PROSPECTIVE customers got an opportunity to test drive the new Toyota Hilux yesterday, as Maseru Toyota launched the bakkie range local market in style.
Such was Toyota’s confidence in its new Hilux that it was launched on the off-road tracks of Sethaleng sa Mopapa in Maseru, and attracted hordes of prospective customers and car enthusiasts who were keen to check out the premier bakkie range.
According to the Toyota Hilux promotional brochure, the new range has a “striking design with bold, aggressive lines which puts it at the forefront of modern bakkies the world over”.
The Toyota Hilux has long had a reputation for being one of the toughest bakkies on the market, and with the latest models, the brand says it has made the unbreakable Hilux even more unbreakable.
The brochure also states that the Toyota Hilux has been upgraded with new “highly advanced” engines, an updated six-speed transmission and an even more rigid as well as robust frame.
“Considered the bakkie of choice for anyone who needs to tackle any challenge, the all-new Hilux will, without a doubt, is the toughest bakkie around,” it states.
“With better torque, more driving enjoyment, more luxury, comforts and better stability on and off the road, the all new Hilux sets the bar for the next generation.”
It is a similar story inside the cabin, with air-conditioning, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a large 7-inch touchscreen that is DVD compatible, power windows and mirrors and USB and auxiliary ports now standard fare across the range. Other key features include driver and passenger airbags, traction control, electronic brake distribution and cruise control.
Maseru Toyota Sales Executive – New Car Sales, Mohasi Penane, told the Sunday Express the Hilux’s luxury comforts and better stability on and off-road set the bar high for its competitors.
He said the Hilux had balanced its role as a tough workhorse with being a family-friendly and versatile vehicle.
“Toyota bakkies are normally synonymous with reliable performance than aesthetics. However, the latest range is a balance between the two,” he said.
According to Maseru Toyota Master Technician, Teboho Mokone, the model range is available with both 4×4 and 4×2 drivetrains and comes in a single, double or extra cab in either 2.4 GD or 2.8 GD-6 litre engines.
Although it may look like a downgrade from 3.0 litre engine, he said the 2.8 litre engine produced more torque than the previous Hilux range, and available in both manual drive and automatic transmission.
“With new highly advanced engines, an updated six-speed transition and an even more rigid, robust frame, the new Hilux has been taken to a whole new level,” Mr Mokone said.
Maseru Toyota’s Marketing Coordinator, ‘Makeletso Mokoboti, told this paper the test driving was an opportunity for prospective buyers to get a feel of the Hilux.
“We decided to host the test-drive event to afford prospective buyers and car enthusiasts the opportunity to get a firsthand feel of the car which comes with many enhanced features than the previous model,” she said.
“Since the Hilux is regarded as a tough vehicle, we decided to hold the test-drive on rough terrain so that it can demonstrate its robustness.”
Ms Mokoboti said they had an agreement with Wesbank and Standard Lesotho Bank to finance the purchase of the vehicles for prospective buyers.
“We have a working arrangement with the two banks to finance our customers. So they were here to assist any customers who needed to buy right away,” she said.
One of the car enthusiasts who took the Hilux for a spin, Thapelo Mahase, was awash with praises for the bakkie.
“I really enjoyed the experience of driving the new Hilux, and the way it glided on the steep terrain impressed me even more,” he said.