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Toyota Hilux: Targeting the top dog | Tyrolean daily newspaper online

Modernisiert und zusätzlich mit 204 PS dieselmotorisiert: Toyota Hilux. Trotz höherem Lifestyle-Appeal ist er ein echter Pick-up geblieben.

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By Beatrix Keckeis-Hiller

Munich – “He’s not a ballerina,” states Federico Paravicini, responsible for product communication at Toyota Motor Europe, in view of the Hilux. That shouldn’t be Toyota’s pick-up icon in the mid-size class either. Because it’s a vice. And he stays that way. With ladder frame, rigid axle and leaf springs on the hindquarters. With switchable all-wheel drive, including gear reduction and differential lock. With an unladen weight of 1700 to 2125 kilograms (depending on the structure), and in all versions more than one ton of usable and 3500 kilograms – braked – trailer load.

So it is, even after the most recent reinterpretation, which has brought it increased lifestyle appeal, greater driving and living comfort – on and off-road – plus additional motorization. That’s the real 1968, because it’s been on the market since then, and in the eighth generation, a little closer to the dancer. Especially in the new additional engine. For the 2.4-liter, Toyota now offers a 2.8-liter diesel (also four-cylinder, known in principle from the Landcruiser). The previously only diesel with 150 hp (and 400 Nm) is presented by the new 54 hp, which makes 204 hp (and 500 Nm). With both engines, you can choose whether the speed levels should be sorted manually or automatically over six levels (exception: entry-level version with single cab and 150 hp).

The design department tailor-made an outfit with a new look on the radiator grille, bumpers and lights. In the newly introduced top equipment level called Invincible, there are matt black accents, integrated fog lights, flared fenders, blue door lighting and black 18-inch aluminum. For the redesigned interior, this means leather furniture, a TFT instrument cluster and an eight-inch infotainment display (that’s it with digital ingredients) including smartphone integration. GPS, automatic climate control, keyless entry and start as well as parking sensors front and rear are also included.

In this configuration, the Hilux, in combination with the 2.8-liter diesel and automatic, was ready for a first – and intensive – ride.

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It contained a good piece of (German) Autobahn. Although this is not primarily Hilux-Revier, it clearly conveyed a feeling for the modifications to the chassis, the steering and the automatic system (now with torque converter lockup from gears six to four). Conclusion: The driving behavior is much more comfortable and more stable at high speeds. At the stop of the possible top speed – 180 km / h according to the technical data, 190 km / h on the speedometer – the mighty 5.3-meter Japanese lies unmoved like a board, nothing moves in the structure. The brakes are more than powerful enough to reduce this rather atypical speed promptly and sustainably. The more direct steering layout, in turn, makes it much more agile in the tight-bend angle mill. In the terrain, in this specific case interspersed with crumbly gravel and greasy mud, the reduction in idle speed from 850 to 650 revolutions pays off through more sensitive responsiveness. He plowed his way uphill and downhill, through water and mud, as usual.

Despite all this, the pick-up should not become an SUV. He has to maintain his image of indestructibility, see the unsuccessful attempt of the Top Gear crew (from 2007) to completely destroy a Hilux.

The Hilux will be launched at the end of November. As an entry-level model with 150 hp and a mono cab, it costs from 29,990 euros. The tested model – 204 hp, automatic, top equipment “Invincible” – comes to 47,890 euros.

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