The New Hilux

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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)

Overall Length mm 5130 5255
Overall Width mm 1760 1835
Overall Height mm 1810
Wheelbase mm 3085
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
Transmission 260 / 1600-2400
Brakes Front Ventilated Disc
Rear Drum
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
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
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
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
Console Box X 0
Speedometer Analog KM/H

Toyota Avanza in Pakistan

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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.

Wanna get dirty??

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I’ve been dreaming about getting a quad bike for a birthday present since I was about six years old. Sadly however that magic birthday never came. In my dreams I’ve driven through valleys and deserts and rescued gorgeous looking girls on my quad bike. But none of these dreams ever saw the light of day.

charlie-angels1I know a quad bike is not very practical as a mode of transport, in fact it is pointless unless you live alone on a mountain top. But it does combine all the coolest ingredients of a great thriller in a very small package. Just like Charlie’s Angels…

When you look at a quad bike it instantly makes you forget about practicality, you just want it for its fat spiky tires, the torque-filled two stroke engine and those huge shock absorbers.

But I’m not so sure many six year olds will get to tear the gift wrapper off a quad bike because these beasts are quite pricey. A proper quad bike can cost between 50 to 500 thousand rupees. This is why it would be a good idea to rent one for the weekend instead of buying one. Unfortunately however I’ve never heard of a place where you can rent a quad bike. Maybe that’s why I get to see so many 40 year old fat balding businessmen riding their own quad bikes around town. And they always have a mischievous smile on their face like a six year old boy who just got a quad bike for a birthday present.


Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

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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.

Barack Obama drives a what?

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With all of the USA’s brand-spankin’ new President’s talk on conserving fuel/energy and going green, it should come as no surprise that the record breaking Mr. Barack Hussien Obama drives such a cool, hybrid car. He drives an eco-friendly SUV (an apparent oxymoron, no doubt!), the great-lookin’ Ford Escape Hybrid 2008, an American car through-and-through.

Just check out how mmm, un-green the car looks! (read: great lookin’ car!)

Ford Escape Hybrid, 2008

But it was not always like that

The new President-elect did not always drive this green beast. When he was in the car-making haven of the United States, Detroit, telling the American automakers to cut down on poisonous emissions from cars, he himself drove around in a gas-guzzler.

But my oh my, what a beautiful gas-guzzler it is!

The problem with driving an eco-friendly car is not that people do not want a hybrid or something in those lines. It is just that say, a Toyota Prius looks like, frankly, a dork car. That elusive political will has been missing for way too long. Now that the auto world has waken up and is rubbing their eyes to the new realities, it is people like Obama who will (hopefully) provide the much needed political will to make eco-conscious cars that are actually beautiful.

And this is exactly where the difference between the good and the better really is; Obama was smart enough and did not have a ballooning ego to not review his commitments with respect to his actions. He talked about fuel efficient cars but did not have one. So he changed. He got a car that is relatively at least, much more eco-friendly. Yup, change he can. 🙂

Perhaps someone driving a hybrid can drive the American nation to a far better place. More mileage, more traction and a helleva lot more safety.

End note: American cars in Pakistan

We have quite a few American cars roaming the streets of our country, but I wouldn’t call it a fair share. Seemingly, for good reason. The first and foremost being the one main factor that Obama promises to address: fuel consumption. Fuel here is expensive (comparitve to our earnings) and driving cars that get famous because they consume like a mmm hog is a sure-shot dealbreaker. But I am sure quite a few of us have spotted the covetted Hummer pulling out of a petrol station (how appropriate!). I have heard that there is an Escalade in Islamabad as well. That is a sight for sore eyes for sure.


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The new BMW X6 is not an SUV, neither it is a Coupe; it is both of them put together. BMW calls it SAV (Sports Activity Vehicle). We are now supposed to gag at the creative naming system by the ingenious nomenclature gods. Don’t wish for a SUV folks, wish for an SAV. Anyways, coming to the car itself. I mean SAV. (But BMW is calling it Sports Activity Coupe, so it is already a SAC)

The Outside: It does look unique: a cross between a Coupe and an SUV will. A little something like the X5 and a bit like the BMW Z4, you will be forgiven to think that the BMW X6 looks like a British Bulldog from the back. But as stated earlier, it looks good enough to want one 🙂

Now, the real goodness about this car; the interior. (with more pictures of X6)

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