GR Hilux

Rivals sharing the driveway prove that GR Hilux worth

Life has pretty much returned to normal since we last reported on this medium-term test on our Toyota Hilux GR Sport. Last time we covered towing with Hulk, has we call him. That was quite a trip to be honest, so it’s been a bit more mundane since. But there’s always much to ponder while living the Hilux life.

Well for starters, most South African motorists understand this life full well. SA’s biggest selling vehicle by miles, there are enough Hiluxes out there to run the economy, all on their own. That leads us to ponder what the sights, sensations and sounds of a Hilux mean to so many different people.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Win-Tork-Craft-Banner-1024x133.jpg
GR Hilux


From the farmer in the field, to the family man and woman, to the hundreds of thousands of kids that grew up in that rear bench. To them, that distinctive sound of the Hilux GD6 start up, to the gentle exhaust drone while falling asleep on a long trip on the back bench while dad drove the family to that holiday destination. Caravan on the back, or a boat. Who knows. But that thought is so snug all on its own.

Makes one wonder also, how many of those kids who grew up in the back of a Hilux, has now bough his or her own. Most of them, we reckon. And the cycle continues.

Getting back to old Hulk the GR Hilux, we’ve also had a number of other shiny new bakkies through our hands over the time he’s been here. So it’s been pretty interesting to compare old faithful to those shiny new rivals. To be honest, what we can conclude in that regard, and especially inside, is that old Hilux has aged exceptionally well.

GR Hilux


Quality is the most endearing aspect. Other bakkies may now look sexier, but even among its best latest rivals still struggle to match how this bakkie is built. Not that there’s anything wrong with our Hulk’s cabin. And not least of all its simple, readily understandable, and easy to use infotainment system.

Yes, there are other bigger, bolder, badder systems out there, but most have lost the plot. They’re really poorly rendered. But this old Hilux system is still pretty good.

Complaints? Very few, actually. Besides maybe price, at close to a million, and beyond for some if more upmarket GR Hilux siblings. But they’re not alone. Double cabs in general are breaching that bar mark.



And yes, there are a few aspects starting to look a bit aged too. But does that really matter in the bakkie realm? And when the package is still so good versus its many new-fangled rivals?

Of course the biggest GR attraction is this Hiluxes extra oomph under the bonnet. And best of all, this engine signals the medium-term future for Toyota bakkies and SUVs. The new Prado will mainstay on this 165 kilowatts 550 Nm lump, we hear that it’s coming in a jacked up Fortuner too, soon. And we’re prepared to bet that this engine will be the mainstay of the next generation Hilux range, when it comes.

All of which is pretty appropriate for our medium-term evaluation of this fine performance bakkie! – Michele Lupini

Testing & photography: Giordano Lupini

MEDIUM TERM UPDATE: Toyota Hilux 2.8G D-6 DC 4x4 GR Sport
Engine: 165kW 550Nm 2.8-litre turbodiesel I4
Drive: 6-speed automatic 4x4
Odo on Arrival:   16,876 km
Odo Now:          20,660 km
Real world fuel:  9.1 l/100km
Towing Fuel:      13.4 l/100 km
Claimed Fuel:     8.0 l/100km
CO2:              210 g/km
Range:            1,000 km
Payload:          790 kg
Max Towing:       3500 kg
Warranty/Service: 3y 100K 9s/90K km
RATED:            9
0-60 km/h:        4.23 sec
0-100 km/h:       9.38 sec
0-120 km/h:       12.72 sec
0-160 km/h:       25.96 sec
400 m:            16.9 sec @ 134 km/h
80-120 km/h:      6.16 sec
120-160 km/h:     13.24 sec
Claimed VMax:     180 km/h
Dunlop Grandtrek
Tagged with: