Toyota Hilux: A car built for adventure inside and outside the city
Toyota’s philosophy is simple; if not broken, then enhance it further. This is understandable given that Toyota introduced the first-generation Hilux in 1968 and has spent the following fifty years refining the off-road vehicle. Because of this, the Hilux successfully conquered the most difficult terrain on earth, including war zones, and won the grueling Dakar rally. It has literally been there and done everything, from serving as a workhorse for utility purposes to becoming the unbreakable pickup truck.
Going on a wild camping adventure in your Hilux is a great way to explore the outdoors and enjoy some time away from civilization. This is the ultimate pickup truck for people who want to push themselves beyond their comfort zones, look good while doing it, and challenge their limitations. The 6-speed transmission, dual VVT-i engine, and opulent interior make it the most technologically advanced vehicle in its class. It keeps its renowned all-terrain, heavy-duty performance throughout.
Trailblazing with the Hilux is a piece of cake. You feel completely in control of the tank and are filled with confidence. It is more than simply a car; it has become something of a cultural phenomenon because to its legendary durability, millions of units sold since its 1968 debut, and popularity among everyone from farmers to, er, the Taliban.
At a Glance
In essence, the Hilux is a Fortuner in pickup form, sharing a 4×4 system, a ladder-frame chassis, and a 2.8-liter diesel powerplant with the hugely popular SUV; the rear suspension is, of course, a different one, given the purpose for which the Hilux has been built—world dominance.
If you want something that’s small and compact, look away from the Hilux because it’s enormous. You’ll need a very generous amount of parking space in your garage. It’s over five meters long and almost two meters high, so ‘imposing’ doesn’t even begin to describe it; street (and jungle, and desert, and mountain) cred is immediately assured. Even in stock form, it’s a piece of work, so once you get stuck into the aftermarket accessories section (which you will, let’s not kid ourselves), it’ll look even more badass; Toyota has its own list of these, and you can get innumerable others from third-party sources. The double-cab version is what is available here (four doors, two rows of seats), and it looks brutally efficient: big wheels, lots of chrome on the front, large headlights, and a prominent grille.
Should you choose to load up the cargo area, you’ll need to fold down the (heavy) tailgate and preferably be a powerlifter because the bed itself is high and isn’t the easiest place to haul things into. That said, its floor is built to let you slide things into place, and it’ll be easy to keep clean.
Interior & Technology
There was never a great deal wrong with the interior of the Hilux, but Toyota has fiddled and improved matters slightly. All but the entry-level model get a new 8.0-inch touchscreen that operates the DAB radio and other functions. There’s also Bluetooth connectivity, as you would expect, but that’s now joined by both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard.
The Invincible X, the highest model in the line, enhances the system with navigation and better audio through a JBL nine-speaker arrangement.
While the curving dashboard and square-edged screen don’t quite mesh, there are physical shortcut buttons on either side, so you can always push a button to find the area of the system you wish to access. Thankfully, there is a physical volume control as well, which will aid in keeping your focus on the road.
Space in the front is plentiful, with wide, comfortable seats allowing anybody to get into a comfortable driving position. The rear seats in the double cab are rather functional but spacious enough for a pair of grown adults. Three, at a push.
There’s also an extended cab option, which sees a smaller rear passenger area with temporary jump seats rather than full seats. Access is easy, though, as the rear doors are rear-mounted’suicide’ doors. The single cab loses the rear of the cabin entirely, making it a strict two-seater.
Finding a reason to complain is tricky. To stop your pricey smartphone from escaping the dashboard, a rubber mat for the handy phone-sized cubby hole would be helpful. Some of the polymers aren’t as expensive as their price tag might imply. And unless you choose the base model, a CD player is not an option. All is forgiven though because all versions come equipped with fold-down curry hooks in the seats that make it possible to transport a takeout container safely.
The Fortuner’s trusty 2.8-liter diesel engine does duty under the Hilux’s bonnet, putting out 201 bhp and 51 kg of torque (42.8 kg in the manual variant). There’s more than enough shove available to get it up to speed reasonably quickly (for a pickup, that is), and you never get the feeling that you’ll run out of reserves. Even if you load it up fully (470 kg is the capacity), the Hilux will make short work of the hauling process. NVH levels are well controlled for a vehicle in this class, and although the engine begins to get pretty loud when you rev it hard, it’s never that much of a bother. The 6-speed automatic gearbox is excellent—it’s refined, it shifts smoothly and in a timely way, and it is quite sharp when you shift to Sport mode.
Performance & Drive
In terms of ride quality, the Hilux is predictable. It has big tires, a tall ride height, weight distribution stretching to next month, and good old leaf springs, so if you’re expecting plushness, don’t. If you’re driving by yourself, you will bounce around, and with passengers in the back, you’ll still bounce around—that’s just part of the deal with a truck sprung like this. The upside is that big craters are handled with ease and that the leaf springs will last well beyond what coil springs would have been able to manage.
Never mind its urban and highway manners, though—the Hilux was born for the rough stuff, and it’s when you take it off the road that its character really shines through. Everything about it is tailored for no-road situations: a limited-slip and lockable diff. that works in 2WD, a ground clearance of 310 mm, 265/60 R18 tires, hill descent/assist, low-range, and fording ability up to 700 mm, among others.
