Toyota Hilux first impression: A rugged workhorse
The pick-up truck segment is fairly nascent in India but Toyota wants to expand this space with its Hilux, which is slated for launch next month. The Hilux is a well-known model within the global product portfolio of Toyota and would be coming to India as a Completely Built-up Unit (CBU) with a diesel powertrain only. Here's our first impression.
Why does it matter?
- With norms being relaxed regarding the import of 2,500 CBU/CKD units without homologation, Toyota is keen to explore the Indian market with its range of premium SUVs and pick-up trucks.
- The first such launch will be the Hilux, which would be positioned alongside the popular Fortuner.
- This story provides an early impression of the Toyota Hilux and tells you what to expect.
It has huge road presence with its massive proportions
With a length of 5,325mm, the Hilux is a massive pick-up truck with considerable road presence. While it is based on the Fortuner platform, the design is completely different and looks more rugged. Aside from the thick cladding, roof rails, and massive 18-inch alloy wheels, the Hilux also gets a large hexagonal grille flanked by slim LED headlamps. The build quality also exudes toughness.
Interiors mimic the Fortuner in terms of design and finish
The interiors mimic the Fortuner in terms of comfort and luxury with a simple yet well-designed dashboard. The quality of materials on offer has a durable yet premium feel. There is a new touchscreen console inside the cabin while the instrument cluster has a simple but informative layout. With the double-cab configuration, there's ample space for three passengers at the rear with sufficient legroom.
Despite its utilitarian roots, the Hilux has a fairly long equipment list, including standard features like an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment console with smartphone connectivity, automatic climate control, a powered driver's seat, and cruise control. It also gets a 9-speaker JBL premium audio system, side steps, a rear-view camera, and ambient lighting. In terms of safety, there is ABS with EBD and seven airbags.
It will come with two diesel powertrain choices
In India, the Hilux will be offered with two diesel powertrain options: a 2.4-liter unit with 150hp and a 2.8-liter unit with 204hp. Standard will be a 6-speed manual gearbox while the more powerful 2.8-liter mill will come with a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. A four-wheel-drive system will also be available. The Hilux can carry a payload of up to one ton.
How much will it cost?
To be launched in early February, the Toyota Hilux is expected to carry a starting price-tag of Rs. 25 lakh (ex-showroom). While that makes it more expensive than the ISUZU D-MAX Hi-Lander, the Hilux justifies its price-tag with its better built cabin, more powerful engines, and better off-road credentials. Overall, we think the Toyota Hilux will considerably grow the pick-up segment in India.