Despite the difficult circumstances faced in 2020, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) remains to be the top vehicle badge of choice for Filipinos for the same reason it held the Triple Crown recognition for almost two decades in a row—local car buyers have invested much feelings on the brand.
And while it remained on top of the rankings locally and experienced much success, the local distributor for the Japanese automaker also had the most catastrophic sales decline last year, losing nearly 62,000 units in 2020 compared to 2019’s figures.
Through all that, TMP remained aggressive, creating a long string of vehicle launches to make sure that they still provide the latest to their customers. Part of this long list is the 2020 iteration of the Toyota Hilux—which is still part of the eight-generation model globally.
But will this nameplate help regain the performance the car manufacturer enjoyed the previous years? Let’s check out the mid-range 2020 Toyota Hilux G A/T.
It may not have class-leading dimensions with its 5,365 millimeter (mm) long (measured with rear ornament), 1,855 mm wide and 1,815 mm tall, but it definitely gets the job done with generous deck space.
Aside from that, the 17 inch wheels give it more than sufficient ground clearance, making this 4x2 pick-up truck offering highly-capable on various terrains. Although for true-blue off-roading pleasure, we highly suggest the 4x4 Conquest version.
The front fascia of the 2020 iteration of the Hilux G A/T was made more expressive, with the wider opening of the grille with grey housing, putting an angrier looking pick-up truck ready to dominate even the most uneven terrains. Such aesthetics gives it an uncanny resemblance to its US (larger) counterpart, the Toyota Tacoma.
The black L-shape housing of the LED foglamps made the lights smaller (but it does not mean it cannot emit good amount of lighting). The stepboard for its sides and the rear bumper design (which makes it easier for people to step inside or alight the utilitarian vehicle), matches the double six-spoke design of the gun-metallic grey wheels.
However, the absence of the bedliners will make one take it easy on carrying loads at the back since you may not want to dent or scratch and maintain that pristine look. Well, who wanted to have pick-ups and not maximize its capabilities, right?
Almost all the eight colors (except for the variant-exclusive Emotional Red for the Conquest), would give its owners a wide array of choices, the Nebula Blue metallic gives the2020 Toyota Hilux G A/T a youthful look.
While it has very communicative design, the interior shows its no-nonsense engineering. Occupants will be welcomed by the fabric seats and both seats are manually adjusted (six-way for driver and four-way for passenger).
While it had good comfortable textile for seats, the steering wheel enjoys leather trimming. The door trim has fabric/silver design which gives it a very homely feel.
Sufficient oomph is ensured with the 2020 Toyota Hilux G A/T as it shares the same powertrain as the first 4x2 variety of the Hilux Conquest models. Powering the 2020 Toyota Hilux G A/T is the 2.4 liter, four-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC with turbocharged engine, matched to a six-speed automatic transmission.
On paper, it has the capability to provide around 148 horsepower and 400 Nm. With these numbers, hauling a bed load of cargo can be carried out proficiently.
While it is built for function as a hauler, it does not lack some of the features found in the luxury line such as the automatic climate control, six speakers and a pair of 12V sockets. It also has a display audio system that is Apple Carplay and Android Auto ready—though it is quite a smaller 6.75 inch display compared to the 8 inch found in Conquest variants.
For safety, it has the usual host of features such as the anti-brake lock (ABS), vehicle stability control (VSC), hill start assist and hill descent control (HAS-HDC), and rear sonar for reverse parking it with ease.
Aside from these, the steering wheel is flatly and neatly-arranged, thus avoiding much attention when in motion.
Priced at P1.295 million, and with TMP holding on to their goal of maintaining its lead in the segment this year, the Toyota Hilux—even the mid variant 2020 Toyota Hilux G A/T can definitely provide that balancing act of practicality and serviceability for the country’s market.
Photos from Ruben D. Manahan IV