make it look sleek and adventurous. On the inside, the Hilux reflects the concepts of “strength with elegance”, with a dashboard that shows off modern, clean lines and a convenient layout. Cloth upholstery is standard on the seats, and good quality finishes provide a polished and premium-feel interior. The scrapping of the “lever system” for changing between 2H, 4H and 4L driving mode was a good decision. Replacing this with a rocker on the dashboard was an even better choice, as it fits in with the modernised feel in the cabin. There is a multi-function steering wheel through which audio needs can be managed and all the bells and whistles in terms of Bluetooth connectivity, climate control and the like.
In terms of safety, the Hilux offers a full house of airbags and a reinforced frame that works together with the advanced on-board safety systems to 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.
The roaring, powerful engine is probably the most well-known aspect of the Hilux, thanks to a new generation advanced engine which 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 claim they have mastered this concept.
Manufactured right here on home turf 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: http://www.freeway.co.za/
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson