The Toyota Hilux has been a renowned and trusted nameplate in the country, in fact, this midsize pickup became a best-seller in its respective segment back in 2019. With the eight-generation being around for quite some time, the Japanese automaker recently released a refreshed version of the Hilux. Now featuring a more upscale look, a revamped interior, and a more powerful 2.8-liter diesel engine. Its 2020 lineup is composed of several variants, giving interested buyers a wide range of options to choose from. Now, we know many of you guys out there are curious with its entire line, that’s why we made an in-depth comparison in order to give you a simplified glimpse of each trim. So without further ado, let’s proceed.
J and other fleet variants
So apart from the standard Hilux variants which ranges from the E grade up to the Conquest, this midsize pickup is also offered in other fleet variants. It is worth noting that the following trims including J DSL 4x4 MT, J DSL 4x2 MT, Cab & Chassis 4x2 MT, Cargo 4x2 MT, and FX 4x2 MT with or without A/C, are still based on the pre-updated Hilux given its front fascia. Apart from its looks it also maintains the 2.4-liter diesel engine, which still puts out the same numbers, respectively, 148 hp and 343 Nm of torque. The said mill is then paired with a 5-speed manual transmission.
The following variants are contrastingly modified to serve the business needs of selected Hilux buyers. Prices range from P843,000 up to P1,148,000.
Perhaps this is where the majority of Hilux buyers will start their journey, with the E variant serving as their primary ticket to the refreshed pickup’s lineup. Which means it does feature the updated looks, including the more prominent fascia that comes with standard halogen headlights and a slightly revamped interior for a fresher look. What distinguishes this from the rest of the Hilux line are the 17-inch steel wheels. Sadly, the bed liner is not standard across the range, with it only available among the Conquest trims.
Despite being the supposed entry-level of the standard Hilux range, the E variant does give you a 6.75-inch Touchscreen with AM/FM function and is paired with 4 speakers. Notably its infotainment system is also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capable, therefore allowing you to pair your Android or Apple device in a seamless manner. Apart from that, it also gets steering wheel controls for added convenience.
The engine, on the other hand, uses the same 2.4-liter diesel, while the same horsepower figure was maintained, its torque however, has been uprated to 400 Nm of torque, giving you that extra pulling power for extra confidence. The sole transmission for this variant is a 6-speed manual gearbox. Safety and security features include driver, front passenger, and knee airbag. It also comes with EBD, ABS, Vehicle Stability Control, and Hill Start Assist.
At only P1,113,000, you get a nice-looking exterior and a comfortable interior that’s treated with a capable infotainment system. Unfortunately, the E-grade is only limited to those who still seek the experience of driving a traditional stick shift, though it’s quite a practical option for those who are in the market for a manual pickup.
The first ticket to an Automatic Hilux
Now, for those who find the E a bit lacking, the G shall fill your desire for more features, plus, it does give buyers the option of an automatic transmission. It maintains the same motor and somewhat synonymous looks from the E. Contrasting elements include the new 17-inch rims which are somewhat reminiscent of the rims on the G grade of the Fortuner. As mentioned, the bed liner is not standard across the range, with it only available among the Conquest trims.
Likewise, the G grade gives you fabric seats, but it does give you necessary upgrades like automatic climate control. Predictably, you are still greeted with the same 6.75-inch infotainment system, although it now gets a 6-speaker setup. On top of that, the steering wheel material has been upgraded to leather and it also comes with some audio controls for added convenience. You still get keyless entry along with a traditional key. Safety has also been heightened, apart from the aforementioned features on the E, the G grade gets additional backup sensors.
As mentioned, the G variant maintains the 2.4-liter diesel powerplant, however, what’s good about this trim is that buyers are given the flexibility to choose between a manual or automatic gearbox. Respectively, the said engine can either be paired with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic.
Apart from the enhanced looks, the Toyota Hilux G gives buyers the flexibility of owning an automatic pickup. Retailing at P1,220,000 for the manual and P1,295,000 for the automatic.
Going beyond just aesthetic ruggedness
Now we go up to the most rugged Hilux yet, the Conquest trim can be opted in either manual or automatic, 4x4 or 4x2. Making a return is the 2.4-liter diesel engine and the 2.8-liter diesel engine but both now boast uprated figures for this generation. Specifically 201 hp and 420 Nm of torque for the 4x4 MT and a slight bump of 500 Nm of torque for the 4x4 AT.
Unlike the G and E grades, Hilux Conquest variant benefit from a rugged exterior that’s treated new fender flares, larger 18-inch alloys, a sports bar, and most importantly, it comes with the bed liner as standard. Inside, you get a number of upgrades, including the ambient lighting on the doors, a larger 8-inch infotainment screen which comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You also get that automatic climate control for that added convenience. However, it’s quite surprising that even this variant line does not come standard with leather upholstered seats, it is perhaps something you’d already expect at this price point.
While maintaining the rest of the aforementioned safety features from the E and G, all Conquest variants come with front and rear parking sensors, while the range-topping Conquest 2.8 DSL 4x4 AT gets additional side curtain airbags.
So this package does go beyond looks, given the reinforcement of additional features. Prices range from P1,400,000 to P1,850,000.
It’s safe to say that all these variants cater a specific type of buyer, one would be the who prefer the traditional stick shift and just on par with features, one who wants a great balance between equipment and looks, and lastly, someone who’s up for both performance and ruggedness that shall perhaps be utilized as a proper workhorse or just merely for fashion sense.
Given all these considerations, we’d have to choose the Hilux Conquest 2.4 DSL 4x2 AT as the overall winner of this variant comparison. Given that we just can’t miss out those rugged reinforcements, plus, it gives you that trusted and reliable 2.4-liter diesel along with a generous amount of features. On the other hand, if you’re better off without the looks package and other features offered by the Conquest trims, there is much value to be had with the G grade. Though, if you’re looking for a basic no-frills pickup, then the E will surely do well for you. Adventurous beings on the other hand will surely be pleased by the upgraded engine of the Conquest 4x4 trims, given them the maximum capability to explore and go forth on their preferred adventure.
Frankly, the Toyota Hilux may not be as flashy as the rest of its competitors, but one thing’s for sure, it does give you that ultimate reliability the brand is known for. This is perhaps one of the main reasons why there are indeed many Toyota loyalists out there, and with the launch of this updated Hilux, surely owners' population shall continue to grow in time.
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