If there is one pick-up in the local market that can boast of being very tough, it is the Toyota Hilux. Starting out as a small pickup in the 1972, it evolved into a pickup known for its toughness not only in the Philippines but in areas where conflict is a common occurrence.
So how tough is the Hilux?
An American defense and geopolitics expert, Andre Exum called it “the vehicular equivalent of the AK-47.” And every seasoned soldier knows the AK-47 is the most reliable and indestructible assault weapon in firearms history.
“It’s the vehicular equivalent of the AK-47. It’s ubiquitous to insurgent warfare. And actually, recently, also counterinsurgent warfare. It kicks the hell out of the Humvee,” said Exum in a 2011 article posted at the Newsweek website titled “Why Rebel Groups Love the Toyota Hilux.”
And based on the article posted at pri.org on April 1, 2014 titled “This one Toyota pickup truck is at the top of the shopping list for the Free Syrian Army — and the Taliban,” the Free Syrian Army specifically asked for 43 Hilux pickups from the US State Department as part of the “non-lethal” aid package to them.
In the Philippines, the HiLux is known more to private motorists, instead of rebels, who want a reliable vehicle that can used as a family mover and a business vehicle.
Because of its reputation for toughness in the Philippines, Toyota sold 56,417 units over a period of 22 years. And on Wednesday, Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMP) unveiled the all-new Hilux that it said is still “every inch a Hilux” and given a number of refinements.
“In terms of styling, the all-new Hilux boasts a powerful and sophisticated front design suggesting the look of a ‘next generation’ pickup truck. It is confident and it is strong. As seen in its combination of thick and thin lines all throughout, it achieves toughness without sacrificing refinement,” Sugata said.
The all-new Hilux can really claim to be all-new because its body design, chassis, engines and interior are not carryovers that have been improved from the generation it replaces. The all-new Hilux is the eighth generation of Toyota’s venerable pickup.
“It [all-new Hilux] now carries the new signature Toyota look, just like the Vios, 86, Altis and Camry to name a few, which makes it even sportier and no doubt more appealing,” he added while emphasizing that the new design makes the all-new pickup more refined when it comes to styling.
Although looking more visually appealing, the real appeal of the all-new Hilux comes from its new engines and various features.
Powering the all-new Hilux are two diesel engine variants: a 2.8-liter turbo-charged unit that produces 174 horsepower at 3,400 revolutions per minute and 420 Newton-meters of torque at 1,600 to 2,400 rpm for the 4×4 manual transmission variant and 450 Nm of torque at 1,600 to 2,400 rpm for the 4×4 automatic transmission variant; and a 2.4-liter turbo-charged unit that produces 147 hp at 3,400 rpm and 343 nm of torque from 1,400 to 2,800 rpm for the 4×2 M/T variants and 400 nm of torque from 1,400 to 2,600 rpm for the 4×2 A/T variants.
The 450 nm of torque from the 2.8-liter engine is one of the highest in the local pickup segment.
Available in the all-new Hilux range is the intelligent Manual Transmission system or iMT that supports smooth shift changes by detecting the driver’s operations and automatically controlling the engine speed to match the transmission speed. This will be available in the 4×4 G variant.
The all-new Hilux also comes with anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution that distributes braking force between the front and rear tires depending on road and load conditions. Also standard for the 4×4 G variant is Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with Active Traction Control (A-TRC). Lastly, the all-new Hilux has Hill Assist Start Control, which applies the to stop a vehicle from rolling when it is started.
To improve its off-road capabilities, particularly for the 4×4 variants, the all-new Hilux can shift on the fly to 4×4 high mode up to 100 kilometers per hour and has a high ground clearance.
Although the all-new Hilux is still built to be tough, Sugata said it was also designed for personal use by giving it an interior that is more comfortable. For example, it has larger head room and shoulder room and has expanded knee room. The dashboard also has a more car-like design.
The prices of the all-new Hilux are P1.685 million for the 2.8 4×4 G A/T; P1.555 million for the 2.8 4×4 G M/T; P1.283 million for the 2.4 4×2 G A/T; P1.208 million for the 2.4 4×2 E M/T; P1.033 million for the 2.4 4×2 J M/T; and P776,000 for the 2.4 cab and chassis.