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Reader test: '98 Toyota Hilux 2.8

2009-01-16 07:35

John Rademan

I researched many 4x4s ahead of my purchase and after six months of searching, I found myself this true Hilux.

It is a 1998 Toyota Hilux 2.8 diesel double cab 4X4 limited edition with an Alpine turbo fitted by Toyota.

New in 1998, it cost R167 658, at the time an R11 000 premium over the normal 2.8 diesel.


The turbodiesel pushes out 85 kW at 3 500r/min and is good for a torque figure of 260 Nm at 2 500r/min.

This gives the vehicle a 0-100km/h time of 11.2 seconds. The low down torque and low gear ratios mean that there is a low top speed of 153 km/h (claimed). Realistically, 140 km/h is the maximum speed.

Fuel consumption is 10.5 l/100 km at 100km/h.

Those familiar with diesel bakkies will know that it is very similar to the 2.5 diesel used by Isuzu before the new D-Teq was launched. The diesel is old generation and will cruise comfortably, albeit noisily, at the national speed limit.

However if you go off-road, this Hilux will amaze you. Perfectly standard, it will traverse trails up to five grading. Keeping it simple, solid front axles with a leaf spring suspension is the secret to the excellent off-road capability and reliability. A GearMax diff lock at the rear ensures that any obstacles can be conquered.


The design is straight from the 80s and one has to live with the rattles.

The quality is industrial, which is why they last so long; take a look at the new Landcruiser 70 and you will see that it works.

My limited edition Hilux comes with luxuries such as air-conditioning and semi-leather seats. Rear seat legroom is limited and on par with the new Suzuki Jimmy's.


If you are looking to do some serious offroad driving the Hilux is for you. Added to the grin factor is the thought that it is reasonably inexpensive compared to a new 4X4, therefore a scratch is financially not serious.

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