Owners' Zone

It seems that once the Toyota bug has bitten someone, it won’t let go. David van Niekerk (31) is a service technician and crusher specialist for FLSmidth Minerals South Africa and lives I, Dullstroom, and one Toyota to get around in is not enough. He has to have two.

David says he will always have a Hilux and rotates one bakkie with another every three years of so. The current Hilux in the Van Niekerk residence – David’s third – is a Legend 45 3.0 D-4D 4×2 loaded with cosmetic extras.

The Fortuner was acquired only recently, when the all-new model made its debut some months ago. David’s is a 2.8 model with 4×2 drive configuration and his dealer of choice is Vaal Toyota Sasolburg.

“I have been familiar with Toyotas long before I even had a driver’s license. It is the only brand that gives you such excellent long-term service and even better resale value. It has made me one of the biggest fans of Toyota fans,” he says of his love for Toyota.

Wanting an all-new Fortuner, David patiently waited for nearly two years for the arrival of the latest model, and has never regretted the wait. “The prime considerations for getting the Fortuner were the styling and looks, the power fuel economy, and the elegance of the car’s new design style. Driving it on the road and the feeling of the luxury leather and comfort of the interior caught my attention when we first became acquainted with it. My wife loves it too. I had to choose between a Prado and the new Foretuner, and the latter won the day.”

He chose a white colour for practical reasons and because he feels it brings out the true elegance of the design. The Fortuner is mostly used for weekend enjoyment (itas hjas barely covered 3 000km since new), while the Hilux is his workhorse to make site visits as part of his career responsibilities. It has 42 000km oh the odo.

“So far I have experienced no serious problems on either of these and I am very satisfied with the service I get out of it.

“My family loves the look new Fortuner, inside and out, and I especially like the fuel economy and power of the new diesel engine series. Here in Dullstroom I once parked the Fortuner outside a coffee shop. For a while it was crazy, as so many people walked up to it to take a closer look. I looked on from a distance and once again realised how Toyota got the styling just right. I am very proud of it.”

David previously owned a 2009 Hilux 3.0 D-4D, which has 300 000km on the clock when he sold it. The only reason he had to get an upgrade was because of the previous Hilux’s high mileage, the replacement being a 3.0 Dakar Edition. It in turn was moved on after 100 00km and replaced with the Legend 45, now with 40 000km.

In the family he is not alone in his love for Toyotas. His dad and all four of his brothers and a sister drive a Hilux or a Fortuner, and so does his father in law, brother in law and a number of cousins. In all there are no less than ten Toyotas on David’s side of the family and nine on his wife’s side.