New Toyota Hilux Launched
New Toyota Hilux – Urbanised & Civilised
Friday 18 March 2005 – UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd, assembler, and distributor of Toyota vehicles in Malaysia launched the new generation of the Toyota Hilux. This is the seventh generation of the tough Toyota Hilux line. First introduced in 1967, it has sold more than 10.5 million units worldwide, and has a reputation for being tough and reliable.
As the world developed, there was a gradual shift towards more urban usage demands, as more and more roads are opened up. The need for ultra-tough 4WD vehicles is slowly diminishing; instead, there is a new group of users who want 4WD vehicles, but with more car-like features and increased comfort, to be used as daily drivers, but can be used for off-road recreation during weekends. The ‘macho’ image projected by the ‘truck-like’ appearance also appeals to many. In fact, the recreational vehicle market is one of the fastest growing segments.
The Toyota Hilux has traditionally been identified as one of the best vehicles for the toughest conditions, and in Malaysia, it has gained great popularity as the vehicle for use in the construction and the logging industry. It was only with the introduction of the (current) outgoing model a couple of years ago that Toyota actually had a vehicle that could compete with the likes of the Ford Ranger and the Mitsubishi Storm on an equal footing. Now with the all-new Hilux, with its very car-like features, a new benchmark has been set, at least in the looks department.
Three variants of the new Hilux are available; the Double-cab versions are available with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. A single cab version is available only with a 5-speed manual transmission.
A more rounded shape, with integrated bumpers, a large aggressive looking grill, and combination headlights give the Hilux a totally new character. Pleasant side contours and over-fenders make it less like a workhorse, and more like a recreational vehicle.
The suspension system has been redesigned to reflect the new identified requirements of the Hilux users. The front now features a double wishbone system and coil springs arrangement, while the rear rides on leaf springs to cater for heavy loads. A stabilizer bar is fitted to the front to reduce roll. The Load Sensing & Proportioning Valve (LSPV) is retained, as is the LSD (Limited Slip Differential) for improved traction in wet and muddy conditions.
In the safety department, there is a driver’s side airbag, and an ABS system is standard equipment.
The common rail 2.5 litre diesel turbo engine is a little bit of a disappointment though, with its power rating of a mere102 horsepower at 3,600 rpm, and 260Nm of torque at 1600 to 2400 rpm, although its configuration is DOHC. Noticeably missing is an intercooler, and when queried about this, a spokesman from the company stated that the Hilux engine cannot be fitted with an intercooler because if the quality of the diesel in the country. To be fair, we have not tested the vehicle as yet, this being only a media launch. We should be able to report if the engine power is adequate or not, if and when we get one for a full evaluation.
Size-wise, the new Hilux is higher, wider and longer, and the interior features would look just as at home in a car. No doubt, the fact that this is a Toyota will stand in its favour, and UMW Toyota will stand a very good chance of achieving its 7000 units target for this year.
Prices range from RM88k to RM93k, depending on specifications and registration type.