Five features that make the heart race | Toyota Hilux 4x4 TRD M/T

All you need to do is look at it to feel its very essence, its reason for being. To explain it in terms far less profound, this vehicle’s image of toughness is so infectious, just one look and I felt like running through a brick wall.

Other people though may have different emotions for it. Maybe you’ve seen it and your blood pressure shot up without understanding why. I’m no doctor, but I have a diagnosis that may explain it. After the jump, I’ve got five solid reasons that explain why this “truck of trucks” makes you feel that way you do.

1. NEW, CLEAN, AND EFFICIENT POWERTRAIN

Powering this behemoth is a new 1GD-FTV 2.8-liter, 16-valve, DOHC diesel engine with variable nozzle turbo and front-mounted intercooler – coming with the world’s first Thermo Swing Wall Insulation Technology that improves maximum torque by 25 percent and low-speed torque by 11 percent. Its Toyota-made variable nozzle turbocharger is 30 percent smaller, appearing with a newly developed turbine to provide better efficiency and response over a wide RPM range.

To help out the environment by reducing harmful emissions, the Hilux uses a selective catalyst reduction system that eliminates up to 99 percent of the NOx (nitrogen oxide) it releases into the environment. Totals of 174hp and 450Nm go through the six-speed iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) that offers 10 percent lower first-gear ratio and 23 percent higher sixth-gear ratio for a wider spread and better acceleration. This increases fuel efficiency by 15 percent. Just the powertrain enhancements alone already give the Hilux a compelling edge over the competition.

2. TOUGHER AND STRONGER

Already a very accomplished model in its own right, the eighth-generation Hilux is now made more capable with a new and stronger ladder chassis and reinforced deck structure that provides a 20-percent increase in torsional rigidity. The thickness of the frame side rails and crossmember has been increased by 30 millimeters to prevent the deformation of the latter while increasing fatigue strength of the suspension and front propeller shaft mountings.

There are 45 percent more spot-weld points, 388 in all to help improve steering accuracy and responsiveness. Towing capacity has also been increased to a maximum of 3.5 tons. All these improvements mean that you’ll be absolutely okay to off-road even with a full-grown hippo in tow.

3. OFF-ROAD CAPABILITIES AND OTHER SAFETY FEATURES

World-renowned for its performance on challenging terrain and in extreme weather conditions, the Hilux comes with both front and locking, high-capacity limited-slip rear differentials (LSD). Redesigned to be lighter with the reduction of pinion gears and a miniaturized side bearing, Toyota has increased the pickup’s effectivity and reliability while also making its operation easy with the new drive mode selection switch on the dashboard.

To complement the LSD, Toyota added the Active Traction Control (A-TRC) system that delivers power to the wheels with traction using brake fluid pressure and engine control. Some may have reservations about getting a manual transmission unit because of how it tends to roll back on an incline but, thankfully, Toyota included a Hill-Start Assist Control feature that holds the Hilux for a maximum of two seconds, so you don’t scare the wits off the Wigo driver behind you.

4. INTERIOR AMENITIES

The multi-information display indicated 10.1 kilometers per liter on pure city driving. It also comes with tabs that indicate outside temperature, shift range indicators, an “Eco” monitor, and various pertinent details.

To enhance the driving experience, the Hilux has modern features like hands-free Bluetooth mobile device connectivity that can be accessed via the large 6.5-inch touchscreen, DVD+CD/MP3 compatibility, USB and AUX input, and six speakers to handle the audio output. It also has GPS navigation capability. What it lacks are a backup monitor and sensors for easier reverse parking.

5. TRD EQUIPMENT

To trick out the package even more, Toyota Motor Philippines offers a trim fully kitted with TRD equipment that includes the front grille, front bumper guard, skid plate, over fender, 18-inch alloy wheels, wheel-nut set, side steps, sports bar, sticker and an emblem all bearing the red- tinged TRD badge. This is the most obvious of all the features, and may cause you to impulse- buy on sight. The TRD kit though is an extra P164,000 tacked on the base price of a 4x4 G M/T, which brings the total to P1.719 million – a steep price, I know, but together, these five aspects of the Toyota Hilux 4x4 TRD M/T are guaranteed to set your heart a-flutter.

VERDICT:

This Toyota Racing Development variant embodies the tenet that a great vehicle, whether by design or performance, can elicit a certain positive emotion or feeling.