The New Hilux

Toyota Hilux in Pakistan

Toyota Hilux Turbo in Pakistan

For those who are not aware, the Toyota Hilux is very much a living legend.

From Top Gear to Newsweek, the critics have always held great respect for the rough and tough 4×4. Not only that, the  Toyota Hilux is well known for its part in the wars of our world! Yes, much like the revered AK-47 when it comes to weapons, the Toyota Hilux is considered the AK-47 of vehicles.

The Toyota Hilux in Pakistan

We have had the Vigo, the imported variety of the Hilux, plying our roads for some time now. It is by all means, a desirable vehicle. And no one has to tell you that they are talking about the Hilux and when they say ‘Double Cabin’.

But there is one problem; more often than not, you’d see the ‘lords of our country’ stuffing their guards into the Hilux. It is, for most intents and purposes, considered a ‘guard car’, but that is not to be considered a bad thing! The Hilux gets a kick out of this reputation as well; guards get the toughest car, no?

My anecdotal review

One fine day, I got to ride in a Land Cruiser, a Pardo and the double cabin Hilux. All three 4×4′s, on the same day. As expected, the Cruiser took full marks on pretty much everything (it is not the best car in the world for nothing!), but to my surprise, I just couldn’t place the Prado above the Double Cabin. The Hilux was more comfortable, even in the supposedly cramped back seat (it is not cramped, you only imagine it to be!)

What’s new in the New Hilux?

The same that you’d expect from a monopolistic, zero-competition industry; not much. The ‘new’ Hilux is claimed to have a new ‘Turbo’ engine, whatever that means, and the website does not tell you much about what ‘new engine’ got placed.

There are two ‘trims’ to the Hilux; Hilux Standard and Hilux Turbo.

So, what is the difference in the engines of the Standard and the Turbo? If you dare to read the specifications, you will clearly see the difference in the Standard and Turbo engines.

Toyota Hilux Standard and Turbo difference

And what exactly does TURBO mean?

Why are you not surprised that both the engines have EXACTLY the same specifications?

Toyota, especially with the Corolla, have given us the same 2.0 Diesel engine for ages, whereas the diesel technology on Toyota cars has leaped forward in other parts of the world. I request the Toyota guys reading this, to please give us a break!


Give me 4 Lacs, I will give you AC

If you ever get a chance to see the Toyota Indus website, you’d see that they have tried to present even the smallest of things as ‘features’ of this ‘new’ Hilux. They even go ahead and mention things like “premium” fabric on the inside of doors as a freakin’ feature. Are you kidding me? And they mention that the new Hilux have ‘bottle holders’. What the hell?

But then again, the ‘Standard’ version of the ‘new’ Turbo Hilux does not have Air Conditioning, or the ‘premium’ fabric gracing the inside of the door. So you better end up paying 400,000 more for the Turbo version! Wait till people pimp their Standard versions over at the Montgomery Road, and get it to “look” exactly like the Turbo version for quarter of the price difference.

And there is no option of automatic transmission in either of the two trims. That is just sad.

The Price We Pay

The standard comes to 2,349,000 Pakistani Rupees.

The Turbo costs 2,749,000 Pakistani Rupees.

There is the touchscreen DVD and other ‘little things’ that make up the price difference. You also get the A/C in the Turbo version. So rejoice!

Will you buy this car?

I will buy this vehicle because it ‘looks’ good, and even the ‘old’ engine tech of Toyota has stood the test of time. I will not buy this car if I have the slightest of chance of getting an imported vehicle.

I only want to get one thing clear; the Pakistani market is constantly given a bad deal, or rather a deal that is just good enough. As mentioned previously on Car Advice, if you really want to see if ‘our cars’ would stand up against ANY competition, let us import cars at a lower duty. Then no one, and I mean, NO ONE, would pay what we have to pay.

