Legen...(wait for it), dary!
Just like its brethren, the Landcruiser, the Toyota Hilux has attained cult status globally due to its robust, go anywhere characteristics. You can find it doing the school run in Zimbabwe, and at the same time see it hauling grenade launchers and militant troops in war torn regions of the world
With heritage comes longevity though it can be argued that the Hilux is the exception to the rule. It really did not have to stick around long for its legacy and reputation to be etched in the minds of all witnesses. There is no doubt that whether the Hilux sticks around or vanishes, the iconic nameplate will forever be remembered.
The Hilux family’s first born came out of Toyota’s womb in 1968, healthy and ready to kick butt and take names. Throughout the the generations, the Hilux has done just that, besting the Ford Ranger, Isuzu KB and other competition throughout the decades. Now in its 8th generation, we felt the need to bend the knee and tip our hats in respect to the living icon. In Zimbabwe there is a healthy population of them running about in single cab or double cab variants.thus its safe to say that we have been well acquainted with the living legend.
The most common iterations on Zim roads in particular is the current 8th generation as well as its predecessor.
Lets take a look at the 7th gen in a bit more detail shall we...
Production began from 2004 to 2015 with two facelifts within its production run. The first came in 2008 which brought about subtle changes with regards to the headlights, grill and tail light designs. Three years later in 2011 another facelift appeared. This time around it was more apparent as the entire front end was redesigned, with updated bits of interior and exterior trim and even the introduction of a new turbocharged diesel motor with 144hp and 343Nm of torque, which also had the benefit of lower fuel consumption.
Now onto the current model. ..
It was officially launched in 2015 and comes in a single cab or double cab with an array of engine options from one side of the spectrum which is a 2L four cylinder to a 3L turbocharged inline four on the other side of the scale with many others sitting in between. Transmission choices range from either a 5 speed or 6 speed automatic or manual transmission with either rear wheel drive or four wheel drive.
If you ask me, the latest version is a big step forward in terms of form and function. It looks posh enough inside and out for 'Zimbos' to flex (show off) in all day long whilst simultaneously, since its a truck after all, its not afraid to get dirty, whether its in the Namib desert, the rainforests of South America or the TREACHEROUS Zimbabwean roads. From a styling standpoint, the front facia looks very sharp and focused, particularly in the facelifted 2017 version whilst the widened rear arches (#hipsdontlie), make it look like the beefy American trucks we see on TV and/or online.
To sum up, the Hilux, atleast in my opinion is bipolar. To put it in perspective, the same truck used in its numbers by UNICEF for humanitarian aid is the same truck used by militant groups, ( I will let that sink in for a moment) That really is a spectacle unlike no other ! You come to places like Zimbabwe as well and they are used as status symbols to show that one has made it in life (well upper middle class at least).
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it goes to show that just like a multi award winning actor like Denzel Washington, it too can play numerous roles to perfection, much to the delight of us,the consumers. Not a lot of vehicles can pull this off. Take care of it well, and the Hilux is more than capable to serve for a lifetime and beyond. It retains its value relatively well too hence why it is a sought after commodity. I surely see a Hilux in my future because in my eyes, it is worth every penny.