A fresh lick of paint can eas­ily push up the value of a house. Cyril Klopper drove a spe­cial edi­tion Toy­ota Hilux to see if a bit of spray paint here and there can make it a bet­ter set of wheels.

Go! Camp & Drive - - Contents -

Is the Hilux Black Edi­tion a re­sponse to Ford’s pitch black Ranger Fx4? Toy­ota cat­e­gor­i­cally de­nies it, claim­ing they started plan­ning the launch of this spe­cial edi­tion at the be­gin­ning of 2017. South Africa’s favourite bakkie is in no way a new­bie when it comes to spe­cial edi­tions. There was the Dakar, the Leg­end 35, 40 and 45, as well as the Her­itage edi­tions. Naysay­ers will main­tain it’s purely a mar­ket­ing ploy by Toy­ota to sell more bakkies – and that’s ob­vi­ously their in­ten­tion – but these spe­cial edi­tions do of­fer unique fea­tures not found in the stan­dard ver­sions. Let’s have a look.

On the out­side

The Black Edi­tion is based on the 2.8 GD-6 dou­ble cab bakkie – the flag­ship model – and you can choose be­tween two- or four-wheel drive. What sets it apart from the stan­dard GD-6 are its black grille, black in­set on the front bumper, a black rear bumper, and a black roof. The hub cabs, door han­dles and side mir­rors are painted the same colour as the body­work. Toy­ota also of­fers a sep­a­rate load bin cover and nifty 18” al­loy wheel rims. The Black Edi­tion is avail­able in three colours: glacier white, chromium sil­ver and graphite grey metal­lic. Strangely enough, it doesn’t come in black.

The in­te­rior

The seats are cov­ered in black leather with sil­ver stitch­ing, and the driver’s seat is elec­tri­cally ad­justable. The dash­board has car­bon fi­bre panel in­lays (ob­vi­ously not real car­bon fi­bre) and it looks great. >

The Black Edi­tion is avail­able in three colours: glacier white, chromium sil­ver and graphite grey metal­lic. Strangely enough, it doesn’t come in black.

In terms of safety, there are seven air bags and ISOFIX an­chor points for car seats. There’s also an over­sup­ply of elec­tronic aids with three let­ter ab­bre­vi­a­tions such as ve­hi­cle sta­bil­ity con­trol (VSC), hill as­sist con­trol (HAC), trailer sway con­trol (TSC), trac­tion con­trol (TRC) and elec­tronic brake force dis­tri­bu­tion (EBD). Other cool gad­gets in­clude a big touch screen in the cen­tre con­sole that dis­plays ba­sic info like ra­dio sta­tions, songs and con­tact de­tails straight from your phone. There’s also a smaller 4,2” screen be­tween the speedand tachome­ter that shows, amongst other things, your fuel con­sump­tion, cruis­ing range, and av­er­age speed.

Un­der the bon­net

No changes were made to the en­gine, and the Hilux Raider Black Edi­tion is pow­ered by Toy­ota’s 2,8 ℓ tur­bod­iesel mo­tor. This en­gine de­vel­ops 130 kW of power, and the six-speed trans­mis­sion pushes out 420 Nm of torque while the six-speed au­to­matic comes with a 450 Nm peak torque out­put.

Be­hind the wheel

They also didn’t change the sus­pen­sion. The ride is slightly bumpy, like you’d ex­pect from a Hilux, but if you put a canopy on and load a few bags of ce­ment, it im­me­di­ately im­proves. The diesel en­gine runs silky smooth and there’s sur­pris­ingly lit­tle valve noise com­pared to other com­mer­cial diesel ve­hi­cles. We tested a man­ual, and while it’s fun play­ing around with the gears, the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion is still our favourite, es­pe­cially when paired with a diesel en­gine.

In a nut­shell

Only 1 000 Black Edi­tions will be made avail­able to the pub­lic, says Mzolisi Wit­booi, prod­uct com­mu­ni­ca­tion man­ager at Toy­ota South Africa. Which means you’ll have to hop to it if you want a Hilux with a black roof. But are the black roof and bumpers worth R27 000 more than an or­di­nary Hilux? Those ex­tra rands can buy 30 tanks of diesel that you can use to travel more than 30 000 km. We’ll leave it to Toy­ota fans to de­cide. One thing is cer­tain though; the Black Edi­tion does look rather good.

BACK IN BLACK. The large touch screen is clearly leg­i­ble even in di­rect sun­light. Be­low the touch screen are two 12 V sock­ets as well as two USB sock­ets to recharge phones or GPS de­vices. The pitch black in­te­rior is stylish rather than som­bre and fore­bod­ing.

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