Specifications (the boring part)

DIMENSIONS
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Overall Length mm 5130 5255
Overall Width mm 1760 1835
Overall Height mm 1810
Wheelbase mm 3085
ENGINE SPECIFICATIONS
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Engine Type 2KD-FTV
Fuel System Common-Rail Type
Displacement cc 2494
Maximum Output kW/rpm 75 / 3600
Maximum Torque Nm/rpm 260 / 1600-2400
Maximum Turning Radius (body) m 6.5
PERFORMANCE
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Transmission 260 / 1600-2400
Brakes Front Ventilated Disc
Rear Drum
ABS X 0
Suspension Front Double Wishbone
Rear Leaf, Rigid
Stabilizer Bar Standard
Steering System Hydraulic Power Steering
Tire and Wheel 205R16C 6J 255/70R15C 7J WITH ALLOYS
Fuel Tank Capacity Liters 76
SAFETY
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
GOA BODY STRUCTURE 0
FUEL LEVEL WARNING 0
Seat Belt Driver: 3 Point ELR, with Pretensioner and Force Limiter Passenger: 3 Point ELR
2 Passengers: 3 Point ELR Center Passenger: Non Retractable
SRS Air Bag X D + P
EXTERIOR
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Front Grill Black Body Colored
Door Outside Handle Black Body Colored
Front Bumper Black Body Colored
Outside Rear View Mirror Black Body Colored With Side Turn Lamps
Front Head Lamps Halogen
Antenna Pillar
Deck Guard 0 X
High Mount Stop Lamp X 0
Rear Window Defogger X 0
Sun Visors X 0
Side Step X 0
Over Fenders X 0
Rear Bumper X 0
Roof Rack / Carrier X 0
Roll Bar X 0
Bull Guard X 0
Front Hood Protector X 0
Front Fog and Driving Lamps X 0
Deck Liner With Tailgate Cover X 0
INTERIOR
STANDARD – 4X4 TURBO – 4X4
Air Conditioning X 0
Heater 0
Speakers X 4SP – Door Mounted
Audio X Touchscreen DVD/CD Player
Steering Wheel 3 Spoke Urethane 4 Spoke Urethane
Manual Tilt
Seats Fabric Premium Fabric
Interior Color Scheme Gray
Multi Info Display Clock Only
Door Inside Handle Colored
Room Lamp 0
Instrument Panel Center Cluster Gray Silver
Power Windows X 0
Headrest Front 0
Rear
Console Box X 0
Speedometer Analog KM/H

Toyota Avanza in Pakistan

2010 has hardly started, and Pakistan sees five different cars being launched!

First, there was the Suzuki Swift (covered on CarAdvice here and for Swift pictures, see here). Then there is Toyota coming out with four different cars, all belonging to the, ahem ill-defined ‘spacious’ variety:

  • Toyota Prado (CarAdvice’s review of one cool feature in Prado can be found here)
  • Toyota Avanza
  • Toyota Fortuner (that I can’t help spell and call Fortrunner)
  • Terios  (by Dihatsu)

Toyota Avanza is priced at PKR 1,799,000 for the Standard version and PKR 1,999,000 for the ‘Up Spec’. And the difference of PKR 200,000 is because in the Up-Spec version, you have 4 speakers instead of 2, 15-inch alloys instead of 14-inch steel and ‘electronic’ rear view mirror control instead of ‘manual’.

The car is 1.5 liters which I feel will be underpowered if you stack the car up to full capacity and drive back home from a good lunch. Toyota is intelligent enough to introduce different cars into the market and play up to the wallet of all classes of our society. I keep hearing stupid remarks by people that ‘the cars are too expensive’ for Toyota to bring in. No man, the car is expensive for me to buy it! But there are definitely people out there who’d consider Toyota Avanza as a right fit for their combined family trip. Tthe reason Yamaha doesn’t bring in heavy bikes, or Suzuki doesn’t bring their highly successful GS series of motorbikes (from 150 CC to 750CC) to Pakistan is ‘officially’ quoted as ‘lack of a market’. Well, there will be no market unless some makes it, and Toyota makes it every time!

Toyota Avanza Pictures

This is what it is all about, check ‘em out.

