It is usually passenger cars that come with a lot of standard features – such as air conditioning, airbags – but now truck manufacturers are starting to also up their game to lure customers to their showrooms.
With the launch of its new 300-Series trucks, Hino South Africa has made available a number of features as standard to its locally assembled product, including air conditioning, electric windows, two airbags, pretension seatbelts, a radio/CD player as well as tubeless tyres.
Sales of the Hino 300-Series medium truck range over the last 27 years exceeded 85 000 units.
South Africa is the first country outside Japan to assemble the new Hino 300-Series locally.
The new 300-Series line-up includes both wide and narrow cabs, as well as a crew cab derivative, which is a first-time introduction to the the range.
Hino South Africa marketing, planning and customer service senior manager Dewald Olivier says the new series features a more aero- dynamic cab design, as well as larger door openings with larger steps to make entry and alighting easier.
The new cab also has more interior space, with a telescopic steering wheel.
The crew cab can accommodate six people.
All models in the range use the same basic four-litre turbo diesel engine with common rail technology and direct injection.
These engines are improved versions of the Euro 3 Hino power units used in the previous 300-Series range, says Olivier, and offer better fuel economy and lower emission levels than their predecessors.
The previous 611 model, which had an 81 kW (110 hp) power output, now becomes the 614 and features the 100 kW (140 hp) version of the engine.
This same variant is also fitted to the 714 and 814 derivatives, while the 815 and 915 models use a 110 kW (150 hp) version of the power unit.
The big news is the introduction of a conventional six-speed automatic transmission in addition to five- and six-speed manual gearboxes.
The automatic transmission is available in the 815 long-wheel-base (LWB) and 815 crew cab models.
The 613, 714 and 814 models have the five-speed gearbox, with six speeds for the 915 LWB.
Both outer rear view mirrors are partitioned to provide better visibility.
The new Hino 300-Series uses an engine immobiliser, linked to the central locking system.
The system uses a transponder embedded in the key, which sends an identity signal to the engine management system, explains Olivier.