Toyota has recently updated its pricing for a few of its vehicles, with the top-spec Hilux now costing a smidge over R1-million. An eye-watering figure, but is it justified?
Toyota’s top-spec bakkie, the Hilux 2.8 GD-6 4×4 Legend RS 6AT double cab, now dons a seven figure price tag after the recent price increases to the local market. A new base price of R1 003 000 see’s the flagship Hilux gain a price increase of R29 200, resulting in the first Hilux that Toyota South Africa Motors has listed for over a million rand.
Given South Africa’s bakkie-crazed market, how does the Hilux with its new pricing stack up against its R1-million competitors, and who are they?
The flagship Hilux now joins Volkswagen, Ford and Jeep in the battle for the ‘premium’ bakkie king. Volkswagen’s offerings come in the form of the Amarok 2.0 BiTDI PanAmericana 4Motion (R1 006 700), Amarok 3.0TDI V6 PanAmericana 4Motion (R1 084 600) and the Amarok 3.0TDI V6 Aventura 4Motion (R1 138 200). Ford has two bakkies starting at over a million – the Ranger 3.0 V6 Wildtrak 4WD (R1 026 400) and the formidable Ranger Raptor 3.0 v6 EcoBoost 4WD. The Jeep Gladiator 3.6 Rubicon (R1 329 900) remains the most expensive bakkie available in South Africa.
So what makes a Hilux, or any of the aforementioned bakkies, worth the seven-figure price tag? These days bakkies are more than just the rugged and unrefined workhorses they used to be. They have entered a new era of refinement and practicality, catering to the needs of family commutes and heavy lifting in the workplace.
The new Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok embody this redefined idea of a bakkie more so than any other brand. The Ranger and Amarok supposedly justify their price tags through their new luxurious cabins, loads of tech, and refined driving experience. The Jeep Gladiator is not far behind, and it dominates in its off-road capability, carrying the legendary Rubicon badge. Ford, Volkswagen and Jeep all offer more powerful 6-cylinder engines than any of their competitors. The Hilux, then, seems slightly archaic when it comes to its driving manners, cabin design and powertrain offerings.
The Hilux is up against some serious heavy hitters at this price range, not to mention the likes of the Triton, Navara and D-MAX, which at a lower price point make a serious case to be considered when looking into purchasing your next vehicle. So if not in any of the aforementioned ways, how does the Hilux justify its price tag? Well, it’s the name itself. The Toyota Hilux has long been South Africa’s best-selling vehicle, renowned for its reliability, capability and being virtually indestructible.
Sure it may be outdated in comparison to some of its competitors, but it remains desirable through its reputation and the legacy that it’s created for itself – cult hero within South African culture. Yes, paying over R1 million for a car is expensive by any means, but we also need to come to terms with the fact that bakkies now offer so much more than they used to. And when it comes to the Hilux and its competitors, it’s tough to trump fundamental reliability, no matter how much new tech you have.