By now, you should know that the new Toyota Hilux is now in the Philippines, finally giving the nameplate a proper facelift after several years. More likely than not, you’ve read about the refreshed model here, considering its popularity as the second bestselling vehicle in 2019 and the staggering number of readers that went to our site.
But there’s one tiny detail that you might have missed with the new Hilux. When you go through its variant list, the 4×4 option is not available with the G and E variants anymore. It’s now exclusive to the top-spec Conquest variants, available in both automatic and manual iterations – thankfully.
Interestingly, the J variant, which serves as the workhorse Hilux in the range, also retains the 4×4 option, albeit J variant buyers would need to make do with the pre-facelift fascia.
So, what gives? Why did Toyota Motor Philippines drop the 4×4 option on its mid-tier G and E variants?
During the press conference for the midsize pickup truck’s launch, Nico Bravante, Vice President Product Planning Department, answered that query in a clear and concise manner.
According to Bravante, Hilux customers tend to go for the top spec variant when shopping for a 4×4 Hilux, according to their study. With the demand dictating what the market will get, it’s only more logical for Toyota to give customers what they want – a more prudent move in a business sense, considering that we import out Toyotas from Thailand.
“We know that Hilux 4×4 customers tend to emotional with their choices. The Conquest variants feature the latest features and design exclusivity, so these Hilux G customers will now be shifting to the Conquest variants being more emotional,” Bravante said.
“At the same time at the lower 4×4 segment, there are still those who need the price affordability but still needs the 4×4 option, that’s why we retained the J with a 4×4 option.”
There you go. Basically, if you want a 4×4 option, you need to either go all out by choosing the Conquest variants or go low with the J. That’s pretty straightforward.
Take note, however, that the more powerful Hilux – the one that makes 201hp and 500Nm of torque – is exclusively available at the range-topping Conquest 4×4 AT trim.