Thursday, September 22, 2016

Quickie Used Car Review - Toyota Hilux (2005-2015)

2005-2015 Toyota Hilux

The Good: Durable, interior space

The Bad: Heavy steering, lacks some off-road kit

The Say: Balances comfort and practicality.

Go For: 3.0 G
Avoid: 2.7 G

Price Range: P430,000-P1,160,000
Our Rating: ***

Full Review: Used Car Review - Toyota Hilux (2005-2015)
Latest vehicle profile: Toyota Hilux

See the different versions of this vehicle:
2011-2015 non-VNT/VNT

Vehicle Overview
Manufactured since 1968, the Hilux is one of the longest running pick-up nameplates among Japanese brands whose lineage can be traced from the Stout/Briska trucks from the early years of Toyota. The seventh generation model built from 2004 until 2015 is part of the IMV platform family whose other members include the Innova MPV and the Fortuner SUV.

Similar to its contemporaries which feature long design runs, the Hilux received various updates inside and out throughout selling life. E models sold from 2005 until 2008 use alloy wheels and share the same height as the J but had utilized steel wheels later on while benefiting from a height increase. G models sold from March 2014 gain body cladding, roof rails, and a bed liner while 2.5 E and G units sold from August 2012 adds a hood scoop (which is standard for the 3.0 G) that signified an engine upgrade. A TRD limited edition model based from the 2.5 G gained niceties such as gun metal alloy wheels, TRD bumpers and decals, and daytime running lights became available in September 2014.

Just like the Fortuner, there are three engine choices for Hilux buyers which means that there's a unit for everyone. The common option would be the 2.5 diesel having 102hp that does fine on city roads and flat surfaces but complains on mountainous roads or when the vehicle is fully loaded. The best bet is the same 2.5 engine carrying 143hp which is better in every aspect and is available on 2.5 E and G from August 2012 onward and can be distinguished by a hood scoop upfront. There's a 3.0 diesel reserved for the top model which rewards you with more power in the early range but acceleration isn't neck-snapping compared to the same-era Ford Ranger or Nissan Navara. One oddity is the 2.7 gasoline which is fast - both in acceleration and fuel consumption - and is available with an automatic from 2005 until 2008. When it comes to driving, you might feel uncomfortable since the seating position lacks support for your thigh and lower back and your passengers should expect a comfortable but bouncy ride, which reminds you what type of car you are in. Handling is a breeze, braking distances is long, and the bed is huge enough.

Owners of the same time period Innova or Fortuner would feel at home since the dashboard configuration is similar to the two above mentioned vehicles although the 4x4 shifter may be far to reach for some. Later models get an improved interior which included larger buttons, touchscreen monitor with DVD and navigation system (for 3.0 G), LED gauges, and a Camry derived steering wheel. For safety conscious peeps, do take note that G models from 2005 to 2008 have one airbag and no ABS brakes while later models, depending on the variant, have these as standard kit.

What Should I Get
The basic model is the J (options as a cab and chassis and FX types were based on this) that comes with the 102hp 2.5 (this does not get an upgrade later on), steel wheels, power steering, and vinyl seats with options such as fabric upholstery, CD player with MP3 function, dual airbags, and ABS brakes added on later iterations. The E can be had with the 2.5 displacing either 102hp (2005 to 2012) or 143hp (2013 to 2015) adds body color bumpers and side mirrors, keyless entry (removed later on) and all power features while items like ABS brakes, dual airbags, fog lamps, alarm (deleted later on), and side step boards are added later on. The 2WD G sold from 2005 until 2008 had a 160hp 2.7 gasoline engine paired to an automatic, driver's airbag, fog lamps, and alloy wheels; models from 2009 til 2012 got the 102hp 2.5 diesel partnered with a manual, added ABS brakes, passenger side airbag, steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth, alarm, and keyless entry. And going for the 2013 to 2015 2.5 G gains the 142hp variant and an option for an automatic transmission. The 3.0 G adds a 161hp 3.0, 4WD system, limited slip differential (August 2011), and LCD monitor with DVD and navigation (August 2012). The limited edition TRD, launched in September 2014, is based on the 2.5 G MT adds gun metal alloy wheels, TRD bumpers and decals, daytime running lights, and LCD monitor with DVD and navigation. When it comes to our recommended variant, it would be the 3.0 G otherwise the 2.5 G with an upgraded engine is a solid pick. If there is one to avoid, it would be the 2.7 G unless you want the smoothness of a gasoline engine.

How Much Would It Cost Me
Keeping this baby is easy, as it has low maintenance costs and affordable spare parts. Going for the diesels, for fuel consumption purposes, is a prudent option. This vehicle became a subject of a recall - which also includes its IMV cousins Innova and Fortuner - in April 2014 that a faulty spiral cable may cause the airbag not to deploy in a crash involved units built from 2005 to June 2010. Although some 2005 to 2006 Hiluxes with the 2.5 engine had problems with the fuel system which caused the engine to stop, this is a trouble free truck. With a longer shelf life plus its best seller status which meant more units in the second hand market, do take time to look around and find a unit in the best condition especially that later model releases are expensively priced while early units are cheap bargains, if you know where to look.

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