Deep into its eighth generation model, the newly facelifted Toyota Hilux solidifies its position in the world as the most popular, most durable, and most celebrated compact pickup truck. Toyota Philippines offers an incredible 17-variant range for the 2021 Hilux from fleet models beginning at P936,000.00 to our top-spec 2.8-liter 4×4 Emotional Red Conquest model at P1,850,000. The IMV platform once again carries on but with a long list of significant improvements. The new Hilux design updates are inspired by the North American 4Runner and Tacoma models.
Our test unit, the 2.8 4×4 Conquest with automatic transmission in signature Emotional Red is the most expensive variant in the model series. The contrasts are good in red but I would prefer the less exuberant and common Super White II 4×4 AT Conquest variant which costs P20,000 less and is identically specified. In fact, there are three other new colors available at the lower price: Nebula Blue Metallic, Attitude Black Mica, and Grey Metallic. There are more affordable Conquest variants available using the 147 bhp / 295 lb-ft 2.4-liter turbodiesel engine, 4×2, and using the six-speed manual with iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission). When matched with a six-speed manual transmission, torque in the uprated 2.8-liter is reduced to 310 lb-ft but the powerband is more elastic from 1400 to 3400 rpm.
The updated LED headlights and taillights are complemented by new fascias on both ends, improved steering and handling response, unique body cladding, the best instrument display in its class, ambient lighting trim for both front and rear doors, an excellent new best-in-class sounding six-speaker infotainment system, seven SRS bags, new gloss black 18-inch alloys wrapped with well-performing 265/60R18 110H Bridgestone Dueler H/T 684 II tires, and substantially improved overall NVH.
With significantly more power and torque from its dependable 2.8-liter turbodiesel (201 bhp @ 3400 rpm and 369 lb-ft @ 1600-2800 rpm, Toyota engineers improved performance and fuel economy by adopting a larger, heavy-duty turbocharger with a ball-bearing cartridge for crisper and stronger throttle response, and a new common-rail injection system with a higher maximum fuel pressure mated to a recalibrated six-speed automatic, the Hilux Conquest accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 9.8 seconds with a top speed of 198 km/h, making it the swiftest, most full-featured, and most dynamic midsize Toyota pickup ever.
It is also more fuel efficient as well at 15.4 km/L overall, an increase by as much as 11.2 %. It also tows 300 kilos more payload than its predecessor can. It is hugely capable, reliable, and comfortable and is even better suited for our jungle off-road trailing adventures than the Ranger Raptor. The top-spec 4×4 Conquest gets unique over-fenders, a matching rear sports bar, a bedliner, tailgate assist, generous rear box strapping hooks/mounts and Conquest badges on the rear quarter panels.
Stepping inside, there are new interior accents and detailing to distinguish the latest iteration from its pre-facelifted version. A new 8-inch touchscreen display for the 4×4 Conquest now supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The rear camera works reasonably well but it would be better with a 360-degree feature. Other good standard features include a smart key, push-button ignition, automatic climate control, cruise control, automatic speed-locking door locks, rear ISOFIX mounts, and additional front seat pockets with rear seat hooks mounted on them.
Being a global vehicle, the updated Hilux was developed by an enormous international team that retuned the chassis, achieving a very tangible improvement in ride quality when driving especially without a load, along with more responsive handling and even greater stability when towing. The steering calibration has been revised for better low speed maneuverability and parking while creating a better feel at speed. The new variable-flow control power-steering pump improves fuel economy while delivering a more natural driving feel that varies depending on the driving conditions. The front 319mm vented discs are handled by four-pot calipers while the rear is managed by a 295mm drum with leading and trailing shoes. For off-road use, the approach angle is 29 degrees, departure angle at 27 degrees, and the rated wading depth is 700 mm. Managing the four-wheel drive system remains easy and effortless with a singular knob supported with Auto Disconnect Differential and mechanical differential lock.
The new instrument dials are handsome and sit on either side of the 4.2-inch multi-info display, which incorporates a digital speed readout, among other new functions. The seat designs and materials are high-grade and will certainly have long duty. As before, selecting the toggled drive mode to ECO reduces throttle response in favor of fuel economy and reduces power consumption for heating and cooling, and POWER to create maximum response for a more engaging drive. The suspension has revised attachment points, new spring rates, new shock absorbers and new suspension bushes as well as revised cabin mounts. Self-lubricating rubber is adopted on the rear shackle bush for increased ride comfort. Vehicle Stability Control, Hill-Start Assist Control and Downhill Assist Control are standard in the 2.8 4×4 Conquest.
If you don’t require a super truck but, instead, a heavy-duty reliable workhorse that ticks all the boxes, the segment sales champ will serve you perfectly.