TEST TOYOTA HILUX: THE LEGEND OF SANDS PART 1

The Japanese manufacturer,test toyota hilux, which had launched in the early sixties a program of four-wheel drive vehicles worthy of the Jeep of the Liberation, unknowingly created a legend of the automobile.

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It was indeed in 1958 that the first Toyota Hilux pickup left the assembly lines of the Japanese giant. Today, it has more than 18 million units sold worldwide. In Europe, it shamelessly dominates the category with a market share of 23.1%. Among the irreducible Gaul’s, this percentage still rises to just over a quarter of the market with 25.6% or 3,271 registrations in 2015.The king of the desert!

Gradually gaining credentials for his endurance, sturdiness, loading abilities and off-road abilities, the test toyota hilux soon became a desert king. So much so that a battle today bears his name: “The Toyota War”. This is the last phase of the Chad-Libyan conflict in 1987.

Back view

While French air force bombed the strongholds of General Muammar Gaddafi, Chadian troops used several tens, if not hundreds of Hilux, to face, on the ground, tanks and soldiers 7 times more numerous they. This test toyota hilux had for it its speed of action, its load capacity (a heavy machine gun or even rocket launcher stand in his bucket) and robustness in off-road to make it a real weapon of war.

Imagine the advertising made by the photos of the time, showing fighters rolling in dust in pickup trucks flanked by the big “TOYOTA” logo on the back panel of their machine. On the other side of the coin, and 20 years after that, the Toyota Hilux is the vehicle of civil wars and low-tech conflicts all over Africa and South America.

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So sturdy that our fellow Top Gear had also dedicated an episode to him. For 45 minutes, the troublemaker, Jeremy Clarkson drowned him in a tide, burned him, installed him on the top of a building that was going to explode a few minutes later …, nothing helped, the test toyota hilux restarted each attempt, under the bewildered gaze of the host.

The 8th generation …

As much as you say, the Test toyota hilux that roamed the sands of the Sahara and the one that Toyota offers us, do not have much in common. Retaining its robustness flawless, but abandoning its Norman cabinet look of older generations, the new opus eyeing more and more modern SUVs.

From the front, the double-grille mixes, at the top, the grid “Keen Look” unified to the headlamps, while the wraparound bumper pierced by a trapezoidal lower grille is part of Toyota’s Under Priority line. Finally, fog lights pushed back to the ends of the shield reinforce the impression of solid seating from the front.

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On the sidelines, the Test toyota hilux x gains in finesse thanks to its redesigned taillights and deflectors that improve the aerodynamic efficiency. The flanks for their part abandon the well-defined wing wideners in favor of a smoother transition between the shield and the muscular wheel arches, a detail that adds to the refinement of the lines. Finally, the overall look is gaining elegance thanks to the black center pillar of the Double Cabin and Extra Cabin bodies, and the choice of new 17 or 18-inch alloy wheels.

On board the Hilux …

The rustic side is forgotten. Admittedly, we are still far from the refined interior of the Audi sedans or the fighter jet cockpit of the new Peugeot 3008. But the new Test toyota hilux says goodbye to the tough plastics like Fisher-Price toys and to the interior layout of automobiles of the 80s.

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The dashboard is empty of buttons in favor of a 7-inch touch screen that serves as an infotainment system. Thus, the pilot (or co-pilot) can pair his Smartphone with Bluetooth, listen to streaming music and get to port thanks to the GPS.

In the continuity of the interior rejuvenation, the shifter has been shortened to soften the selection, now more comparable to that of a passenger car. In addition, the choice of driving mode, including the 4×4 mode, is even more simply by buttons adjacent to the gearbox.

On board, 5 passengers will be quite welcomed while many storage spaces are emerging. The glove box includes a lower lockable compartment and an upper compartment, connected to the air conditioning, that can keep two 500 ml bottles of water cool.

The rest of our Test toyota hilux is here, by clicking Toyota Hilux Trial: more SUV, but still Pick-Up.

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