When the pickup is empty, the rear suspension, which is made up of sturdy and basic leaf springs, has been altered to create a gentler ride. This is crucial because, despite the fact that most pickup trucks are seldom fully loaded when they are on the road, they are typically tuned to ride best when they have a ton of cargo in the back. Now, traveling down the highway with some construction equipment in the back is a smoother, more laid-back experience. You will be happy with the difference it makes, even if it is still firm and firmer than a Ford Ranger or Volkswagen Amarok.
Handling is, as you might expect, something of an adventure at the extremes of traction. Throwing the Hilux around with abandon will see it understeering, the body rolling to one side, and the tires protesting. However, at anything other than Colin McRae levels of commitment, it’s benign and inoffensive. Yes, grip runs out early, but then this is two tons or so of metal on off-road capable tires.
And it’s at its best off-road. Seemingly unstoppable, the Hilux will climb steep hills, descend under control with hill descent systems, and traverse lateral slopes that I can’t stand up on. Toyota has even tuned the engine to idle at lower revs, now sitting at 680 rpm rather than 850 rpm; that’s a small change, but it makes crawling more predictable, which means less damage to your truck. Add improved wading capabilities so you can now drive safely through 70cm of water, an automatic limited-slip differential, and there’s little that will cause the Hilux to break into a sweat.
And then, of course, there’s that engine. There’s now 204 horsepower and an impressive 500 Nm of torque, which improves performance significantly but does that without impacting economy or emissions. The best of both worlds, then.
While you can specify a six-speed manual gearbox, splash the extra on the automatic. It’s smoother, quicker, and more in keeping with the Hilux’s style.
Running Costs & Emissions
Service your Toyota on schedule (which is something that’s required every 10,000 miles or 12 months) and make sure that’s at a Toyota dealer, and you’ll be rewarded with a warranty that could last as long as ten years.
Only fuel bills will spoil the surprise. An official figure of 33.2 mpg—and that’s the very best figure from the entire range—means you’ll be visiting your local fuel station quite frequently. That said, if you’re looking to buy a Hilux, it’s a dead certainty that you have other cars in your garage for the everyday (and showoff) stuff, so if it’s an incredibly hard-core off-roader you want (with a cargo bay), there’s nothing else like it in the country. You’ll have to live with things like sheer bulk, a lumbering nature, a bouncy ride, and so on, but you’ll be secure in the knowledge that it will go to the ends of the earth and back again.
The Toyota Hilux was last evaluated by Euro NCAP in 2016. Even though it has been a while, the pickup is still fundamentally the same, thus any advantages and disadvantages should still hold true. Thankfully, it received a perfect five-star safety certificate at the time, with a highlight being the exemplary pedestrian protection. Even the base Active grade comes with many of safety features, such as hill-start assistance, lane departure alert, adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, and lane departure alert with traffic sign assistance. For higher grades, additional features include a reversing camera, better LED lighting, hill descent control, and front and rear parking sensors.
Importantly, a trailer sway control system is also present. This keeps an eye on everything yo’re towing and guarantees that it follows you in a straight route.The car’s electronics respond to any wiggles, slithering, or swaying by gradually braking each wheel to restore equilibrium.
Why choose BM Travel Rental for your off-road Vietnam expedition?
In the art of off-roading, you’ll need accuracy and confidence in order to overcome all obstacles. Apart from that, you need a trusted steed that can accompany you on your extraordinary journey.
At BM Travel, we have a range of well-maintained and reliable vehicles available for rent at competitive prices. Whether you need a car for a short trip or a long-term rental, we have the perfect vehicle to suit your needs.
With the help of our 4×4 vehicles, you can reach locations that are inaccessible to regular cars because they are built to manage the roughest terrain. These vehicles, which are designed for tough terrain, will let you to travel through Vietnam’s spectacular landscapes, making every excursion an unforgettable experience.
Our fleet includes 4x4s, either with or without camping equipment, all of which are regularly serviced and maintained to ensure your safety and comfort on the road. We also provide a number of other services, such as cross-border rentals, airport transfers, and add-ons like GPS navigation systems, kid seats, and camping gear. The factory-trained service professionals at BM Travel are ready to assist you in choosing the best tires for your exact model at the most competitive price because they have the most knowledge about your car.
At BM Travel, we take great pride in providing friendly and effective service. From the time you make your reservation until the time you return your car, our team of skilled specialists is committed to giving you the finest rental experience possible. We are here for you every step of the way.
So why wait? Book your car rental with BM Travel today and explore the stunning landscapes and vibrant culture of Vietnam at your own pace!
Why use BM Travel Rental?
- BM Travel is the leading adventure travel company.
- Safety: BM Travel Rental is the only rental company to offer a holistic safety package.
- Vehicle stability program (ESP)
- Traction control
- Trailer sway control
- Tire pressure monitoring systems
- All terrain tires with an upgraded off-road suspension system
- Comfort and Convenience: BM Travel Rental vehicles are the most comprehensively fitted off-road hire vehicles available today.
- Latest Vehicle Models: The new Ford Ranger, with full backing from BM Travel, is maintained to BM’s exact standards.
- Off-road Experience and Personal Service: Experienced and professional tour guides are available to plan your self-drive safari routes for maximum value, and guided tours are a sought-after option for your Vietnamese off-road adventure.
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