Toyota Hilux pick-up for India unveiled: Highlights
- Toyota Hilux uses the same underpinnings as the much popular Fortuner SUV in India.
- Bookings for Toyota Hilux are open while launch and deliveries will start from March.
Toyota Hilux is all set to roar its way into the Indian market after creating a big and rich legacy for itself in several global markets over several decades. Hilux is a pick-up truck that has been around since the late 1960s and periodic updates and consistent popularity has meant that the Hilux has kept itself not just relevant but popular too.
In recent times, the Hilux has received some very big updates that make the vehicle not just a capable machine on roads less traveled but one that also offers a high degree of passenger comfort and some contemporary features. Coupled with its imposing road presence, these continue to auger well for the vehicle.
The Hilux is based on the same platform as the Toyota Fortuner and Innova Crysta, two hot sellers in the Indian market. But Hilux will have to compete in a very limited, very niche space of pick-up vehicles in India which, at present, has only the Isuzu D-Max as a key player. Volumes won't be what the Hilux is chasing but Toyota Kirloskar Motor would be looking at stamping its authority in the large vehicle segment once again.
Here are the highlights from the Hilux India debut event:
What do you make of the Hilux and Hilux for India - ambitious or brave?
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Hilux will follow a Semi Knocked Down route
Toyota says Hilux will have a separate line at the Bidadi facility.
Check out all that Hilux has to offer…
Who is the Hilux meant for?
Toyota says customers looking for a vehicle that can combine daily drive requirements with adventure-oriented capabilities off the tarmac.
When can drive the Hilux home?
Bookings for the Toyota Hilux are now open. Toyota says price launch will be in March and deliveries will start soon after.
Capable outside, connected inside
Hilux cabin is highlighted by features such as two-zone climate control, infotainment screen, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and front parking sensors, among others.
The core power source
Hilux sources power from a 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine which is what one finds under the hood of the Fortuner as well. The engine produces 200 Ps and offers 500 Nm of torque.
How does Hilux drive?
Toyota says the turbo engine under the hood produces 500 Nm of torque.
Hilux also offers two drive modes - Eco and Power, and this has a bearing on the steering dynamic.
It has 700 mm water-wading capability, traction control, tyre control monitor, electronic differential lock and a number of other highlights to make it a capable 4x4 machine.
Hilux design highlights
Hilux gets a trapezoidal front grille which is outlined by chrome on all sides and is flanked by striking head light units.
The vehicle stands on 18-inch alloy wheels.
Did you know?
Hilux was first launched in 1968. This was the same year when man first stepped on Moon.
Over the past several decades, the vehicle has been sold in 180 countries.
20 million Hilux units sold worldwide
Toyota backs its iconic model and says its robust character will help it strike a deep chord with buyers.
Toyota underlines QDR - Quality, Durability and Reliability - as factors powering Fortuner and Innova Crysta here, adds Hilux will follow on the same lines.
Isuzu D-Max, a worthy rival?
Isuzu only sells a handful of units of the D-Max but the coming in of Hilux could put the focus on the segment as a whole.
But it may not exactly be an ‘affordable’ proposition. Just yesterday, pricing of the Isuzu D-Max received an upward revision. (Full report here)
An eye on price…
Toyota is widely expected to price Hilux around the same bracket as the Fortuner. At launch - moments from now, Hilux could start at a point of ₹28 lakh (ex showroom).
What does the Hilux sold abroad have on offer?
Did you know?
In certain western markets, pick-up vehicles are almost as popular as family sedans. Check out this report.
Why have pick-up vehicles not picked up in India?
Compact vehicles - hatchbacks and sub-four metre SUVs - dominate the Indian car space, and there is good reason for this. Congested roads and tight parking spaces mean that such vehicles are preferred by a large number of vehicle buyers in the country.
The concept of going off-roading or into the wilderness isn't widespread among motorists either.
As such, large pick-up vehicles with a ‘go anywhere’ attitude and capability hardly seem to be a practical option. Little wonder then that even manufacturers have not been enthusiastic about bringing such vehicles in the country - where are the volumes to make a good business case, many ask?
But Toyota is looking at creating a space for itself with the Hilux. The company would be well aware that it isn't exactly going to match Fortuner in terms of sales numbers but could be a viable option for the adventure lifestyle-oriented buyer.
Why is a pick-up truck called a pick-up truck?
Well firstly, it is a large vehicle with a solid road presence. A pick-up vehicle has a cabin for passengers and a large bed for carrying goods. The cabin itself could be only for the driver and a passenger or have two rows like the Toyota Hilux does.
The focus however is on that flat bed at the back that usually has miles and miles of space for cargo. It can be open or have a casing on top.
The name itself though is mostly common in the US and vehicles in this segment go by different names elsewhere - utility vehicle in Australia, bakkie in South Africa and crew cab in some other parts.
The return of the pick-up vehicles
Globally, large SUVs and pick-up vehicles are witnessing an increase in traction from prospective customers. Such has been the rise in popularity of these vehicles that manufacturers are also looking at equipping models with an all-electric heart. Take the case of the GM Hummer EV or the Tesla Cybertruck or the Ford F-150 Lightning, the preference for pick-up vehicles is clearly rising once again.
What is believed to be helping vehicles of this segment is that while in past days, such vehicles were considered hardy workhorses capable of going just about anywhere, in today's times, manufacturers are matching that same capability with dominant exterior looks and a well-appointed and feature-packed cabin.