2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Toyota Hilux, over the decades this Japanese pickup has built a reputation for being rugged and reliable. While the popular pickup continued to evolved and slowly move upmarket as it gained more luxuries, its biggest evolutionary jump was with the introduction of the seventh generation Hilux in 2004. This was the first twenty-first century iteration of the Japanese carmaker’s pickup; it was also the first generation to be built on Toyota’s new Innovative Multi-purpose Vehicle architecture. It offered a modern more aerodynamic body, improved safety, more interior space, better ride comfort, and modern D-4D diesel engines. This was replaced by the current eighth generation Hilux in 2015, a model that’s more stylish and more refined than its predecessor but continuous the tradition of being a tough pickup. The current Toyota Hilux was first introduced in the Philippine market in July 2015. It features a more stylish front with a chrome grille which blends in with the large swept-back headlights; a chunky bumper gives it a tough look. Moving on to the sides, it gets blistered front and rear wheel arches that give it a muscular look. Just like other new IMV-based Toyota, the current Hilux has a refined car-like interior designed for comfort. Its instrument cluster has a complete set of analog gauges and a vertical multi-info screen. The long slim horizontal central AC vents are mounted up high to make room for a 6.5-inch touch screen; the lower trim variants come with a 2-DIN stereo. The Toyota Hilux’s standard safety equipment consists of driver and passenger SRS airbags, driver’s knee airbag, and antilock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution. The 4x4 automatic transmission variants get additional safety kit like side airbags, curtain airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, hill-start assist, and trailer sway control. The Toyota Hilux is offered with a choice of two diesel engines. 4x2 variants get a 2.4 liter D-4D mill which produces 147hp and 400Nm of torque, in the entry level J variant, it makes 343Nm of torque. 4x4 variants get the more powerful 2.8-liter D-4D unit which pumps out 174hp and 420Nm of torque for the 4x4 equipped variants, when equipped with an auto tranny it churns out 450Nm of torque. Both powerplants can be paired to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission. The entry level 4x2 J comes exclusively with a five-speed stick shift.
The Hilux uses an updated version of the IMV chassis, like before it has an independent double wishbone coil spring suspension up front and a live axle leaf spring suspension at the rear. Stopping duty is taken care off by ventilated front discs and rear drums. 4x4 variants get an auto disconnect front differential and a standard built-in rear locking differential. For 2018, Toyota added the Conquest variant which is based on the G variant. It gets a unique hexagonal grille and redesigned fascia for a more rugged look. The gloss black sports bar, mirror caps, door handles, and taillight trim give it a sporty touch. On the tailgate it gets a large “CONQUEST” decal. Fortuner-style 18-inch alloys complete the transformation.