Suzuki’s APV: What good is this All Purpose Vehicle?

apv20design20concept201Suzuki has about 3 years ago started importing APV to supplement (or perhaps replace) its ailing BOLAN Van. The APV however is now being used to give direct competition to Mitsubishi’s L300 & Toyota’s Hiace Commuter Vans as well as being advertised for your ‘entire’ (read joint) family needs. Lets see what the APV is all about!

 Its price (ranging from Rs1.62million to Rs.1.675million) is perhaps its weapon of choice (as with all Suzuki models) with its competing Mitsubishi’s L300 price ranging between Rs.1.999million to Rs.2.349million & the more popular Hiace retailing between Rs.2.499million & Rs.3.199million.

dmmcl300_landing

Moreover its smaller overall & engine size makes it more economical & easier to navigate on narrow inner-city roads found in all the major cities of Pakistan. Engine dispalcement of APV is 1493cc compared to L300′s 2477cc & Hiace’s 1593cc.  Overall length of APV is 4.23m much less than L300′s 4.59m (STD) & 4.81m (DX). Although both claim a min. turning radius of 4.9m APV can even part where L300 won’t (even with bumpers removed).

Fuel tank of L300 is slightly bigger 55L compared with APV’s 47L so is the seating capacity (L300:12; APV:8) but the size of fuel tank does not come as an advantage while within the urban areas & in Pakistan seating capacity is hardly what is written in the brochure.

The only thing the car isn’t good for is what it is actually advertised for: accomodating large-joint families because Suzuki’s own BOLAN beats APV in all categories (price, fuel efficiency & mobility) except comfort. But when the whole family travels together who needs comfort; all we need is to get wherever we are going fast to avoid verbal skirmishes.

Vitz & Platz: Are they any good on Pakistani roads?

800px-03-05_toyota_echo_sedan800px-2002_toyota_vitz_01

Toyota developed Vitz (aka Yaris) & Platz (aka Echo) initially for sale/use in European & Japanese markets. However, just because they are cheaper (to buy) many of my local brethren have fallen ‘prey’ to dubious dealers selling Vitz & Platz (mostly re-conditioned ones) as Japanese assembled “A-Category” automobiles.

During the course of my research I came across an article by an American ex-pat, Heather Carriero currently teaching in Pakistan who has a self-described ‘unquenchable” thirst for travel, adventure & new challenges.

Her article cites the cars’  low clearance, non-compatibility with CNG kits & overall poor quality of fuel in Pakistan as the most daunting problems faced by these foreign-assembled cars.

You can read more of her article at the link given below:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1057526/warning_buying_and_driving_a_toyota.html?cat=27

Heather’s VERDICT: Would love to buy, own & use both in Japan but they are just not suitable to the environment of the subcontinent.

Your VERDICT: ???

Head On: Camry vs Accord

img_gallery011camry11Eversince Honda introduced Accord & Toyota launched Camry as their up-market luxury sedan models there has been tough head-on competition between the two.

Although the sales figures suggest that Accord has been outselling Camry looking at their specs the reason isn’t clear. Both have identical 70-litre fuel tanks, near-identical engine displacements (Accord:2354cc & Camry:2362cc) and similar Torque Ratios: 226Nm/4300rpm for Accord while for Camry it is 224Nm/6000rpm.

Top speed of Camry is listed on Toyota Indus Motors (www.indus-motors.com.pk) as 211kph for Manual Transmission version and 204kph for Automatic Transmission. Honda Pakistan (www.honda.com.pk) being more concerned with Safety & Environment hasn’t listed a top speed instead it focuses on the safety / environment-friendly features of the car.

Finally as always it all boils down to the physical ‘looks’ of the car & price of both cars. In that department Accord having a more sleek/elegant & less ‘bulky’ design that Camry (see photos for evidence) wins’ hearts & minds’ of the customer hands-down.

The other factor helping customers decide in favour of Accord is the price tag Rs.4.699M (for A/T) while Camry retails for Rs.5.999M (M/T) to Rs.6.199M (A/T).

