Toyota’s mild hybrid Hilux and Fortuner off to a good start in South Africa

Toyota says its 48V mild hybrid Hilux and Fortuner models sold well in their first full month of sales.

The Japanese carmaker’s mild hybrid Fortuner and Hilux models officially went on sale in late March 2023, with Toyota offering three variants of the 48V Fortuner and six variants of the 48V Hilux.

MyBroadband asked Toyota how popular these models have been since they launched.

Toyota says interest in its 48V models has been “decent” and provided figures on the share of sales made up by its mild hybrids. These are as follows;

  • Share of the 2.8 Hilux Raider: 17%
  • Share of the 2.8 Hilux Legend: 19%
  • Share of the 2.8 Fortuner: 25%
  • Share of the 2.8 VX Fortuner: 39%

Pricing for the 48V Fotuner starts at R929,100 and goes up to R972,300, while Toyota’s mild hybrid Hilux prices start at R774,800 and run up to R1.02 million.

Toyota first announced its plans to introduce mild hybrid versions of the Hilux and Fortuner in June 2023.

The powertrains feature a 48V mild hybrid system coupled with the regular 2.8-litre turbo diesel fitted to non-hybrid versions of the vehicles.

The mild hybrids are available as an option for the Hilux Raider, Legend Auto, and Fortuner.

The 48V system’s battery provides auxiliary power with 12kW output and 65Nm of torque, using a motor generator instead of an alternator.

The carmaker said this improves throttle response and more linear acceleration on urban roads.

It also features regenerative braking, which Toyota says is “tuned to create a more effective and natural deceleration feel”.

It added that the motor generator enables smoother acceleration when negotiating rough surfaces, while the regenerative braking makes downhill manoeuvring safer.

The system also allows for a reduced idle speed of 600 revolutions per minute (rpm), down from 720rpm, which makes it easier for a driver to control the vehicle.

The mild hybrid Hilux is the first to support Multi-Terrain Select for added performance and control on various surfaces.

“The system automatically calibrates the vehicle to regulate power and wheel spin in order to enhance traction and manoeuvrability,” said Toyota.

“The driver can select one of five pre-set options: dirt, sand, mud, deep snow or rock.”

However, it should be noted that the 48V mild hybrid system can’t be considered a proper hybrid.

There is a significant difference between the 48V mild hybrid system and the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) that is currently available in its Corolla Cross and RAV4 vehicles, among others.

While the 48V system is designed to improve stop-start engine efficiency, the THS hybrid system features larger batteries that can power the car on their own at low speeds and while accelerating.

The combination of the battery system, electric motor, and engine can have a significant impact on improving fuel efficiency.

However, the 48V system only reduces fuel consumption by roughly 5%.

The table below provides a breakdown of the mild hybrid Toyota Hilux and Fortuner, with prices.

Toyota’s mild hybrid Hilux and Fortuner models
Model Price
2.8 GD-6 RB Raider AT 48V R774,800
2.8 GD-6 4×4 Raider AT 48V R866,000
2.8 GD-6 RB Legend AT 48V R869,100
2.8 GD-6 4×4 Legend AT 48V R921,800
2.8 GD-6 RB Legend RS AT 48V R967,500
2.8 GD-6 4×4 Legend RS AT 48V R1,023,400
2.8 GD-6 4×4 AT 48V BT R929,100
2.8 GD-6 4×4 VX AT 48V R961,800
2.8 GD-6 4×4 VX AT 48V BT R972,300

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Toyota’s mild hybrid Hilux and Fortuner off to a good start in South Africa