Toyota Hilux review


What is?

The world’s best-selling pickup truck… if you forget America. I mean, Burger King makes the world’s most popular beef sandwich…if you forget McDonald’s. But even with the exception of America’s insatiable thirst for freedom on wheels in an open bed, the Toyota Hilux is a sales phenomenon. Since 1968, Toyota has transferred more than 18 million of these humble workhorses to everyone from farmers to freedom fighters. And now he is also the winner of the Dakar Rally.

So did Toyota stick to the latter’s recipe?

No. Toyota leaned toward spreadsheets, and in recent years they’ve been doing gloomy readings for the Hilux. Since 2012, van sales in Europe have doubled, swept away by the torrent of clamor for all things 4×4 and SUV. But as pickup truck sales surged, Toyota’s market share was eaten up by Ford Ranger Wildtracks and VW Amaroks: pickups meant to appeal to lifestyle enthusiasts in Shepherds Bush as much as real sheep farmers in the country. mountain. In 2021, Toyota moved a total of 47,480 Hilux units to Europe, which doesn’t exactly trigger the old hot buns analogy.

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So what has changed?

Toyota responded to the trend of people wanting well-appointed premium trucks with powerful, road-ready engines. There is now the option of a 2.8-litre engine on higher trim levels, instead of the 2.4-litre engine that works. Inside, top specs include heated leather seats, an automatic gearbox, and Toyota’s latest smartphone-compatible touchscreen. There’s even a JBL hi-fi and LED lights.

New for 2022 are extras like a surround view monitor, auto-dimming rearview mirror and dual-zone climate control, while automatic service reminders, electronic calling and remote diagnostic functionality are standard across domains. .

And what about the mechanics?

Toyota used to put a multi-ton load in the bed of the Hilux, so adjust the suspension. That meant a bumpy and choppy ride when the truck was empty. Because most lifestyle truck drivers never fit more than a bottle of windshield washer fluid and a pair of running shoes in the cargo hold, the latest Hilux has been tuned to drive better without so much as a slung sandbag. on the platform.

Excellent news… and very worrying. Not just because the Hilux is supposed to have the simplicity and longevity of Stonehenge, but because this tactic isn’t necessarily a winning one. The Mercedes X-Class has long since been withdrawn from sale in the UK after its premium version of the Nissan Navara underpinnings failed to win over the truck faithful. They’ll spot a counterfeiter in a few moments.

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So has the Hilux gone astray or has it cemented its position as an icon of modern motoring? We tested the two best models: Hilux Invincible and Invincible X, to find out if they are worthy of success or not.

What’s the verdict?

It will still survive a nuclear war, but you won’t feel like you’re hiding in the bunker anymore.

Unsurprisingly, the Toyota Hilux is an unassuming machine, and its attempts to woo lifestyle truck buyers have done little to alienate its core following while complementing some of its tougher ways down the road. The most welcome update is the new 2.8-liter engine, which dampens the late performance of older cars, especially when fully loaded.

The cockpit stays dark in areas and it’s a cumbersome beast to drive, but if anything is a constant reminder, it’s not a landing vehicle, it’s a tool, a dependable workhorse and a dependable business partner.

Next: Conduct

Toyota Hilux Pickup FrontRear of Toyota Hilux PickupRear Toyota Hilux Pickup

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