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Equipped with cool box, ready for toolbox

Published:Sunday | September 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Looking out from the cockpit of the new Toyota Hilux.
The new Toyota Hilux from the rear, side.
An interior view of the new Toyota Hilux.
The 2016 Toyota Hilux pickup on open ground.
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If you are looking for a multipurpose ride then it wouldn't hurt to consider the 2016 Toyota Hilux. The redesigned pickup has strong characteristics that will allow it to look good in a corporate parking lot, as well as on a farm somewhere.

As expected from any pickup, you will get good ground clearance. What is impressive, however, is the overall design, which makes the pickup looks a lot lighter compared to previous models. Somehow, Toyota has managed to give it an aggressive but sleek look, which is right up there with the Ford Ranger, that has become quite popular locally.

It's fair to say that some amount of thought has gone into providing the customer with a ride that's easy on the eyes while still providing durability. One look at the vehicle and the front will grab your attention. Of note is that the fender flare is now integrated into the body of the vehicle and is accentuated by chrome, which gives it a smooth finish.

 

fuel efficiency

 

While Toyota has not given any fuel efficiency stats, it can be inferred that the new design will give some relief at the pumps.

Boasting a 2.5-litre gas and three-litre diesel engine, depending on the model you select, the Hilux with its four-wheel drive capabilities will, no doubt, provide you with the power you need to haul trailers and conquer rough terrain.

Going over rough road is not a problem, as the vehicle provides enough cushioning to keep it stable and avoid rocking from side to side, or pulling the steering to one direction. The wheel wells on the pick-up are more pronounced to accommodate 17-or 18-inch tires, while still leaving good space to stick your head in if you need to do some inspection.

The inside of the 2016 Hilux is another plus, as the seats are comfortable and somehow kind of hug the curves of the passenger's back. Given that I drove a diesel engine model I had expected a lot more cabin noise. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could have a conversation that was not punctuated by whistling sounds.

Talk about room - the pickup has enough space inside not just for the legs, but for you to store things.

As the pickup is built to take you to the great outdoors, the design allows for you to carry enough water to rehydrate. Toyota has provided a cool box in the dashboard with an air-conditioning vent inside. The cool box can accommodate three standard-size water bottles, plus there are other cup/bottle holders between passengers and in the doors.

Speaking of dashboard, the one in this Hilux is pretty much identical to that in the Rav4. So clean is the design that the driver will be able to read everything with a single glance. The only drawback is the audio system. While it looks like a tablet, it doesn't fit neatly into the dashboard design. Somehow, it looks like an afterthought.

The Bluetooth and volume controls on the steering wheel are good and not too cluttered. However, the window controls are so far down on the door panel that they are partially hidden, which will take some getting used to.

The multi-information display next to the speedometer screen display has a unique feature of providing data on efficiency between two drivers. That way, it eliminates the arguments of who is the better or more

efficient driver in the family.

To enhance sophistication, the Hilux has smart-key and pushstart features, all good for this day and age.

kawainfearon@gleanerjm.com