You’ve found yourself in a tight spot before, right? We’re sure you recall at least one who-are-you-gonna-call moment in your life. A moment where you’re filled with dread and are just about ready to throw in the towel—when you could really use a kind and helping hand. You’re thinking who that one lifeline call is going to be. Then, without a second of hesitation, it comes to you. You know just whom to call…right there, right then.
The Toyota Hilux, of course. This pickup has been an ever-reliable go-to vehicle for many Pinoy motorists all over the nation—from the mountains to the potholed urban roads, from the countryside to the flooded city centers. It is tough and it is unbreakable. It happens to look good, too.
The Top Gear TV show in the UK famously tried to “kill” the Hilux. Once, they allowed the pickup to be swallowed up by the tide. They came back when the tide had receded, and—hell—the engine sprang into action. The Hilux carried on like a tenacious soldier. This, after only a few minor repairs with a basic toolkit. They proceeded to hit the vehicle with a wrecking ball, and even set it on fire. Yep, it survived.
Another time, they took the Hilux to the top of a multistory building that was about to be demolished. The explosives were detonated, and the building came crashing down. And so did the Hilux. They dug the pickup out of the rubble and, once again, the Toyota withstood it all.
You probably have not gone through anything as harrowing as the above attempts, but you surely have your own stories to tell that will be handed down to the next generation together with your Hilux.
In the Philippines, the Hilux comes in 11 variants of the double-cab and three of the cab-chassis version. That is a lot of choices to fit a lot of needs. All are equipped with the hardworking Toyota GD diesel engines mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission (except the entry-level J grade, which has a five-speed shifter). These GD engines just won’t quit, delivering 174hp/450Nm and 147hp/400Nm for the 2.8L and the 2.4L, respectively. That power comes in really handy for all your hauling needs. The Hilux has one of the biggest payload capacities (1,130kg) among all locally available pickups.
Despite all that brawn, fuel consumption is reputed to be very efficient, ensuring you won’t drain your cash, credit card, PayMaya or GCash account.
As a workhorse, the Hilux is guaranteed to perform. But it also offers best-in-class safety features. Driver, front-passenger and even knee airbags are standard on all grades, and a side curtain shield is included in the top-grade 4×4 and 4×2 automatic variants. Active safety features on the Conquest and G automatic-transmission variants include vehicle stability control, active traction control, hill-start assist, trailer sway control, antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assist. This pickup is an impressive package by any measure.
As a workhorse, the Hilux is guaranteed to perform, and it also offers best-in-class safety features
Over 90% of Hilux users go for the double-cab version. Of that number, half opt for the 4×2 variants, while around a third pick the 4×4 ones. The 4×4 Hilux is more popular in provincial areas like the Visayas and Mindanao, where payload and off-road capabilities are more important. Agriculture, mining and cargo transport are among the most common uses. In the metro areas, the 4×2 units are preferred as a more affordable option to the SUV. Pogi car without breaking the bank, so to speak.
Pickups are among the vehicles that now benefit from the recently enacted Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law. After extensive deliberations, pickups were granted zero-excise status. That’s undoubtedly a nod to its significance as an engine of economic growth. No wonder the Hilux is said to be driving out of showrooms faster than shipments could come in from the factory, making it the pickup of choice in the country.
The Toyota Hilux is your ever-dependable pickup, embodying much of the Filipino spirit of bayanihan. It never fails to show up when you need it, and it works tirelessly to save the day.
This branded article was produced in partnership with Toyota Motor Philippines.