Half way round the 4×4 track I’m thinking to myself “Nobody in their right mind would be doing this with their truck”, but then it struck me that I was in a Toyota Hilux, you know, the truck that Top Gear once declared “un-killable”, in this video:
Well, this isn’t the same ‘double rigid-axle’ Hilux as the one in the video above (the last iteration of that Hilux here was the Hilux SR), the one in that video above miraculously survived three episodes of wanton and willful attempted murder and yet still survived, no, this is the brand new Hilux, and over the years it’s gotten a bit soft around the edges…or has it?
Joining the Hilux on this test course would be its bigger sibling, the Toyota Fortuner. While the former would be getting its wheel arches muddy on the 4×4 course, the latter would be relegated to asphalt, however, with a twist.
Check out that articulation! In a parking lot at the MAI Malaysia Auto Show 2017 recently, UMW Toyota (UMWT) decided to once and for all show just what the Hilux and Fortuner (above) can really do, in stock standard form, and yes, it was quite an eye-opener. First tho, have a look at the course itself in this video from Rizkie:
It was pretty grueling stuff, and while nowhere near the conditions one would expect from the Rainforest Challenge or Borneo Safari, do remember, these vehicles were stock-standard.
It’s safe to say that 99.9% of Fortuner owners would sooner walk on hot coals laced with broken glass than to subject their SUVs to conditions like this, but as I’ve always maintained, just knowing that they can is usually good enough.
Through the course of the drive, I gathered that one of the most beneficial off-road devices fitted to both the Hilux and Fortuner has to be the Hill Start Assist and the Hill Descent Control. In the former, the brakes will actually hold for 4sec before gradually letting go, allowing more than enough time to lift your foot from the brake to the accelerator pedal without the possibility of sliding back.
The latter takes all the guess-work out of descending a steep, slippery slope, by continuously monitoring the descent electronically and applying the brakes individually for the most optimum descent. All you have to do is steer; really, don’t touch the brakes or gas pedal, it cancels the system out.
So what was the reason for this exercise you ask? Well, for me at least, it has given pause to my preconceived notion that the Hilux had gone soft, because that only seems to have happened with its interior. It’s a lot more comfortable these days…
It’s still a pretty darn tough truck judging from what the demo units were put thru. Not sure if it’d survive three episodes of TG, but hey, who cares, it’s still the #1 selling pick-up in the country.
As for the Fortuner, well, this was an unnecessary thing to do really, as I said earlier, nobody in their right mind would subject theirs to this, but thanks to UMWT, now you know you can, should the need ever arise, like in the next Zombie Apocalypse perhaps…? – Chris Wee.
Toyota 4×4 Experience Photo Gallery…