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HomeFeaturesThe flagship Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux coming to South Africa next month

The flagship Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux coming to South Africa next month

Bakkie fans are in for a treat this year, as the two most popular models in South Africa are both due to receive a new flagship in March.

The Ford Ranger is finally getting the top-of-the-line Platinum trim level, while Toyota is bringing out the Hilux GR-Sport III which is expected to place at the top of the 4×4 family upon its debut.

Best of the best

Starting with the Ford Ranger, the Platinum is the highest-spec version of the bakkie that you can buy, excluding the specially-modified Raptor which is often put in a class of its own due to its bespoke underpinnings.

The Platinum trim level has been available on the Everest SUV since its debut in late 2022, but this has not been the case for the Ranger as the Wildtrak has served as the halo model of the bakkie family up till now.

The Blue Oval has already announced the pricing for the new model, which clocks in at R1,119,000, putting it R92,600 ahead of the Wildtrak V6.

Its core attributes are the same as the Wildtrak, meaning it will be the second model to feature the 3.0-litre, turbocharged V6 diesel engine with 184kW and 600Nm.

Likewise, it will have a 10-speed automatic gearbox and an advanced all-wheel-drive system with 2H, 4H, 4L, and 4A settings, as well as driving and terrain modes for Normal, Eco, Tow/Haul, Slippery, Mud/Ruts, Sand and Rock Crawl.

The higher price tag’s justification comes down to its equipment, as the Platinum is described as the most luxurious model in the series, and thus comes with several high-end features.

This includes a unique grille with a silk chrome finish, 20-inch alloy wheels with ebony accents, all-season tyres, Matrix LED headlights, quilted and perforated high-grade leather upholstery, ventilated and heated front seats with 10-way electronic adjustability, a heated steering wheel, Black Maple interior finishes, satin aluminium strips on the dashboard and centre console, and a new upper glove box.

As for the Toyota, it will be on the receiving end of several changes intended to make this the best version of the GR-Sport moniker to date.

While this isn’t the first time that the Hilux has been given the racing division’s badges in South Africa, as two other GR-Sport models were released in 2019 and 2022, this new version will be more on par with the GR-Sport II units that have been afforded to markets like Australia and the United Kingdom.

The full specification breakdown will only be provided at the bakkie’s launch date, but the carmaker has confirmed that the Mzansi version will retain the uprated 2.8-litre, turbo-diesel engine found in the 2022 model which produces 165kW and 550Nm.

Where the newcomer improves over its predecessor comes down to its redesigned body and styling, as well as a number of exclusive new features.

Unlike the previous GR, the incoming model features a different front end inspired by the much larger Toyota Tundra, including a new grille, bumper, badges, and an improved air curtain structure that helps to reduce turbulence in the front wheel arches.

Further inspiration was drawn from the Dakar rally with the Hilux getting wider fenders, a bigger rear bumper, a new sports bar, and upgraded monotube suspension; and it is propped up on BF Goodrich Baja Champion all-terrain tyres wrapped around 17-inch alloy rims.

Inside, you can expect GR-branded seats with suede and leather upholstery and silver cross-stitching, and a unique GR steering wheel with paddle shifters.

Pricing for the GR-Sport III has yet to be announced, however, in light of its extensive enhancements it’s expected to slot in right at the top of the Hilux range thus putting its anticipated pricing above the R1-million mark.

Ford Ranger Platinum

Toyota Hilux GR-Sport III

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