Well-rounded Toyota Hilux significantly updated

Toyota Hilux receives exterior upgrades, improved infotainment and a more powerful engine

Reuben Van Niekerk
New model launch
Toyota Hilux

Following its launch in 2016, the eighth generation Toyota Hilux has been tweaked and improved on an almost yearly basis, as Toyota believes responding to customer requirements and a dynamic marketplace is key to its success.


Recent changes are some of the most significant since that initial launch with the model line-up and grade strategy being revised, the top of the range engine significantly upgraded, exterior styling tweaked and the infotainment finally catching up to that of the competition.


The utility-focused S and SR models continue as before, complete with their original front facades. The largest change to the grade strategy takes place in the mid-range where Raider replaces the long-serving SRX nomenclature.


SRX and Raider have now effectively merged, creating an opportunity for a flagship grade above Raider and this is precisely what the new Legend grade will offer.


S and SR models keep their current design traits, Raider continues with its chrome-accented styling and Legend will offer a distinctive new look aimed specifically at the leisure user.


The most visible change is found at the front of the vehicle, with new chiselled, slim-line headlamps flanking an all-new front-grille and bumper design. The new styling now aligns with Toyota’s global truck-design language and gives Hilux a modern yet unmistakably tough appearance.



Raider models feature a large, trapezoidal front grille with broad chrome border and horizontally separated 3D grille elements. New boomerang-shaped fog lamp bezels and integrated bumper guard round off the design. 2.4 GD-6 models receive an upgrade to four-bulb Halogen headlamps, while 2.8 GD-6 Raider derivatives now boast a Bi-LED configuration with stylised internal light guides and LED turn signal lamps.


The side profile remains largely unchanged, with the rear tail lamps also receiving the stylised LED treatment (2.8 models only). A chrome rear step bumper and chrome door handles create unity with the front design.


Inside, a new instrument cluster design welcomes the driver and features metallic inserts, a notched outer ring and metallic bezel create a more premium feel. The eight-inch infotainment system now incorporates a floating screen design while retaining rotary adjustment knobs for ease of use.


Befitting the popularity in the leisure market, Raider and Legend models now boast an eight-inch infotainment system complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality that incorporates a floating screen design while retaining rotary adjustment knobs for ease of use.


Legendary status

The Legend name now signifies a new flagship grade built on the brand equity of the previous celebratory models, to introduce a Hilux like never before.


The trapezoidal grille, outlined in black, integrates with the front bumper, bonnet protector and unique integrated skidplate, to create an imposing front facade. Further differentiation is achieved with dark-plated headlamp inserts and a centred chrome inlay, which suspends the Toyota insignia.


These are joined by matching overfenders, which seamlessly blend into the front bumper corners, forming integrated fog lamp bezels. They also feature gunmetal inserts over the arches, which contrast with the textured matte-finish of the overfenders and door handles. A graphite rear bumper and Legend specific tailgate garnish complete the package.


Inside, Legend variants receive bespoke interior treatment befitting their flagship status, a unique accent treatment is applied to the instrument cluster, interior trim panels, switchgear and gear lever. Cool, blue door illumination provides a sophisticated ambience and complements the perforated leather upholstery and black roof lining.


Based on Raider specification, the spec is augmented in 4x4 models with electrically adjustable front seats, a premium nine-speaker JBL audio system with dash-mounted speakers, keyless entry and push-button start.


Legend RS

An optional RS accessory package (referring to Roller Shutter) will be offered on Legend grade models which amplify both utility and aesthetics, offering a motorised roller shutter, graphite coloured sportsbar, rubberised bedliner, assisted tailgate with central-locking function and dust defence kit.


New colours

A total of nine exterior colours are on offer, including newly added Oxide Bronze and a first for Hilux, Pearl White. Attitude Black is exclusively available on 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Legend models.


More power and performance

The biggest change however is to the output of the 2.8 GD-6 engine, which has been bolstered by 20kW to 150kW, with an additional 50Nm on offer, bringing the figure to 500Nm in automatic transmission guise.


Toyota engineers have improved performance and fuel economy simultaneously by adopting a larger, heavy-duty turbocharger with a ball bearing cartridge for exceptionally crisp and strong throttle response and a new common-rail injection system.


The six-speed automatic transmission in turn has been recalibrated to allow earlier lockup for improved acceleration and cooling performance, especially while towing.


Raised Body and 4x4 derivatives have benefitted from revised shock absorber damping for improved ride comfort and reduced vibration, particularly when carrying low loads.


Wheel and tyre options

The wheel and tyre packages have also been revised, Raider models return to a 17-inch alloy wheel in dark grey metallic finish shod with 265/65-R17 rubber. Legend models are equipped with new rugged, two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels with a machined surface and darkened centre caps, fitted with 265/60-R18 tyres.


Staying connected

All Hilux models are now equipped with the Toyota Connect telematics system, which includes an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, and complimentary 15Gb data. Once linked to their profile, customers can manage their vehicle via the MyToyota App. This intuitive app allows on-demand service bookings, vehicle information and history, tracking data as well as Toyota Connect data recharge services and much more.