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Auto Drive: A utilitarian's dream pick up - 2016 Toyota Hilux

Published:Monday | October 12, 2015 | 12:00 AMKareem Latouche
2016 Toyota Hilux has got a well appreciated face lift.
Toyota-Hilux-Surf-SUV-2nd - generation
– The mid-range model has steering mounted controllers on both sides.
Knob to switch driving modes.


Toyota has chosen to go a conventional route with the Hilux by keeping it a true utilitarian vehicle. In a time when many companies elect to hybridise their models, this vehicle is primarily built for one task: hard work.

Who is this for?

- Someone working on a construction site or does a lot of blue-collar work.


What I learnt

Nippy - When the accelerator was pressed on previous models, the vehicle would gradually accelerate then hit a plateau. However, this model is extremely nippy.

With a new transmission design, the 3-litre engine is eager to go faster.

The greatest challenge with this power is not to get carried away. Given the fact that it weighs approximately 4,400lbs, bringing this vehicle to an immediate halt from a high speed is not an easy feat and should not be practised.

Suspension - The ride on this vehicle is rigid, which is something hardcore utilitarian workers will overlook. Once the concept is cemented that this is not a luxury pickup, nuances like these can easily be overlooked.

While the ride can be a little bumpy around town, the usefulness of the suspension is very evident when going off-road, driving through ditches or filling the cabin with bags of sand.

Modes - There is a knob to the right of the temperature control which activates the three driving options. The abbreviated terms are a little complex to commit to memory.

I think Toyota anticipated this, hence there is a description card tied to the gear lever.

H2 - is for two-wheel drive and is the most economic option when driving under normal conditions.

H4 - This is four-wheel drive, ideal for rainy weather and rocky terrain. It should be activated if you are driving at high speeds on a winding road. This will ensure that the back wheels stay planted on the surface when taking corners.

L4 - This is low-gear four-wheel drive for steep descent or ascent. This is ideal for scenarios such as driving down Steer Town, St Ann, which might be a 8 - 9% decline and you don't want to ride the brake.

Sensors - A low point of this vehicle is the fact that there are no sensors or reverse cameras. With the length being 17.5 feet and a width of six feet, parking this vehicle will always be a challenge.

If you are new to the pickup market, I recommend installing an after-market sensor unit. On a positive note, the side mirrors are huge, which give a wide field of view.

Fuel tank: 80L (8km/1L - this is extremely impressive)

Cost to fill tank: $10,240 (90 Octane, 80L, at $128)


General specs of model: 3 litre turbo diesel engine, 18" steel/alloy wheels, 5-speed, auto

Curb Weight: 4,400 lbs

Cost: $6. 3m


Tested model: Mid-grade

Competing vehicles: Mazda BT-50, Ford Ranger, VW Amarok, Nissan Frontier, Isuzu D-MAX


*Data as at Oct. 2015

You can check the video on line at our website or our JamaicaGleaner page on Youtube

Vehicle was provided courtesy of Toyota Jamaica Ltd, 923-7231-5

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