The ‘All New’ Honda City

img_gallery01What I don’t understand is that why do Honda meed ‘so many’ sedan brands? If Accord is a class apart & in the same league as Toyota Camry then why are City & Civic cutting into each other’s market share? Conceeded that City started as an attempt by Honda to make a ‘budget’ sedan but isn’t that like Suzuki’s job?

The introduction of City (which is neither cheap nor expensive @ Rs.1.139M for 1.3L M/T & Rs.1.399M for 1.3L A/T) has ‘only’ allowed Suzuki to rias its products’ prices so that City is no at par with Liana and we being a nation ‘riased on a Suzuki’ will trust a Suzuki more while viewing the ‘reduced’  price of a Honda brand (City) with suspicion.

I myself (& those like me) have driven a Japanese-assembled Mitsubishi Lancer for about four years & it is yet to be taken to a garage so I will Insha Allah buy another Lancer once the current lease ends in May next year.

So the question is: WHOSE MARKET HAS THE CITY MOST ADVERSELY AFFECTED? I think its CIVIC’s which is (despite local-assembly) still priced slightly below the Lancer. (CIVIC 1.8L VTi Oriel @ Rs.1.734M to Mitsubishi Lancer’s 1.6L GLX @ Rs.1.899M – both M/T models).

I think Toyota has got it right. Instead of 2 brands they have ‘sub-brands’ within Corolla Brand such as Altis & 2.0D. (Altis of same displacement as Civic is a lot cheaper i.e Rs.1.639M while Altis 1.8 M/T SR is also priced below Civic VTi Oriel i.e. Rs.1.724M).

All manufacturers/marketers do make up their own names for similar technologies to ‘differentiate’ otherwise similar products. As far as I am concerned they all have engines, doors, windows, Steering, Gears & brake/clutch/accelarator pedals what else is there to have.

Mitsubishi makes the best micro car?

mitsubishi_i_hello_kitty800px-mitsubishi_i_1

Although it may not be virtually unknown outside its ‘native’ Japan it won the 2007 Car of the Year award from the Japanese Automotive Researchers and Journalists Conference (RJC), and two other “Car of the Year” awards, from the Carview Corporation website and the Consumer’s Choice.

It also won the “Most Advanced Technology” Special Achievement Award at the 2006–07 Japan Car of the Year awards, where it was nominated unsuccessfully in the overall Car of the Year category, and ranked first in the Japan Mini-Car APEAL Study published by J.D. Power Asia Pacific in October 2006, with a higher score than any previous winner. Aside from the 2006 Good Design Grand Prix, its style won Design Awards from the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame (JAHFA), and the magazines Popeye and Car Styling.

Even the 2008 Car of the year 2008 Toyota’s iQ although better performance wise & designed by Toyota’s design studio in France pales in comparison to the sleek shape & georgeous look of the “i”. Agreed that microcars or ‘kei’ cars as they are known in Japan are made generally for the ladies &/or ‘sissies’ but offlate the modified versions of Smart Cars having superbike engines have been known to pack quite a muscle (0-100kph in under 3.5seconds.

“i”s breakthrough success with the said market came after a “Hello Kitty” customized “i” was put on display in a large Japanese Department Store for a week in 2007. Other close rivals include Smart Mortor’s fortow & K models, ZAP (zero air pollution), Toyota iQ the proposed Aston Martin-Toyota joint venture Cygnet & Honda’s Insight.

Suzuki has also marketed its own budget version of the smart car known as Suzuki Twin while rounding off the European competition are Mercedes-Benz’s Motsy & Subaru’s R2.

Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota Land Cruiser

There are times, not often, when I tend to look for things that are practically impossible to find. Things like ‘the best car in the world’. It is not possibly for me to say that this car is the best, or that car is the best – how could I? I have not tested the top cars in the world (not all of them, not yet :P ), but a man can form an opinion, man, a man can form an opinion.

And so I have formed an opinion. It is that the Toyota Land Cruiser is the best car in the world.

