Toyota Hilux bakkie now available as a hybrid

The Toyota Hilux, one of South Africa’s best-selling vehicles, is now available as a mild hybrid on select Raider double-cab models.

The new Hilux Raider gets a refresh and features the company’s innovative 48V technology and a range of Toyota-approved accessories. Within the Hilux range, which comprises the GR-S, Legend, Raider, SR and S models, the Raider makes up the biggest market share of the total, accounting for 48% of all sales.

The release of the hybrid Hilux is part of Toyota’s broader eco-friendly strategy to offer various new energy powertrains, including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), hydrogen electric vehicles (HEVs) and carbon-neutral fuel vehicles.

Toyota says that to reduce carbon emissions, it should offer different powertrains, as mentioned above, alongside “conventional internal combustion engines (ICE) powered by alternative fuels”.

The 48V system was initially demonstrated at a World Rally Championship event in Kenya in 2023 and is now available on select Hilux and Fortuner models.

It includes select 4×2 and 4×4 double-cab Legend and Raider models and the Fortuner.

The hybrid motor with a 4.3Ah Lithium-Ion battery that delivers 207Wh of energy offers a power boost of 12kW and 65Nm of torque, alongside other efficiencies.

It incorporates a motor generator, 48V battery and a DC/DC converter into the 2.8L GD-6 turbo-diesel four-cylinder powertrain and six-speed automatic transmission.

The new 48V system’s biggest advantage is its impact on fuel consumption, through a stop-start system, which Toyota claims can be reduced by 10% compared to the normal 2.8L engines.

It can also be switched off for longer than a typical ICE vehicle in traffic, reducing idling speed from 720rpm to 600rpm, according to Toyota.

The company says the benefits equate to a 7-11% fuel consumption saving and an average CO2 saving of nine percent.

Launch drive in Durban

At the launch event drive this week, we drove in pairs from the King Shaka International Airport in Durban to the KZN Midlands, covering a total distance of just under 450km over two days.

The 2.8L Raider with a 48V system for the drive features a new push start and smart entry system, multi-terrain select, and one-touch power windows for all windows.

The 2.8L hybrid model also features a designed front bumper; a new grille design with honeycomb mesh; mesh fog lamp bezels; and touches of black on the outside mirrors and door handles, plus the rear bumper and tailgate handle, a noticeable difference from its previous chrome accents.

It also features leather seats and an 8-way power seat adjustment on the driver’s side. Toyota has made other safety updates, including jam protection but could not divulge all features for obvious reasons.

We drove a bit of highways, through small villages and some roads that were not in the best condition, but no off-roads. There were many instances of overtaking trucks on the N3 and the Hilux Raider proved capable of both overtaking and taking off.

The driver display behind the steering wheel lets you see how power is distributed, so you can have a better idea when you’re regenerating power to the battery.

I switched between eco, normal and sport as needed, though I preferred driving on eco and normal mode vs. sport mode, which didn’t feel great.

The driver display also has an “eco indicator” and I must admit, for the launch drive, I was not the most efficient driver, scoring 38/100 as per the car. I was graded for start, cruise and stop.

If you want to feel better about your driving, you should probably avoid looking at those stats.

Overall, over the two days split between my driving partner and I, we averaged 10L/100km, which was higher than Toyota’s claimed consumption of 7.0L/100km.

Connected services and Toyota-approved accessories

Toyota drivers can sign up for Toyota Connect, a free service to all customers, within 12 months of purchasing a vehicle for new supported models that are fitted with a device to unlock these features.

It works with the MyToyota app and comes with 25GB of complimentary data for access to in-car WiFi and other connected services. These include the logbook, battery health check, GPS locator, roadside assistance, driver rating, and service bookings.

The new refreshed Raider can be customised with lifestyle accessories, such as roof racks, cross bars, rooftop tents, roof boxes, bike carriers, fridges, solar panels, etc.

Toyota has collaborated with suppliers like Ironman 4×4, Front Runner, Thule, 4×4 Megaworld, and IVXIV Bush Indaba.

Pricing, service plan and warranty

The new Hilux is available to purchase and starts at R587 200 for the Extra Cab; R612 100 for the double cab manual transmission; R633 200 for the automatic transmission and from R785 400 for the 48V hybrid, up to R876 600.

Originally published in the City Press Online.

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