Toyota’s legendary Hilux pick-up, originally launched in 1968, has been a dominant presence in its market segment for nearly 50 years, recording global sales of more than 16 million units and a new version of the vehicle is hoping to continue the success.
Since it was launched in Ireland, more than 5,000 Hilux have been sold with many of them still on Irish roads today. The current generation was launched in 2005 and enjoyed a refresh in 2011.
Since 2011, Hilux has enjoyed a No. 1 best-selling performance in its segment every year.
That performance has continued in 2016, with an exceptional 27% segment share and now we are told that the new Hilux will arrive in Irish showrooms in time for 162 registrations.
Toyota says the Hilux driving performance is much improved courtesy of an all-new 2.4 D-4D engine.
Despite its smaller size, compared to outgoing 3.0L, the new torque figure is 16.5% higher at 400Nm and at a lower engine speed than before giving greater flexibility. Downsizing, with greater driveability and greater efficiency has been achieved, with new Hilux combined fuel consumption improving from 7.7l/100 km to 7.0l.
An all-new 6-speed gearbox helps deliver this figure with a new 23% taller ratio in top gear. Some 148 bhp is generated at 3,400rpm.
The six-speed automatic transmission is also new. Improved driving performance is complimented by an enhanced cabin area.
The seat hip-point is 10mm higher than before for better visibility and now comes with telescopic steering adjustment. The introduction of a full 220v plug type charge point gives the benefit of being able to charge a laptop on the go.
The new comfortable and quiet cabin also comes with a much more SUV like level of sensory quality, fit and finish.
The Toyota Touch multimedia platform comes with a larger 7” screen and a 4.2” Colour TFT information screen within the dash display.
On top of all that the car is now even more of an all-rounder.
In terms of off road ability, there are a host of improvements. A benefit of the new six-speed gearbox is a lower first gear which provides more power from start off and also reduces the risk of stalling at low speeds.
Off road performance is also enhanced due to an increase in ride height and improved axle articulation which is 20% better than before.
New Hilux also has a 20% improvement in structural rigidity, making it tougher than ever.
A rear diff lock is standard on new Hilux, a critical off road feature that is lacking from several Hilux competitor vehicles.AWD is now selectable via a dash located switch rather than a second gear lever. This makes the system much more user friendly whilst also making for a more passenger like cabin area.
The biggest single improvement in new Hilux toughness is the new Active Traction Control system. This system senses slip & brakes the slipping wheel to encourage grip whilst also transferring torque to non-slipping wheels, thus keeping the vehicle moving in really tough conditions.
Towing capacity is increased to a very competitive 3.2 tons on Double Cab models & 3.5 tons on Single Cab. Hilux can now tow 400Kg more than before. Double cab has the widest and longest deck in the segment.
Prices will vary from €29.250 to €47,650 depending on the model.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved