Monday, December 14, 2015

Used Car Review - Toyota Hilux (2005-2015)

One of the noted names in the pick-up race gets the review under Myk Belmonte.

2005-2015 Toyota Hilux

The origins of the Hilux can be traced from the Toyota Stout/Hino Briska/Toyota Briska trucks, released during the early years of Toyota. These were simple, no-non sense trucks that can do the job done without any fuss. The Hilux was first launched in 1968, which was offered as an alternative to the pick-up truck versions of the Crown/Corona/Corona Mark II and replaced the Briska/Stout trucks, though the latter remained in production in some countries. The smallest engine is a 1.5 gasoline, with a 2.0 as the largest.

In 2004, the seventh generation Hilux saw its debut in almost all markets except North America, Japan, and Korea. While previous models shares its platform with the 4Runner SUV (which is now relegated with the Tacoma), it utilizes a revamped platform found on older models. The Hilux shares the platform also used by the Innova and Fortuner. As a general rule, a myriad models from the numerous body styles and engines are offered in each market it is sold in.

Launched as a 2005 model in December 2004, the Hilux saw numerous improvements which included new engines, improved interior, and also the top slot in the segment (which rivals snatched in several instances). Exterior updates were done in for model years 2009 and 2012 and a mechanical update for the 2.5 in August 2012. Available models include the J, E, G, and an FX body launched later on.

Value and Costs
With the launch of the eighth generation model, expect prices to drop in the used car market. For those interested in a pre-owned unit, do take note earlier units will set you back P560,000 while later ones with their warranty intact costs in the P1.1M range. Among pick-up trucks, this has the highest resale value when compared to other rivals of the same age.

Although the Hilux is known for its "indestructible" image, some 2005 to 2006 Hiluxes with the 2.5 engine (also a symptom with the same period Fortuner and Innova) have problems with the fuel drive in which it can get stuck that causes the engine to stop. This issue had been remedied in later models, by revising this flaw. Otherwise, this is one trouble-free truck especially that no other known problems persist.

Exterior and Interior
Stylish and macho, these are words that best describe the seventh generation Hilux. An imposing presence comes standard but does not look bulky at all. J and 2009 to 2015 E models have steelies as standard while G and early model E models ride on alloys. Do take note that October 2009 and later E units benefited from a height increase while G models have their rim sizes increase in October 2009 and in the 2011 update. There also exists a limited edition TRD model which boasts gun metal alloy wheels, and TRD bumpers and decals in 2014. Body cladding, roof rails, and bed liner were added for G models in March 2014. 3.0 G and those with VNT have a top mount intercooler as standard.

Going inside, the vast dashboard will pose a problem for some especially that reaching the climate control buttons, audio system, and the 4x4 shifter may be too far for some. Newer models get an improved interior in the form of larger buttons, a touchscreen monitor with DVD and Navigation (3.0 G only), a steering wheel derived from the Camry, and LED gauges. On the safety side, early G models only have a driver side airbag and ABS isn't an option yet; 2009 units, depending on the variant, get dual airbags and ABS brakes as standard.

Three engines (one of which was upgraded later on) exist during the Hilux's selling time. The first one is the 2KD-FTV 2.5 which carries 102hp at 3,600rpm and 200Nm at 1,400-3,400rpm powering most 2WD models but an upgrade in 2012 for E and G due to the addition of the variable nozzle turbocharger technology had power and torque figures raised to 142hp at 3,400rpm and 343Nm at 1,600-2,800rpm respectively. The one that powers the top end model is the 1KD-FTV 3.0 with 161hp at 3,400rpm and 343Nm at 1,400-3,200rpm. If there is one rare engine (and the one to skip), it would be the 2TR-FE derived from the Fortuner that possesses 160hp at 5,200rpm and 241Nm at 3,800rpm. The 2.5 with 102hp would do fine in flat roads and city driving but poses difficulty on mountain roads and when the vehicle is fully loaded regardless of people and/or cargo. If there is one engine to look for, it would be the 2.5 with 142hp as it is better in every aspect. Choosing the 3.0 gives you power at an early powerband but acceleration isn't neck-snapping compared to the same time era Nissan Navara or Ford Ranger. Lastly, the 2,7 is fast but fuel consumption is nothing to be proud of, no wonder it was dropped in the 2009 update.

Driving Impressions
Buckle down the driver's seat for a long drive and you will experience some uncomfortable driving position, due to a lack of thigh and lower back support. Passengers should expect a comfortable but bouncy ride, especially this is a workhorse truck and not a passenger car. In other news, handling is in the light side and braking would require long distances (an eternity, perhaps?). Good thing for those who will utilize the bed more often, it is cavernous.

Redesigning the Hilux gave the vehicle an improved image while retaining its solidity it was known for. Although there are flaws which come as standard equipment, the Hilux is one truck which knows how to be rough in several times while being smooth in some.

The Good:
  • Balance between rough and smooth
  • Tough image
  • Wide range of models available
The Bad:
  • Braking
  • Uncomfortable seating position
  • Lack of safety kit for some early models
The Pick: 3.0 G

Engines: 2,494cc 2KD-FTV and 2,982cc 1KD-FTV I4 diesel, 2,693cc 2TR-FE I4 gasoline
Power: 102hp @ 3,600rpm (2.5, non-VNT), 142hp @ 3,400rpm (2.5, VNT), 161hp at 3,400rpm (3.0), 160hp @ 5,200rpm (2.7)
Torque: 200Nm @ 1,400-3,400rpm (2.5, non-VNT), 343Nm @ 1,600-2,800rpm (2.5, VNT), 343Nm @ 1,400-3,200rpm (3.0), 241Nm @ 3,800rpm (2.7)
Fuel Consumption: 6-11km/L (city), 9-13km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front double wishbone, rear leaf spring

Price (New): P700,000-P1,500,000
Price (Now): P560,000-P1,100,000
Rivals: Chevrolet Colorado, Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, Mazda BT-50, Mitsubishi Strada, Nissan Navara
On Sale: December 2004-2015

Toyota Makati - (02) 897-3333

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