Home / Home / Toyota Hilux 4×4 MT Review – Never Gonna Give You Up…

 

The Toyota Hilux 4×4 has a big and lazy diesel engine, a manual transmission, and selectable 4×4 drive. Yes, these make for maximum simplicity and a lot of engaging fun. We drive the Hilux and see how it fits into the local urban and suburban scenario. Let’s find out how it fared.

Toyota Hilux 4x4 MT action

The term “living legend” is normally accorded to a different species but, like Rick Astley, the Toyota Hilux makes a point and a good one, with an enviable history and desirability factor that set it apart from the rest. The fact that it is a pick-up truck helps it stand out head and shoulders above the rest without a shadow of a doubt. So, what makes the Hilux all that awesome? We drove the automatic version in Rishikesh early last year and, now, we get to sample the good ol’ manual version, with that incredible turbo-diesel workhorse of an engine, around more familiar territory in the city of Pune.

For a truck, the Toyota Hilux 4×4 is quite accommodating, to say the least. It’s easy to get comfortable in, five adult passengers can be seated in comfort for drives short and long, and it has all the goodies and equipment of a proper premium SUV—being a Fortuner with the third row replaced by a truck bed measuring 1,450 x 1,450 millimetres. The ladder frame remains with the body on top, but the rear suspension is a set of leaf springs. More significantly, the wheelbase is 340 mm longer and the overall length is, thus, 5,325 mm—making it more than half a metre longer than the Fortuner. Plus, it has a generous ground clearance as well as approach and departure angles.

Toyota Hilux 4x4 MT side static

The equipment in this Toyota Hilux 4×4 High MT variant is more or less identical to that of the AT’s, the major change being the third pedal and a manual gear-shifter. The on-the-fly shift for the 4×4 transaxle remains, with both high (4H) and low (4L) ranges available. Not that difficult situations are a task at all for the Hilux, even in rear-wheel drive (2H) mode. The gear-shifter has a unique element to it. For reverse, one does not need to lift something or push the knob down but, rather, push it further left from its usual left-most position into a special slot; I must say it was a first for me.

Toyota Hilux 4x4 MT gear shift

On the move, the 2.8-litre, four-cylinder, high-pressure common-rail direct-injection, turbo-diesel—industrial as it seems—is absolutely effortless. The Toyota Hilux 4×4’s “1GD-FTV” engine in this facelift eighth-gen model produces a massive (for a diesel truck) 204 hp at a lowly 3,400 rpm, with a peak torque of 420 Nm (in the manual, down from 500 Nm in the AT) arriving between 1,400 and 3,400 revs—a meaty spread across a 2,000-rpm band and an improvement on its previous facelift, too. For the most part, stick the Hilux in second and it functions almost like an automatic. There is a deluge of torque from low down and there is never any shortage of acceleration which, even for a low-revving diesel, feels like an unrelenting surge catapulting this two-plus-tonne truck forward with authority.

More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez

 

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