Toyota Hilux Double Cab Turbo Review
Guerilla's choice

Story by Jeremy R. Chua, pictures by Azfar Hashim
7 Apr 2009
 

Known to most as the most reliable pick-up ever, we decided to find out why ourselves. Ladder-frame, anyone?

TOYOTA HILUX

The big grille is flanked by two squarish headlamps, and there are also two round fog lamps on either side of the large front bumper.

A burst of automatic gunfire sends bullets kicking up dirt and ricocheting off some steel drums. A rocket-propelled grenade streaks past, before slamming into a nearby building, creating a monstrous ball of bright orange flames. Behind a crumbling wall, the radio crackles to life.

"Echo six this is Foxtrot four, come in, over!"

"Foxtrot four we read you. What's your status?"

"Echo six we are pinned down! We have our backs to the wall with enemy forces closing in - fast! Request immediate extraction and fire support! Over!"

"Roger Foxtrot four, extraction team is en route. ETA thirty seconds...sit tight!"

And just when all seems lost, the roar of a diesel engine grows louder - the extraction team finally arrives. Their vehicle of choice is a Toyota Hilux, modified to mount a .50 caliber machine gun on a tripod at the rear. The rear gunner continually fires his weapon, keeping enemy heads down. The beleaguered team is spirited to safety.

I'd never want to find myself in that situation, really. But if I did, there's only one truck I'd try to get my hands on to drive out of there - the Toyota Hilux.

The Exterior

Now into its sixth generation, the Hilux has grown from a "compact" to a "midsized" pickup. The big grille is flanked by two squarish headlamps, and there are also two round fog lamps on either side of the large front bumper. The bonnet scoop might look glued on, but it's not just for show - it really does channel air to the truck's intercooler.

The truck's long flanks are slab-sided, and its shape just becomes boxier as it flows towards the rear. Being a pickup, the back-end is properly square, with a vertical row of tail lamps on each side of the tailgate. And with a 5,255mm length, this vehicle is definitely on the long side.

The overall look is a marked improvement over its predecessor, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that people don't buy a Hilux because of how it looks. What I would change on this truck however, are its wheels and tyres. Our test car, err, truck, came with skinny 15-inch alloys shod with 205/70 series tyres which looked malnourished when tucked into those large wheel wells. The fact that the truck has substantial body mass also contributed to this.

The steel canopy covering the flatbed in the rear is a practical option, allowing you to lug an increased amount of equipment around without (a) fear of it falling out of the truck or (b) fear of your cargo getting wet or dirty when it rains. If you were a warlord, this means you get to haul more weapons and ammo - or you could also use the flatbed to transport wounded soldiers or bring back captured enemy POWs. Jokes aside, I'd personally rather do without the canopy, as I feel it compromises rearward visibility.

 


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