Toyota Motor Corporation introduced a string of compact pickup trucks known as Toyota Hilux first in the year 1935 and since then, these vehicles have been available in the market in modified forms incorporated with latest technologies to cater to the needs of the modern day. The vehicle has been renamed with various names in different countries over the years. In 1984, it was named as the 4Runner in North America and Australia and at the same time as Hilux Surf in Japan. In the year 1995, the Hilux was discontinued in the United States with the introduction of the all new Toyota Tacoma which gained prominence as a new similar pickup truck. However, the 4Runner is a full Sports Utility Vehicle now and does not resemble the Tacoma.
The Toyota Hilux USA comes in various configurations to meet different requirements. Basically there are three different models of the vehicle that have been available – The WorkMate model, the SR model and the SR5 model. The vehicle is also presented in three body styles namely Single, Xtra Cab and Double Cab and three versions of engines. The engine options available are 2.7- liter petrol, 4.0-liter petrol and 3.0- liter turbo diesel. All these models have following features in common: steel sheet paneling all over that are rust resistant, highly rigid and lightweight body structure, 1-piece chassis with a thick side rail and strategic reinforcements for maximum torsion rigidity for providing stability off road and comfort while riding.
Engine and Performance of Toyota Hilux USA:
The Toyota Hilux comes with three choices of engines viz. the 2.7-liter petrol, the 4.0-liter petrol and the 3.0-liter turbo diesel with Electronic Direct Injection. The Toyota Hilux can also come fitted with either of two high end Toyota diesel engines, the 3.0 D-4D and the 2.5 D-4D. Both these engines are very powerful yet smooth in operation. Fuel consumption is remarkably low when compared to other Toyota SUVs due to the highly efficient turbochargers. This also ensures low emission rates.
The 2.5 D-4D engine produces a horsepower of 120 and maximum torque of 325 Nm. It is available in both two-wheel-drive and four-wheel drive versions with 5-speed manual transmission system. This engine gives a fuel efficiency of 7.4 l/100 km to 8.3l/100km.
The 3.0L D-4D engine delivers horsepower of 171 Hp and maximum torque of 360Nm at rpm between 1400 and 3400. This version of the engine comes with only four-wheel-drive power train with 5-speed automatic transmission. The Swirl Control System on the 3.0L D-4D engine version enhances the pulling power of the vehicle. The fuel efficiency of this engine ranges in between 8.3/100 km for the 5-speed manual and 8.9 liters/100 km for the 5-speed automatic. The engine can achieve a top speed of 170 km/h for the manual transmission and 175 km/h for the automatic transmission. Each of these engines run best with the aid of a microcomputer and Common Rail Fuel Injection System which has the ability to detect operating conditions, injection timing, fuel volume and controls common rail pressure.
The 2.7 liter 4-cylinder petrol engine version of the Toyota Hilux delivers a power of 116kW and torque of 240Nm. There is also a 4.0 liter V6 petrol engine that generates a power of 175kW with torque of 376Nm. Both the petrol engine versions have been equipped with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVTi) technology that improves performance and overall efficiency of the vehicle.
Exterior Styling of Toyota Hilux:
Like in other SUVs from the stable of Toyota SUV, the Toyota Hilux too has trapezoid front grille with metallic grey plate which enhances the rugged and sporty looks of the vehicle. The bumper is large and wide and hence oriented to a lower center of gravity.
The 2008 model of the Toyota Hilux has got two new colors for the exterior; the blue metallic shade and the grayish brown shade. Other striking external features of the vehicle are bold wheel-arch flares, open grille to emphasize the width of the vehicle, long aesthetic lines, aggressive bonnet scoop on turbo diesel models, large cat-like transparent headlights, a huge deck and molded front bumpers. All these enhance the overall external looks of the vehicle to a great extent.
The interiors of the vehicle give the feeling of a luxury passenger car. The steering wheel is the one with 4 spokes with all the controls on it for easy access to the driver. The light and wiper controls are easily readable and the indicators are quite clear. To add to the comfort, the Toyota Hilux has been incorporated with a new automatic air conditioning system and there is an air cleaner filter to remove the dust and smoke. The 3.0 D-4D models of the vehicle has sporty seats for additional luxury and to further enhance its looks. For the driving experience to be better, the vehicle has been fitted with power windows, power door locks with key less entry, speed-sensing rack & pinion power steering, molded door trims, a premium steering wheel, cruise control, gated gear shift, privacy glass on rear doors and back window and a luxurious seating including sports styled seats in the front.
One of the best features of the Toyota Hilux USA is the cabin space that it provides. The Double cab model can seat up to 6 passengers comfortably where as the Xtra Cab model can seat 4 adults. There is enough legroom and headroom for all the occupants. Apart from the main cargo space, there are also many other smaller storage compartments in front door pockets, rear door pockets, under the rear seats and in the center console.
Toyota SUV have always been known to offer maximum safety to all of its occupants. The Hilux is no exception. For the driver’s safety the vehicle is equipped with driver and front passenger SRS airbags in every model of the vehicle. During frontal collisions, these airbags in conjunction with the pre-tensioning seat belts keep the driver and front passenger safe by holding them tightly onto their seats.
Other safety features include Anti-skid Braking System, traction control, stability control and cruise control.
The Toyota Hilux has been successful due to its design, price, driving pleasure and for its utility. It offers both the comfort of a luxury sedan inside and the looks of a rugged Sports vehicle outside.