With the recent updates to the Hilux range and the Legend becoming a permanent member of the line-up, a bit of shade was cast on the rest of the range. There’s no denying that some people buy vehicles based on status appeal. They won’t be seen dead in a 2.4 Hilux. It has to be a 2.8 or 4.0L V6.
But with prices starting at R780 000 for a 2.8 or V6 Hilux, is the Raider 2.4 R190 000 less of a car than the Legend? We spent a week with a 2.4 Raider manual to find out if it could actually be the Hilux to get.
Across the range, the Hilux received a minor restyling featuring many trapezoids. This was done to give the vehicle a more aggressive appearance. The only differences between the Raider and Legend is the front bumper and LED headlights along with black overfenders and 18” wheels on the Legend. It looks great, but it’s not a necessity. The Raider has a certain confident, understated design.
Not much has changed on the inside with the update, except that the infotainment system featuring Android Auto and Apple Carplay is now standard across the range. A welcome addition to the lower end models. As a result, the interior on the Raider and Legend is nearly identical, except for leather seats on the Legend.
Performance and driving
I wanted to test the Hilux where it will be used most often, city driving, highways and farm roads. The key difference between the 2.4 and 2.8 is power output. The major news with the update is that the 2.8 now produces 150kW and 500nM in automatic form, while the manual still produces 450nM. The 2.4 however did not receive any power bumps, but still produces 110kW and a respectable 400nM. The engine produces an impressive amount of mid-range torque and combined with the Sport driving mode, the car feels very responsive with enough power on tap in the most used part of the rev-range.
According to Toyota, no changes have been made to the suspension, but the rear feels softer and as a result more compliant than before especially on corrugated farm roads.
This results in the Raider being a much nicer vehicle to live with in and around the city.
Unless you are really on it and NEED the extra power from the 2.8, the 2.4 is all the engine you’ll ever need. In my week with the car, it never felt like there was shortage of power to get up a pass or overtake a vehicle. It also returns great fuel economy figures. My commute to the office is about 80km’s in total and has a mix of flat highway sections and a few hills through the neighborhoods of Cape Town. Over 5 days of driving to the office, I managed to get the usage down to as low as 8.0L/100km or 12.5km/L average. Those are pretty decent figures for a vehicle that isn’t a donkey to drive.
There’s no doubt in my mind you will be seeing more Raider spec Hilux’s on our roads, as it offers a great middle ground between features, comfortability, performance and affordability coming in at R595 400.