Tow Car Review: Living Up To The Hype

Words & Images Richard van Ryneveld & Nick Yell

In February this year, Toyota introduced their eight series Hilux bakkies in South Africa. To say the least, we’d been waiting for a while for this; the previous generation was released over a century ago!

This magazine has taken the new Hilux for a spin (July edition), but on this trip I got to drive about 1 700km in the (almost) top-of-the-range 4×4 model – the only bigger model being the V6.

The six-speed auto-gearbox married to the 2.8l diesel engine coped well with towing the Conqueror Comfort, which is a pretty solid unit built to “military strength”. The Hilux, with registered towing capacity (braked) of 3 500kg and a GCM of 5 850kg, could easily handle the Conqueror’s GVM of 1 525kg… and, being man alone, I wasn’t near to fully loading the trailer! Even if I were to take a maximum load, with the Hilux kicking out 130kW at 3 400rpm and max torque of 450Nm at 1 600 – 2 400rpm, it would still have been a breeze.

It seemed very stable as a towing rig; not surprising, considering the 3 085mm wheelbase; and I would imagine this would only improve with some extra weight in the vehicle to dampen the rear suspension a bit.

I did a limited amount of gravel road and mild 4×4 driving, all of which the Hilux handled easily. The only time I battled a little was once in heavy mud, but I’m sure a slightly more aggressive tyre tread would have solved this.

Interestingly, I found using the‘Tiptronic’ setting more economical than the ‘Auto’ setting for towing on cruise control. While towing at an average speed of 115 km/h I, the fuel consumption was around 13l per 100km.

As for the other driver support systems, no driver would be left wanting – standard features include Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Hill Assist Control (HA C), Downhill Assist Control (DA C), Traction Control (TRC), Active Traction Control (ATR C), Trailer Sway Control (TS C), and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC).


  • Wheelbase: 3 085mm
  • Ground clearance: 286cm
  • Towing capacity (unbraked): 750kg
  • Towing capacity (braked): 3 500kg
  • Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM): 2 910kg
  • Gross Combination Mass (GCM): 5 850kg


  • DC 2.8 GD-6 4×4 Raider AT R559 400
  • DC 2.8 GD-6 RB Raider AT R496 100

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