UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd (UMWT) has launched the all-new Toyota Hilux and Toyota Fortuner. The Toyota Hilux, the best-selling pick-up truck in Malaysia for the past decade is now in its 8th generation while the Fortuner SUV, its second generation. Both are locally assembled at UMWT’s plant in Shah Alam, Selangor.
“We are confident that the new generation of both the Toyota Hilux and Fortuner will be just as well accepted by Malaysian customers as their predecessors have been. They come with not just fresh new designs, new technology and better performance but also continue to be good value for money, which has been a strong point of the Toyota brand for decades. Whichever model is chosen, rest assured that the drive will be an enjoyable and safe one,” said Datuk Ismet Suki, President of UMWT.
“The Hilux model had maintained its popularity with over 200,000 units of the outgoing generation have been sold throughout Malaysia since launched in 2005. It became one of the best-selling models for UMW Toyota Motor the past 10 years, continued Datuk Ismet.” He also said that the Hilux market share is about 52% and remains as the best-selling model in the 4×4 pick-up segment in the country for many years.
The Hilux and Fortuner are part of the Innovative international Multi-purpose Vehicles project (the ‘IMV Project’) and although they share many parts and systems, they couldn’t be more different.
The all-new Hilux comes with 6 variants in Double Cab and Single Cab configurations with two powertrain options, the 2.4 litre and 2.8-litre. On-the-road prices start from RM 89,900. Meanwhile, the Fortuner comes in two variants and starts from RM 186,900. Customers can choose either a newly-developed 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine or a proven 2.7-litre petrol engine.
The new Global Diesel (GD) engine series comes in 2.4 litres and 2.8 litres. Key objectives in the development of this new engine were to provide stronger low-end torque delivery, better response for acceleration, greater reliability under the most extreme conditions and improved fuel efficiency. Despite the smaller displacements, output (both power and torque) is higher than the previous, thanks to improved engineering.
All engines are equipped with 6-speed manual or electronically-managed automatic transmissions. With the extra ratios for a wider spread, better acceleration is available at the lower end while at higher cruising speeds, there is reduced noise as well as improved fuel economy.
The Hilux and Fortuner are built on a stronger chassis frame and bodyshell; the bodyshell of the Hilux has 45% more spot weld points to improve body rigidity. High tensile steel plates are also used in the upper and lower body to improve strength and safety but without adding more weight. The latest structural enhancements make the frame more durable while also improving ride comfort and handling. Crash safety is also improved as the chassis frame is stronger and has better impact absorption.
Both models have fresh new styling; the Fortuner receives a drastic makeover and no longer looks like a Hilux with an SUV shell and two extra seats. The design change gives it a more premium look.
Their interiors are also even more passenger car-like than before with high quality materials and additional convenience features. The refinement owes much to the appointment of Hiroki Nakajima – whose previous experience was focused on cars rather than pick-ups – as Chief Engineer. Mr. Nakajima led the team which developed the iQ compact model which was praised for its interior packaging.
Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) levels have also been greatly improved to a near car-like state. Considerable effort went into suppression of NVH, starting with an improved body structure that helps prevent road and mechanical noise entering the cabin as well as generous use of insulating materials.
The Fortuner has a Smart Entry and Push Start System, a feature expected in many vehicles nowadays. Additionally, the Fortuner 2.7 SRZ comes with a powered tailgate (with height adjustment) that allows the rear door to open and close at the touch of a button, paddle shifters and cooling vents for both rear rows.
Safety-wise, the latest Hilux and Fortuner come with many Active and Passive safety features. ABS (anti-lock braking system) is standard for every variant of the Hilux and Fortuner along with three front SRS airbags (the third for driver’s knees) and 3-point auto-retracting seatbelts for every occupant. The top variants of both models get four additional airbags for a total of seven (the Hilux is the first in its class with this many airbags).
A new feature is Active Traction Control (A-TRC) which mimics the function of the limited-slip differential (LSD) for maximizing traction on challenging terrain or surfaces. This gives the driver confidence to concentrate on driving rather than worrying about getting stuck.
At a preview drive, the media had a go with both models and initial impressions showed much improvements over the previous generation. On the road, NVH and ride comfort were more car-like. Some bounciness is expected from the Hilux due to the rear leaf spring suspension but which shouldn’t have a problem carrying loads. The Fortuner rides with a more premium feel as it’s carried on 4-link coil springs at the rear. Both models use independent double wishbone with coil spring and stabilizer in front.
Off-road, both models took to the challenging muddy course like a fish to water. Lumps, humps and bumps were traversed without great difficulty and showed off such features as A-TRC, Hill Assist Start, the suspension and ground clearance.
For peace of mind, all models offered by UMWT since April 1, 2016 come with a 5-year warranty, subject to terms and conditions. This fully-backed warranty is transferable to the next owner if it is still in effect when sold off.
The all-new Toyota Hilux is now available at all showrooms nationwide while the Fortuner will be available later in June.
For more information on these vehicles or to locate the nearest showroom, visit www.toyota.com.my or call the Toyota freephone: 1-800-8-TOYOTA (869682).