The Toyota Hilux remains an exceptional pickup that continues to impress drivers worldwide. Its popularity is so immense that the first batch flew off the shelves before Toyota could even say “media car.” This legendary pickup has caught the attention of a diverse group of people, from the United Nations and farmers in the outback to Al Qaeda and warlords in Somalia.
What makes the Hilux stand out is its absolute indestructibility, a characteristic that has become the stuff of lore. It is a vehicle that you keep safe for the next generation because it most certainly outlives you. Even with the launch of the updated 2023 Hilux in India, featuring additional smart features to enhance comfort, the pickup’s popularity remains strong.
While the Toyota Hilux is comparable to a Patek Phillipe in terms of durability and longevity, it is still a modern vehicle that boasts innovative features. So, if you’re looking for a pickup that can handle any challenge, the Toyota Hilux is an excellent choice that’s worth investing in for the long haul.
Also, Read:Top 10 best off-road vehicles of 2023
Toyota Hilux Review: A Close Look at Design
In this Toyota Hilux review, we’ll look at the design of this 5.3-meter-long pick-up truck in more detail. As the pick-up version of the Toyota Fortuner, the Hilux is built on a ladder of frame chassis and equipped with a 2.8-liter diesel engine and all the 4×4 features from the Fortuner. The main difference is in the ride and handling, with the Hilux having a rigid rear axle with leaf springs instead of the coil overs found on the Fortuner.
It’s worth noting that the Hilux and Fortuner have comparable pricing, with the Hilux starting at Rs 34 lakh ex-showroom and rising to Rs 37 lakh for the top-end variant. To provide some context, the Isuzu D-MAX V-Cross, a cult favorite in the pick-up truck category, is priced at Rs 26 lakh ex-showroom for the highest-end version.
In terms of design, the Hilux’s SUV-like appearance is sure to grab attention. Its no-nonsense design features LED lighting all around and chrome accents that are available in Toyota’s extensive accessory list, including a roof-mounting tent. The Hilux also boasts a chrome hexagonal grille and large headlamps that align with Toyota’s other pick-up trucks. Its silhouette is a classic pick-up design, where form follows function.
The cargo bed is accessible via a hydraulically assisted tailgate and can carry up to 470kg. The bed comes standard with a lining, making it easy to slide items in and out without worrying about damaging the paint or bed floor.
Overall, the Toyota Hilux’s design is both functional and visually appealing, positioning it as a top contender in the pick-up truck segment.
Also, Read:Top 10 Most Affordable SUVs of 2023 in India
Discovering the Toyota Hilux: A Comprehensive Review of Its Interiors and Features
Upon entering the Hilux’s cabin, you’ll quickly notice its spartan design, which is typical of a pick-up. However, for a Rs 37 lakh lifestyle pick-up, it could feel more modern. Despite the prevalent use of hard plastics and basic roof liners, the Hilux offers a thoughtful and utilitarian design, making it a worthwhile investment. One such example is the dash-mounted cup holder, which is perfect for on-the-go coffee. Additionally, there are ample storage options, including two cupholders in the center console, two spacious glove boxes, and central storage, as well as bottle holders in all door liners.
While the cab provides sufficient knee and headroom, the lack of a recline function on the upright seatback can be uncomfortable during long journeys. On the top model test unit, the seats are upholstered in leather, and the driver’s seat is electrically adjustable, a feature absent in the base variant. Nevertheless, the standard Hilux trim boasts keyless entry, push-button start-stop, cruise control, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a rear AC vent, and front and rear view parking cameras.
Toyota Hilux Performance and Handling Review: Standard Mechanical Ability for On and Off-Road Driving
The Toyota Hilux boasts impressive mechanical ability with its standard 4×4 kit, switch-on-the-fly drive modes (including low-range 4H and 2H), e-diff for the rear axle, hill descent control, ESC, and LSD (which requires traction control to be powered off to activate). Safety features include seven airbags and ISOFIX seat mounts in the back. Under the hood, the 2.8-liter diesel engine delivers 204bhp and 500Nm of torque on the 6-speed AT, while the 6-MT is limited to 420Nm. The 6-AT comes with a responsive manual mode, and the Hilux accelerates quickly thanks to the available torque, making it easy to navigate any terrain with confidence.
