Sprint Review: 2023 Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 D/C 4×4 GR-Sport

Oh dear. You got the wrong person to review this sporty Hilux because (a) it’s my least favourite car in the world, ever, and (b) I seriously detest blacked-out pretend-sport vehicles….

You should know: Of course I’m not going to be a you-know-what and slate the region’s most popular vehicle. I would fire myself as a journalist if I did that. Its immense popularity (and resulting prevalence) is one of my biggest gripes but it is undeniable proof that Toyota built a winner; and has always read its market right.

More info: The same applies to this vehicle you’re reading about now: with trusty Toyota genes, a practical double-cab pick-up body, slight increase in fire-power, selectable 4×4 and all of the goodies a modern buyer desires: blacked-out trim, sporty accoutrements, badge overload, plush pleather, good safety and great convenience features.

What else? On top of that, the power increase (from 150 to 165kW) is reserved for this single Hilux model, while torque jumps from 500 to 550Nm. The difference is certainly noticeable, as our best 0-100km/h sprint time proved: 9.54 seconds. By comparison, a 2019 manual 2.8 Legend 50 D/C took 10.91 and the automatic 2021 equivalent managed 10.82 seconds.

Why you shouldn’t: Rival 4-pot TDi double-cabs managed those figures long ago, but it has to be argued that Toyota is probably nurturing their champion’s unshakable reliability instead of outright performance. This engine has great low-down punch, as a 4×4 bakkie should, but we noticed that the auto-box shies away from higher rpm’s.

That’s obviously because it’s designed to be highly efficient: torque peaks at just 1,600rpm and the power drops off after 3,000rpm. With six ratios and a semi-obedient manual override, this self-shifting gearbox can provide a degree of sportiness but the vehicle doesn’t betray its roots: to be a low-rpm, high-torque 4×4 bakkie.

Why you should: Whatever your opinion on sporty diesel pick-ups is, I have to concede that Toyota has added a little bit of spice to their evergreen workhorse. Is it worth the asking price of over 900,000 bucks? Well, considering what other vehicles cost, it seems on par. Now factor in its dependability, resale value, warranty and dealer count and it is, as was to be expected, an absolute winner.  


Engine:2,755cc in-line 4-cylinder turbo-diesel  
Transmission:6-speed Automatic, selectable 4×4
Max. Power:165kW @ 3,000rpm
Max. Torque:550Nm @ 1,600rpm
Avg. cons.:Claimed 8L/100km
0-100km/h:9.54 seconds (no claim)
Top Speed:Claimed 180km/h
List Price:R918,100

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