TOYOTA Hilux Review

OUR TEST CAR: TOYOTA Hilux Facelift Double Cab 3.0 D-4D 2012

TOYOTA Hilux  - Page - 1
If this is the first time you're reading this piece of information, you'll be surprised to find out that the Hilux which is currently found in Toyota dealerships is the facelift for the seventh generation of the car. The Hilux has managed to convince 14 million customers so far.

However, the Hilux is so much more than just a vehicle that sells well. For example, the Toyota Camry is the best-selling car in the US, but it's far from reaching the legend status achieved by the Hilux. Toyota's truck has become so famous thanks to showing remarkable reliability and if there's one car that suits indestructibility metaphors the best, this is the Hilux.

This car has a reputation for being its own aftermarket service, it manages to cover many, many miles with no major issues, as if it was repairing itself. Just take a look at third world conflicts, and you'll see that the Hilux is an important part of the automotive infrastructure needed there and we don't think that those people choose their cars based on emotions.

Nevertheless, contemporary times have brought new cars to a point where they have to be able to do everything right, so can the Hilux cope with the demands of modern cities and fuel efficiency standards, as well as keep the humans inside it happy while its carrying their load?

The Hilux received a facelift last year, which offered it more refinements, especially in the visual and interior areas. but enough with the help, let's put this tough guy to work! Our test car was the Queen of Hiluxes, since it used the best trim level available and the best of the two diesels in the range. The only area where it didn't climb as high as possible was the transmission, where it used three pedals, not two.

Each automotive producer has certain types of cars that it perfectly knows how to handle and the Hilux is definitely very high on Toyota's list. It's not easy to design a pickup that looks like it means business, but can also please other kind of eyes, but the Japanese carmaker has done it.

Carmakers have always had a problem with leaving you at the mercy of aftermarket developers when it comes to pickup trucks. We're referring to the various accessories that are fully necessary when you put the vehicle to work and, as we found out when we tested the VW Amarok, it can be extremely difficult to find high quality parts.

The Hilux we drove was a mix of good and bad from this point of view. Thus, the bullbar up front had no functional role, since it used weak mounts, but the bedliner and the rollbar in the bed were decent and so was the tow hook at the rear.

This is probably the last important revamp the Hilux sees until a new generation arrives, so the designers were generous. Thus, the car doesn't look out of place inside a city, for example. Don't get us wrong, the Hilux facelift doesn't look like a car that can be parked in front of a seven-star hotel during your stay there, but this car comes with a look that really can't be criticized, since it is a perfect expression of "form follows function" but with a touch of personality that earns it respect.

Our test car used the most human-friendly configuration for a pickup, being able to accommodate up to five adults. This is not only true when you read it in the spec sheet, but also when you open the door. Thus, you can take your crew, to use words that are very familiar to automotive producers, on long trips if you need to.

The driving position is comfortable and it's easy to find a good one. If you add this with the good all-round visibility, you get a feeling of freedom behind the wheel, so that you can concentrate on what yoiu have to do with the car.

However, once you get off the road, if you push the car hard, you'll feel the need for more lateral support, as the seats don't perfectly manage to keep you in your position during the rougher parts.

The facelift has brought more refinement in the cabin, so now you can use both working gloves and your female companion's fingers to operate the controls of the car. The ICE part of the deal brings a multitude of functions that manages to cater to all your needs, but, like most Japanese cars that play in this pricing league, none of them manages to offer the feeling of perfection. For example, the infotainment display uses a resistive layout and while this might make it more suitable for rugh situations use, it won't bring it too many refinement points - it just gets the job done.

The materials are decent and so are the ergonomics - the only time when we had to stretch more than usual was when we played with the transfer case lever, but this is actually a good thing, since you shouldn't switch between the modes while the vehicle is moving.

Forget the "you can hose it down" idea, this is just a cliche - nowadays the interior of the Hilux has moved on and offers almost everything you need, but since this is a workhorse, don't expect it to do more than its job.

Asking the Hilux to cover your city driving necessities is like taking a wrestler and telling him that he has to perform the ballet at the Opera tonight. Well, Toyota is the car company for the job if we’re talking about practicality, so it has made sure that the Hilux at least has the right shoes and knows the rules.

Thus, the car, form the low-end torque to the steering, was set up in a way that makes it easy to drive. Literally on top of this, Toyota has placed goodies such as a rear-view camera, with the end result being a decent driving experience on urban roads.

Don’t even think about skipping the aforementioned rear-view camera when configuring you car, or else your parking days will be over. The gearing is also well-balanced, so you won’t find yourself playing with the shifter all the time in order to keep the car in good motion.

The facelift has made the Hilux more civilized, so you definitely won’t look out of place in the urban landscape. As for the financial part of the deal, you musn’t be scared of the big displacement shown by the Hilux, as this is there for reliability reasons, so it doesn’t affect the fuel efficiency.

In fact, the official data places the Hilux close to the top of its segment when it comes to fuel efficiency. In the real world, our test car asked for 10.8 liters of diesel in return for taking us on 100 km of urban roads (21.8 mpg).

In order to be fair with the car, we allowed it to dip its ladder chassis into the list of features before it came to us, so that we could test its full potential.

Back in 2007, the Hilux failed a Moose Test-like evasive maneuver challenge, with the vehicle showing obvious tendencies to roll is a sharp turn was made at moderate speeds.

The vehicle has been revamped meanwhile and the changes have really done their job. We didn't go as far as performing the moose test - we really couldn't find a moose - but we did test the car down this pathway and it didn't turn into a rollover-loving monster.

In fact, the Hilux feels save to drive even if you push the speedometer needle past the "good deeds" area. You don't feel the ladder chassis twisting and bending under you and you're not punished for quicker maneuvers, when these are necessary.

Once you only see the tarmac in your rear-view mirror, the Hilux inspires confidence. As you build up speed, the vehicle maintains the same predictable behavior and even if you insist on make it show signs of weakness, you'll only get normal levels of body roll and oversteer, so you can rely on it to get almost anywhere.

However, the Hilux has one dark secret of which it is very ashamed - its towing capacity. There are competitors, such as the VW Amarok, which we see as being inferior to the Hilux as a whole, can deliver considerably more when it comes to this chapter.

The bottom line? The Hilux is there to sustain all kinds of trips, so that it makes sure it can serve you.
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autoevolution Oct 2012
In the city
Open road
Tech facts
57user rating 104 votes
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