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Toyota Hilux Vigo PDF Print E-mail

In recent months we have looked at the Mazda BT-50 and its sister model, the Ford Ranger, both built at Auto Alliance?s facility in Rayong. One of the slightly older one-ton pick-ups, but one that has received regular updates, is Toyota?s Hilux Vigo.

The Hilux is one of the world?s most successful vehicles with more than 12 million sold in around 164 countries. It is Toyota?s second best-selling model (after the Corolla) on a worldwide basis, with production now in nine countries, including Thailand. European models come from a plant in South Africa, while there are other Toyota plants producing the Hilux as far apart as Indonesia and Argentina.

Image Launched in Thailand in August 2004, the Hilux is offered in a variety of guises, from the basic single cab model, which starts at under 400,000 baht to a top-of-the-range double-cab version (pictured) that comes in at more than 860,000 baht. The most popular one in the Kingdom, though, is the 631,000 Thai baht X-Tra Cab model. The single cab model has a class-leading payload capacity of a hefty 1,255 kilograms, the larger models marginally less.

The latest Hilux is powered by a common-rail diesel engine developing 102 bhp (75 kW) at 3,600 rpm. Torque, as you would expect, is massive: 260 Nm on the 4x4 models, 200 Nm on the 4x2 versions. Performance is modest, with a maximum of 150 km/h and a leisurely 17 seconds or so, depending on the model, for the benchmark 0-100 km/h time. Transmissions are a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic, while there is also a choice of two- or 4-wheel drive on the base models. Unusual in this segment is the rack-and-pinion steering which is light and very direct.

All models feature dual front airbags, front seat belt pre-tensioners and belt-force limiters. In addition, both the steering column and the brake pedal have been designed to minimize injury to the driver in the event of a frontal collision. The brakes themselves are ventilated discs on all models with rear drums. All but the entry-level single cab gets ABS as standard; on the base model it is an option.

The Hilux is built on a traditional ladder-frame chassis which although offering a great deal of rigidity, does subject the attached body to a few rattles and squeaks over rough terrain. Toyota claims a 45 percent higher torsional stiffness for the 2006 Hilux over existing models, also claiming it contributes to less cabin noise.

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While the interior is a little Spartan, it is certainly functional, with hard-wearing cloth seats and easy-clean plastic surfaces. That?s always assuming you are going off-road, something few owners will attempt.

The styling is much the same as all the other pick-ups on the market ? how far can you deviate from the basic premise? ? yet Toyota claims it is a ?powerful design which creates an immediate visual impact?. Executive Chief Engineer, Kaoru Hosokawa is quoted as saying: ?It is the best balance between a tough, muscular image and passenger car style.?

He goes on to say, ?Under the key words ?Global Best? we developed a new Hilux with the intention to move from strictly work use to multi-purpose use, reflecting the recent trends in the worldwide pick-up market. The new Hilux answers the needs of world markets with enhanced performance, and, at the same time, offers a body that is one size larger.?

The Hilux Vigo range of pick-ups may be a couple of years older than its rivals, the Ford and the Mazda, but the basic vehicle has been successfully updated and still remains the one to beat worldwide. For more info go to www.toyota.co.th

 

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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