The Hilux has a solid metal rear bumper, but it is a bit strange in that the bottom part hangs below the chassis.
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First off, congrats to everyone who has managed to buy this car with these dealer discounts. This, ironically brings the vehicle’s price to where it should realistically be! Needless to say, us folks who bought this vehicle last year, feel disappointed and a let down by Toyota. Have any of the older buyers been able to get a discount on the accessories?
I’ve completed >20,000 kms on the odo, and 3 free services. Since everyone is sharing the positives of this car (and there are so many), I’ll try and share a few of the real life problems I have faced as I have been using this as a daily + recreational drive:
Blind spots: The A pillars coupled with the side visors (right side especially) create a pretty solid blind spot, especially while turning.
I literally have to crane my neck to look at my left blind spot mirror, which you can see, is completely obscured by the visor:
I like to sit high to have a good visibility down the road and on either side, and at my elevation the rear-view mirror also creates a bit of a blind spot.
Parking sensors: While going off-road, vegetation can constantly trigger the parking sensor and this becomes an irritant, so I normally switch it off. If you forget to switch it back on when you hit the tarmac, as I once did, it can cost you. The low near-forward visibility caused me to bump into a well concealed parking pole!
The parking sensors are must when you’re back in civilization; they’re especially useful when you are navigating traffic as well.
Engine bay protection: Rats absolutely love Toyota rubber beading! Unfortunately, I did the 3M rat repellent coating in the engine bay a day too late.
Rear bumper: The Hilux has a solid metal rear bumper, but it is a bit strange in that the bottom part hangs below the chassis and there is a gap between the chassis and the bumper so that the wiring of the parking sensors is exposed. While reversing on a trail, I had a freak event where a fallen tree branch, kicked up by the rear right tyre, wedged right into this gap and damaged a parking sensor from inside the bumper.
Articulation: If you have installed the wheel house cladding, beware the rear articulation! Once fully articulated the rear tyre can fall below the level of this cladding, and then this can happen when you are doing the tyre rotation:
Sidesteps: Even with OE sidesteps, this car is a challenge for senior citizens to get into. With aftermarket rock sliders, it becomes outright difficult. One more issue is that the OE scuff plates have a rather flimsy rubber lining along the sides, and due to the height of the vehicle, most people tend to slide their feet off the sides and onto the side-step, and this wears off the rubber lining.
Rear seating: The rear seats are definitely not comfortable for long hauls. The lack of leg room and the stiff upright seating means that anything longer than a 3-4 hour journey, and your passengers will start feeling it. Woe betide the rear seat passengers if there are 3 of them on an 8 hour highway journey! This is primarily a 2 man ute, with extra seating in the rear cabin only for short runs.
Car cover: Because of the pick-up design and sheer size of the vehicle, putting the car cover on is akin to pitching a tent, and initially one will struggle trying to do this single-handed. After some time though, one can do it in under a minute.
Rear left fender flare: Keep an eye out for that always. I have had a couple of incidents where I scraped it, fortunately the Line X coating saved the day.
Ad-blue: The ad-blue tank of the Hilux has a capacity of 17litres, whereas the Fortuner has a 12 litre ad-blue tank. Most Toyota technicians do not know this, and end up doing the ad-blue top up assuming Fortuner specs.
User manual: This feeds in from the previous point. The user manual is absolutely pathetic. No hard-copy, very low in component specific information, and generically aggregated across all international Hilux versions. You literally have to scour the internet to find out more detailed information about this vehicle.
Utility of mods done so far:
Tyres: I had swapped out to stock spec BFG KO2s as soon as I got the car and I can swear by them. Excellent in mud/slush, no flats till date, and lots of crushed and twisted nails!
However, one gripe with these tyres is the woeful lack of traction on wet / slippery surfaces.
Underbody protection: I installed Metalhouse underbody protection, which has take some solid knocks over time, and done it’s job.
Rock Sliders: These have not been of much use so far:
I had them replaced after I scraped my OE side steps a few times over some rocks and realised I needed something more solid. They have definitely made ingress and egress (especially for senior citizens) much more difficult.
Heavy duty load lid: I had mentioned this earlier here. This has really been of great use to me. Some more use cases:
And here is the heaviest payload ever taken by the lid: 400kgs of carpet grass on top!
The additional weight added to my vehicle is as follows:
Rock sliders: 30kgs (15kg each x 2)
Tyres: 25kgs (5 kgs per tyre x 5)
Load lid: 50kgs
All in all, the car is heavier by around ~120kgs over the stock setup. The load lid at the back has definitely reduced the bounciness from the leaf spring suspension a lot. With this additional weight, I am getting a mileage of around 13 kmpl on the highway, and around 8-9 kmpl in city traffic.
Parking is not a problem!
Some pics from recent excursions:
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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