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Toyota Hilux Review: The Rugged Pickup with a Playful Personality

Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts and grab your sense of adventure because we’re about to dive into the world of the Toyota Hilux – a Thai pickup truck that’s been turning heads and tackling terrains since 1968. Behold, the 2023 8th generation facelift variant, which only comes in diesel, with prices starting at an ex-showroom cost of ₹30.40 lakh and topping out at ₹38 lakh for the high AT model you’re gazing at right now.

The Legend of Hilux

To say the Hilux is popular would be an understatement. With over 20 million units sold in 180 countries, and being the best-seller in 16 of them, this truck has more fans than a cricket match in summer. It’s renowned for its QDR concept – Quality, Durability, and Reliability. This truck is so reliable it’s practically the automotive version of a Swiss army knife.

Under the Hood and Beyond

Toyota offers a 3-year, 1 lakh km warranty on the Hilux, which you can extend to 5 years and 1.50 lakh km. And guess what? There’s even an electric Hilux in the works. In some parts of the world, this beast is known as TruckMasters OX, which sounds like a character straight out of a superhero comic.

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

The Hilux doesn’t just perform; it also dazzles with LED fog lamps, a piano black trapezoidal grille, dusk-sensing LED headlamps, and LED DRLs. The electrically adjustable retractable outside mirrors come with turn indicators, making sure you look good from every angle.

Size Matters

Measuring 5.3 meters in length and 1.8 meters in height, with a 6.4-meter turning radius and a 2900 kg gross weight, this truck is as mighty as they come. It can carry a 470 kg payload and wade through 700 mm of water, making it the ideal companion for both city commutes and off-road escapades.

Wheels and Deals

Riding on 18-inch super chrome alloy wheels (with a 17-inch option available), the Hilux boasts Bridgestone Dueler HT radial tubeless tires (265/60 R18 110H) with disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. The emotional red color is a head-turner, though you can also opt for white pearl, silver, super white, or grey.

Suspension and Safety

The Hilux features a double wishbone suspension at the front and a leaf spring rigid axle at the rear. Its safety features include impact-absorbing structures, heat rejection glass, and part-time four-wheel drive. You’ll also find 7 SRS airbags, ABS, vehicle stability control, brake assist, anti-theft alarm, rear camera, ISOFIX child seat mounting, speed auto lock, parking sensors, emergency brake signal, and seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters.

Smart and Secure

The Hilux’s smart technology allows you to access over 20 features via a smartphone app, including vehicle location, geo-fence alert, speed alert, valet profile, tow alert, emergency call, and more. It’s like having a tech-savvy butler who never takes a day off.

Toyota Hilux Features

The Toyota Hilux boasts a tough frame with exceptional torsional and bending rigidity, ensuring durability in the harshest conditions. It features a part-time four-wheel-drive system with settings for H2 (two-wheel drive), H4 (four-wheel drive high range), and L4 (four-wheel drive low range) selectable via a dial.

The Downhill Assist Control (DAC) maintains a steady speed of 5 kmph on slopes without the need to press the brakes. To activate this, shift to the L4 range and engage manual S mode.

The auto limited-slip differential (LSD) distributes torque to each wheel for enhanced traction. It controls engine power and braking to prevent wheel spin, allowing the wheels to rotate at different speeds. To engage the auto LSD, turn off the traction control button. This system should only be used in extreme conditions and will automatically disengage if the brakes overheat.

The Active Traction Control (A-TRC) prevents wheel spin and skidding by distributing torque to the wheels with the most traction. It also manages brake pressure and drive force, ensuring stability on slippery surfaces.

For improved traction and handling, the Hilux is equipped with an electronic differential lock. The Hill Assist Control automatically applies temporary brakes to all wheels on inclines, preventing the vehicle from rolling backward.

Extra Goodies

This truck comes with a 1-year warranty on accessories like a roof tent, tailgate assist, wireless charging, air compressor, boot cover, fender mirror, boot metal bar, door visor, headlamp cover, tail lamp cover, side molding, chrome garnish, car cover, chrome grille, floor mat, interior styling kit, scuff plate, canopy, sliding rear glass door, recovery kit, refrigerator, water tin, and more.

Inside the Hilux

The interior boasts a 6-speaker sound system, auto up/down power windows with jam protection, leather or fabric upholstery, 60/40 split folding tip-up second-row seats, and a power-adjustable driver seat. The seats are designed to reduce whiplash injuries, and the tilt/telescopic steering column ensures a comfortable drive.

Driving Dynamics

The Hilux is powered by a 2755 cc inline 4-cylinder engine, delivering 201 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque in the automatic version (420 Nm in the manual). It features a 6-speed sequential shift automatic transmission with an iMT 6-speed manual option. The dual-zone automatic AC keeps the cabin cool, while the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system supports Bluetooth, USB, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, FM, and radio.

The Verdict

In conclusion, the Toyota Hilux is not just a pickup truck; it’s a testament to what happens when durability meets versatility with a splash of fun. Whether you’re navigating city streets or exploring uncharted territories, the Hilux is the trusty sidekick you never knew you needed. So, get ready to laugh your way through the toughest terrains with this indomitable Thai titan.

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