I know, I know, it is a big statement and certainly does not sound like a responsible one. It sounds like when you ask a kid about his favorite car, and without blinking, the kid jibes, ‘Porsche’ or ‘Ferrari’. I don’t think the Toyota Land Cruiser is the fastest, most fuel economical nor the most beautiful car I have ever seen. No, in fact, some models of the Land Cruiser I find quite ugly. I don’t find the Land Cruiser to be the ‘hottest’ car or anything, but I do believe it is the best car your money can buy.

Why Land Cruiser

I can vouch for the following:

  • The car will take you anywhere a car can possibly go – off road prowess of the Land Cruiser is almost legendary.
  • It is the most comfortable – especially the driver and passenger seats. I have traveled in a Toyota Prado, a Land Cruiser and a Toyota Hilux Double Cabin (the much revered daala) – and all in the same day – the Land Cruiser was the most comfortable ride by far.
  • Fuel Economy is above average – 5 Kilometers to a litre for such a beast are – relatively, at least – OK.
  • The Land Cruiser handling is superb, compared to something like a Prado.
  • You feel secure when in a Cruiser – somehow more secure than in a Prado.

Seriously, I have yet to review a Land Cruiser here on CarAdvice.pk, and I – God willing – shortly will review it, but I have enjoyed every bit of this car whenever I have had the chance. This car just – on the whole – beats every other car.

God willing, if I ever change my car, it will be for this. (I will have to perhaps rob the nearest bank to acheive this feat, but a man can dream, right?)

What do you guys think?

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

Got the pictures and the owner has agreed to give a detailed review of Land Cruiser Prado. As the review is on the way, I would like to share a nice little feature that is found in this 4×4: The camera that gives a detailed view of the surroundings at the back of the Prado.

When you put the vehicle in reverse, the display inside the car automatically shows the view:

When you put the car in reverse, the screen switches to the camera at the back of the car.

When you put the car in reverse, the screen switches to the camera at the back of the car.

But the real clever bit is the use of simple and easy to understand lines that show the expected path of the vehicle depending on which way you turn the wheels!

close up of the screen with a neat overlay of lines showing the expected path of the vehicle

close up of the screen with a neat overlay of lines showing the expected path of the vehicle

You turn the wheels a certain way, and the yellow lines will adjust accordingly, showing you the expected path of the vehicle. As you can see, I am right now reversing into the gate.

No more neck twisting, left-arm-behind-passenger-seat type of reversing. This makes your driving experience a tad more pleasurable – and in today’s high end cars, it is the little things that make the biggest difference, no?

Basic Info:

Car Name: Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

Model: 2003

Registered: 2004

Price: PKR 3.5 Million

Color: Silver

P.S. I will be uploading the pictures as soon as I get the review in place, God willing.

Toyota Corolla 2009

Toyota is one of the biggest car companies in the world. Period. They are so big it will make your head hurt. Their Corolla is the most sold car in the world, ever. The whole world. From Japan to the US. Wow, the most sold car in the world, you sure? Well, yes. Heck, just look at the Toyoto Corollas filling up the streets in Pakistan to get an idea for yourself. These Corollas are every where, like candy in a candy store.

It does not matter if you like the car or not. I have never liked the shape of the older Corolla model (I think it looked and still looks like a nee-oola :D ) and I still don’t like the new Toyota Corolla 2009. The car, in my opinion looks ugly. Then they want to confuse everybody by bringing in Altis in the 1.8 range, then upping the Corolla GLi from 1.6 to 1.8. Now the new Corolla 2008-2009 is called Altis as well as Corolla. It will set you a back a cool 1.8 million ruppes or so. Ok, to simply matters, I will shortly be posting the new Corolla prices with the respective trims (GLi, XLi, 2.0 D and Altis!). For the record, the 1.8 Corolla is now called Toyota Altis (or Toyota Corolla 1.8 Altis or any friggin’ combination thereof :/ ).

Anyways, here are the Toyota Corolla 2009 pictures

So tell me guys, do you think that:

  1. This is a good looking car?
  2. Is it even close to being worth 1,800,000 rupees?