Business Cornwall’s Morveth Ward finds out why the Toyota Hilux is so popular around the globe and puts its legendary toughness to the test
Set to being the bestselling vehicle of any kind in Australia this year, as well as being hugely popular in Africa and the Middle East, says a lot about the Hilux and depicts mostly; robustness and reliability, practicality and versatility and it’s capabilities in tackling any terrain. Qualities that have been galvanised by Clarkson and his crew on BBC’s original Top Gear series, where they went to great lengths to destroy a red Hilux pick-up with one harrowing test after another, including being hit with a wrecking ball, set ablaze, and dropped 240ft, after which (and after only a little tinkering) being famously driven off. In another edition Clarkson and May drove a modified Hilux through some of the most inhospitable and severe conditions to the North Pole.
All of the press and general exposure of its hardy nature has also meant that the Hilux is now a bit of a status symbol, especially since the Land Rover Defender is not available to buy new, and the Hilux is becoming the adventurers, and the ‘One life. Live it’ brigade’s, vehicle of choice, too.
The Hilux is as tough and as versatile as anything and this is undoubtedly its USP. And although there are similar vehicles on the market, none have been proven to be as unbreakable. The versatility is now at its best, as the 2016 model drives better than ever on the road and can be spec’d up to the level of that of a fairly luxury car. It is under-powered and sadly the bigger engine is not yet available in the UK, however personally I don’t see that this matters, because this is not why you buy one of these and it goes as quickly as you need for local and motorway driving. Fuel consumptions not great either, with a claimed combined consumption of 39.8-40.4 mpg (6 speed manual), but then again, what do you expect from a truck of this size and capability, it’s more than just a car, and this is one of the compromises that it more than makes up for in other ways – you may not save the planet but you will conquer it.
In summary, quite simply the new Hilux would appear to retain all of the original toughness and broad capabilities and combine it with improved refinement, ride, and more modern and bolder styling.
The Hilux starts from £22,955 which will get you an Active single cab and of course being a commercial vehicle you can claim the VAT back from this, if you are VAT registered. For more information speak to, Rob Hanson, Parklands Toyota , 01872 510455
This test-drive also featured in the November 2016 issue of Business Cornwall Magazine – Click here to subscribe to Business Cornwall magazine