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Oct 14, 2016
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TOYOTA HILUX
Available engine: 2.4L Diesel, 4-cylilnder, 16 DOHC variable nozzle w/front mounted intercooler
Transmission: 6-speed AT w/ECT (Gate Type Sequential)
Price: P776,000-P1.283M

 
The lowdown: A pickup is a truck. When we understand what that means, then we begin to understand the vehicle’s purpose. It’s meant to carry real load, like timber and machines, not just groceries. It’s supposed to negotiate terrain, both gentle and hostile. It puts premium on brute strength over gentility. The Hilux ticks all boxes. It has a modern diesel engine that grunts and pushes when prodded; can easily switch from 4x2 to 4x4 with a turn on the dial; can be equipped with GPs if you choose to; has a Hill Start Assist control to help you confidently drive up an incline; its flatbed is long and wide enough to carry two motorcyles or maybe six bicycles. Having said these, why did we drive it like a car? Because it drives like one when you want it to. Notwithstanding its size (we had to make several attempts at squeezing between two cars at parking slots), drive feel is smooth. Suspension felt a bit bouncy, but maybe we were just too careful with the car. The interiors are understated but are designed enough to be posh for a pickup. You have smartphone connectivity in the higher variants. The Hilux is still a truck that will do work, but it can also sit pretty.


TOYOTA FORTUNER
Available engines: 4 cylinder in-line, 4X2 and 4x4
Transmission: 6-speed MT, 6-speed AT w/Sequential Control and Paddle Shifters
Price: P1,263 M-P2.141M

The lowdown: Bigger, better, faster, stronger—this is how Toyota describes the new Fortuner. They should add posher, because it is. The old fortuner was an SUV that didn’t have snob appeal, and you knew that the image worked because everyone wanted to drive one. But then the boys at Toyota may have realized snob appeal isn’t that bad if you call it "premium"—and this is the result. We could argue about this, but looking at the new Fortuner, you get a sense that it wants to be in the company of Toyota’s top-end SUVs, the Land Cruiser and the Prado. And guess what? The Fortuner is doing a good job. You could say Premium Aspiration is the theme that ties Toyota’s IMV (Innovative International Multi-Purpose Vehicle) together. The “multi-purpose” part is a nod to the vehicles’ obvious utility, but the way they’re built now straddles on territory reserved for luxury. In its bespoke-like exterior and interior features, the Fortuner is a commanding presence that will elevate the self-worth of anyone fortunate enough to drive one home—and remember, we’re not talking about the Land Cruiser or the Prado. 

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TOYOTA INNOVA

Available engines: From 2.0L Gas to 2.8L Diesel
Transmission: 5-speed MT and 6-speed AT/Sequential Control
Price: 919,000-P1.247 M

The lowdown: We had written about the Innova just last month, but we focused on what aftermarket tricks you could do to the stock unit. Now let’s just behold it for what it is. In our book, this is the best work done by Toyota in its IMV lineup, and probably their best work on any car lineup to date. We say this in relation to what the Innova once was—a timid all-rounder with the simple purpose of shuttling people around. The new Innova carries the desire level up several notches, and yet it still retains its public appeal. We are very interested to know how the sales of this new Innova is doing, because we’re willing to bet the customer list is growing fast. If you are an OFW or a seaman with just built-up cash, shopping for a new vehicle, and you see the new Innova in the showroom—you will behold it and know that it is your just reward after years of relentless toil.


This story originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of FHM Philippines.

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