Bought a used Toyota Hilux with just 1000km run: My initial impressions

Slow and steady is the way to go about driving this around. This is coming from a guy who had an Octavia RS230 last year.

BHPian carfreak recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi everyone, so I bought what could be the first pre-owned Hilux in Team-BHP (if not in the country, considering it has only been 6 months after the launch!)

This truck is a metallic silver, High automatic (top end) variant. It was registered in May and had run slightly above 1000 km. Essentially it was 2 months old at the time I bought it. I got it at a sweet deal considering the age and mileage it has covered so far.

I will put in a quick review of the truck, after covering 1000+ km in it. Please note, that I am primarily a sedan guy and I have very less experience with BOF vehicles. So all these points are from that perspective. I cannot compare with the Fortuner or another BOF SUV either due to the same reason.

Exteriors

The ute looks tough, mean and indestructible from the outside. This one has an excellent road presence and is sure to turn heads. Since the previous owner had already kitted some accessories (I have listed the same below), the visual appeal is greatly enhanced. I love the ‘cool’ factor associated with pick-up trucks in general, and this one looks even more special. The build quality is excellent and tough- try opening the tail-gate and the bonnet and you will know what I am talking about (it makes for a good workout in case you do not have time to hit the gym).

The key fob. It is big.

Interiors

Getting inside is a bit of a haul, aided by the handles (4 of them). This will be difficult for the elderly. Once inside, you are greeted by a cabin that is contemporary and luxurious enough (unless you like big touchscreens). The quality of fixtures and trim are good, and you will never feel short-changed. The plastic quality is good for the segment. There are a lot of storage spaces inside, with 2 cup holders near the ac vents for the driver and the passenger. The upper glove box has a cooling function while the lower one is lockable.

The front seats are supportive and you will not have any issues on long-distance journeys. The legroom is fantastic too. Though the same cannot be said of the rear. Considering the size of this truck, the rear legroom is limited. You sit more upright than what can be called comfortable, so I am not sure how this area will be for long drives. A nice touch is the ability to raise the base of the rear seats for storing items. The toolbox is situated below these seats.

The ICE consists of a touchscreen head unit which has all the usual connectivity options that are expected from modern-day vehicles. The sound quality is decent, but I may consider an upgrade of the speakers at a later stage.

The blue illumination of the dash at night is a cool touch. So also is the provision of an AC charging socket in the console box. I like the one-touch auto up-down which is there even in the Rapid.

Engine

This ute is powered by the same engine that does duty in the Fortuner. A concern is the issue of DPF clogging. At around the 2k km mark, the auto regeneration kicked in but nothing else after that. The Toyota service guys told me these issues are lesser nowadays, and the initial problems were related to the adoption of the new technology. The only issue they told me was to avoid frequent short city drives and include highway drives more often. That bit is easy, considering the Hilux is not that easy to go around in the city anyway

The engine

Driving Experience

Push the start button and there is a mild shake as the engine comes to life. It settles into a silent idle soon. On the go, the engine feels refined as long as the revvs are below 2000rpm. Of course, you won’t mistake this for anything other than a diesel engine. Push beyond 2k rpm and then the engine noise starts coming in. Though it feels boomy/ busy rather than an industrial clatter. Not a very annoying note.

I like the fact that, even in Eco mode, the box does not upshift too early and does not hesitate to downshift. This is an issue I am facing with my Rapid which, in D mode, tends to upshift very quickly and hesitates to downshift which is very annoying. This makes it easy to make quick overtakes inside the city, while still in Eco mode. I haven’t driven in Power mode much, but the performance is too good in this mode, it is slightly scary in a truck. Just wonder why there is no gear indicator in D mode (it shows up once in S mode)

Driving around in the city gives you a ‘King of the road’ feeling. You tower above other cars, people give you a way to overtake, autos think twice before taking a U-turn in front of your vehicle etc. It is indeed a nice feeling, though I am not a bully on the road and I don’t unnecessarily boss around. The only issue is the horn which is more of a pipsqueak. Surprisingly in a vehicle that is otherwise, a mean-looking one. Reminds me of some movie villains who look tough and scary, unless they start speaking in a childish voice.

Inside the city, the long dimensions make it a pain especially when you need to make U-turns. Add to that, the big turning radius, which makes 3-point turns the norm. I end up taking a longer route till the nearest roundabout to make the turn.

The ride quality is as expected from a BOF vehicle. It is jiggly/ nervous/ bouncy (whatever you can call it) and unless you are on a smooth stretch of road, you are aware of the road surface underneath. There is also a side-to-side rocking movement at times.

The handling is again, as expected from a ute. Slow and steady is the way to go about driving this around (Imagine, I had an RS230 till last year, oh the contrast). Though things are not as bad as I thought they would be. Let’s just say I was expecting it to handle like a ship, but it does so like a long boat. If that makes sense. Maybe I was expecting far worse.

The worrying aspect is the brakes, which I felt were not good enough at bringing the ute to a halt. Especially from high speeds. I do not know if it is my experience with sedans, but I drive this more cautiously due to the poor braking. Wind and road noise is an issue too, once you cross 100 km/h. Performance as whole tapers beyond that point.

Have other Hilux owners here noticed the absence of the 80/120 km/h beeps that are present in all new vehicles now?

Accessories:

I am not sure which of these were given by the dealership as freebies and which were installed by the previous owner. From the accessories brochure given by Toyota, these are the accessories currently installed:

  • Front underrun
  • Over fenders
  • Scuff plates
  • Bed liner
  • Side visors
  • Stylish bar
  • Wireless charger

I am not considering any mods for the time being. I am generally slow to modify my vehicles (the RS230 was bone stock till the day I sold it!) and I am planning to use it for some time before I consider any mods/ additions to the existing set-up. The only thing I am considering is a cover for the loading bay but I am not seeing any options without the necessity to remove the stylish bar. Can anyone give me some ideas for the same?

I am hoping to give updates as regularly as possible

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