Driving the Hilux within the city can be a challenge due to its size and weight (5.3 meters long), even with the assistance of rear and front cameras. Tight turns can also be difficult to maneuver. However, once off the beaten path, the Hilux’s true capabilities shine through. Even without added weight, the Hilux feels stable and under control, unlike some competing pickups that experience unnerving rebounds at high speeds.
Adding a payload of up to 450 kg and utilizing the leaf springs enhances the Hilux’s ride and offers an optimal driving experience. During testing, the 2H drive mode was sufficient for most situations, and the articulation course showcased just how far the Hilux can go off-road. Overall, the Toyota Hilux offers excellent performance and handling capabilities for on and off-road driving.
Toyota Hilux: Pros and Cons of this Tough and Capable Pickup Truck
- The Toyota Hilux boasts an imposing, macho design that commands attention wherever it goes.
- Built to last, Toyota’s body-on-frame UVs have a reputation for their longevity.
- The 2.8L diesel engine is powerful and reliable, with user-selectable driving modes to suit different conditions.
- This pickup truck offers impressive off-road capabilities, thanks to its 4×4 system with a low-range transfer case, limited-slip differential, electronic differential lock, hill assist control (up/down), and tire angle, monitor. It can even wade through water up to 700 mm.
- With its excellent cargo capacity, the Hilux is a versatile work truck.
- Loaded with features such as auto LED headlamps, heat rejection glass, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, and a 220V AC socket.
- The Toyota Hilux is packed with safety features, including 7 airbags, ESP, TC, hill assist, ISOFIX, and 3-point seatbelts for all. It has also earned a 5-star ASEAN NCAP rating.
- Toyota’s after-sales quality is excellent, and owners can enjoy fuss-free ownership experiences with low service costs and up to 5 years of extended warranty coverage.
- The Toyota Hilux is long, making it cumbersome to maneuver in the city. The steering can also be heavy, and the turning radius is large.
- The ride quality is bumpy, especially at the rear due to leaf springs.
- Compared to its closest rival, the Isuzu V-Cross, the Hilux is expensive.
- Cost-cutting in some areas, such as interior plastics, audio quality, and camera display, may disappoint some buyers.
- The rear seats are uncomfortable, with limited legroom.
- While the same amount of money could buy a proper 7-seater SUV, the Hilux offers a different kind of utility.
- The Hilux lacks some features that buyers might expect in this price range, such as TPMS, a 360-degree camera, ventilated seats, rain-sensing wipers, seat lumbar adjustment, and paddle shifters like the Fortuner.
- There is no petrol engine option, unlike the Fortuner, which may not suit customers in Delhi-NCR or those with low running requirements.
Toyota Hilux Review: The Invincible Off-Roader with Urban-Friendly Features
The Toyota Hilux is legendary for its off-roading capabilities, and with tweaked rear suspensions, it now offers a more urban-friendly ride that is less bouncy compared to other pickup trucks. The torquey engine delivers sublime performance with plenty of pull power at low rpm levels. The truck’s solid build and unique presence make it stand out, and the well-equipped interiors add to the overall appeal. However, at a starting price range of Rs 30.40 lakh to Rs 37.90 lakh, the quality could have been better and features like a wireless phone charger should be standard.
Despite these minor drawbacks, the Toyota Hilux is an excellent choice for adventure-seeking lifestyle enthusiasts who need a reliable off-roading vehicle. Its unparalleled capabilities and reliability make it a must-have for those who enjoy off-road adventures. In conclusion, the Toyota Hilux is an invincible truck that offers the best of both worlds- exceptional off-roading capabilities and urban-friendly features.
Specification Detail of 2023 Toyota Hilux
Engine and Transmission
|Engine Type||2.8 L Diesel Engine|
|Engine Displacement||2755 cc|
|Emission Norm Compliance||BS VI|
|No Of Cylinders||4|
|Valves Per Cylinder||4|
Performance and Fuel Economy
|Fuel Capacity||80 Liters|
Brakes, Steering, Suspension, and Tyres
|Suspension Front||Double wishbone|
|Suspension Rear||leaf spring|
|Brakes Front||Ventilated Disc|
|Minimum Turning Radius||6.4|
|Tyre Size||265/60 R18|
|Alloy Wheel Size||18|
|Tyre Type||Tubeless, Radial|
|High AT||Rs. 37.90 Lakh|