By BRENWIN NAIDU
I’VE said it before. Bakkies in the context of South Africa are particularly interesting. Folks here are loyal to their bakkies – they’ve become extensions of their lives in some cases, using these vehicles for all the exciting adventures and expeditions they embark on.
It was affirmed that the bakkie bodystyle is significant in the auto market, when the Volkswagen Amarok managed to garner a spot in the respected South African Car of the Year Competition.
And there are a plethora of offerings, for those seeking to get behind the wheel of a bakkie, to enjoy their raised ride-height and practical benefits. From the brutish Nissan Navara, to the Mazda BT-50, Ford Ranger, Isuzu KB-Series, and Mitsubishi Triton, even to offerings from certain Chinese manufacturers.
And of course, we cannot forget the Toyota Hilux, a legend that one often thinks of by default, when the word “Bakkie” is mentioned. When you see those old model Hilux bakkies still living life on the road, it is a testament to the enduring nature of the product. Stunts like those of the blokes on Top Gear – when they tried to destroy a Hilux – have also added to the image of indestructibility and go-anywhere capability of Toyota’s bakkie.
Toyota recently updated their legend, and launched the new version of the Hilux. Kicking things off are the Single Cab versions, offered with petrol and diesel engines. And there is also the Xtra Cab range – ‘A bakkie and a half” as I like to think of it. Then there are the Double Cab versions, offering the added practicality of two extra doors, if you’ve got regular passengers like kids.
The changes you’re bound to notice most, are those made to the Hilux’s face. It’s always been a bold-looking vehicle, and the new one is no different: that front end is still big and imposing.
They’ve also made changes to the interior, featuring a new instrument cluster. Various interior trims and upholstery fabrics have also been introduced.
Pricing starts off at R174 000 for the Hilux 2.0-litre VVTi Single Cap, and goes up to R445 900 for the 4.0 V6 4X4 Raider AT Double Cab.