New Toyota Prado, Cruiser 70 and Hilux GR-S hitting SA showrooms soon

Published Jan 26, 2024


Expect a stampede at your nearest Toyota dealership as the carmaker plans to unleash a glut of new SUV and bakkie models in the coming months.

Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) gave local media a taste of what’s to come at its annual State of the Motor Industry (SOMI) event on Thursday.

TSAM’s President and CEO Andrew Kirby said the company expected the South African vehicle market to grow by a modest 1.5 percent to a total of 540,000 units this year.

Given the uncertainty ahead of the elections, the first half of the year is likely to get off to a sluggish start as buyers hold off purchases, analysts predict, but a favourable election outcome could see some positive momentum, particularly if there are significant interest rate cuts in the pipeline.

Toyota enjoyed a record market share of 26.8% with 142,612 units sold last year, and the company is likely to build on that even further in 2024, particularly given the exciting new models that are on the way.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at what Toyota has in store for South Africa.

Toyota Prado: Due April 2024

Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated arrival is the all-new Toyota Prado, which hits local showrooms in April sporting a rugged new look that seems to be winning universal praise.

And if you think it looks good in the pictures, wait until you see it in the flesh..

Although pricing and most of the specification details will only be released closer to launch, TSAM has revealed that local models will be powered by the familiar 2.8-litre GD-6 turbodiesel engine, paired with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Completely new beneath the skin, the 2024 Toyota Prado is built around the TNGA-F platform that also underpins the LC300. Locally it will debut in First Edition guise, with TX and VX-R specification flavours following at a later date. Read more about the new Prado here.

Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series: Due February 2024

Now entering its 40th year of production without a major redesign, the tough-as-nails Toyota Land Cruiser 70 is getting a facelift that brings a more traditional looking front end.

There’s been a significant renewal beneath the bonnet, with Toyota’s 2.8-litre GD-6 turbodiesel now being available and it also ushers in an automatic gearbox for the first time ever in this model. The V8 diesel engine option is set to fall away in the next two years, Toyota says.

As before the LC70 it soldiers on in Single Cab and Double Cab bakkie as well as five-door SUV configurations, and buyers can also expect some cabin revisions, including a new infotainment system. Read more about the new Land Cruiser here.

Toyota Hilux GR-S III

Although many are eagerly anticipating an all-new Toyota Hilux, there’s still plenty of life left in the current version according to TSAM.

* Australian spec shown.

Set to launch in March, the third incarnation of the Hilux GR-Sport features Tundra-inspired frontal styling and a wide-body package.

Final specs for the local market have yet to be released, but we may get some direction from the Australian equivalent, which boasts track width increases of 135mm at the front and 155mm at the back, while the ride height has been increased by 15mm.

Buyers can also look forward to modified suspension and off-road tyres, while the engine package remains the same as the current Hilux GR-S, with Toyota’s 2.8-litre turbodiesel motor in its highest state of tune with 165kW and 550Nm.

Toyota Hilux 48V: Due March 2024

For those with a more frugal mindset the Toyota Hilux 48V is set to debut around the same time as the GR-S and no, that doesn’t stand for 48 valve, but rather 48-volt! It’s a mild hybrid.

Although standing proud as the first electrified member of the Hilux family, it is a mild form of electrification that provides an extra 12kW and 65Nm trough a motor generator.

Boasting advanced start/stop as well as brake regeneration and an idle speed reduced to 600rpm, the new Hilux 48V is said to be around five percent more fuel efficient than the regular 2.8 GD-6 turbodiesel model that it’s based on, while acceleration is also said to have improved.

It will be available as an option on 2.8-litre Hilux Raider and Legend auto models, as well as on the equivalently engined Fortuner.

Stay tuned to IOL Motoring for more details as well as pricing on these new bakkie and SUV models closer to their respective launch dates.