Toyota Hilux to soon launch in India: Will rival Isuzu V-Cross

Last year, there were rumours that Toyota is considering launching the Hilux pick-up truck in India. According to ACI, Toyota could launch the 2021 Hilux in India in the coming months. Currently, there is only one lifestyle pick-up truck available in the Indian market. It is the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross whose facelift was launched recently.

Pick-up trucks are a niche market in our country. Many manufacturers have tried but failed to sell enough units. Due to this, they discontinued them eventually. Tata had the Xenon and Mahindra had the Scorpio Getaway. Both pick-up trucks were affordable when compared to the current Isuzu V-Cross. Toyota is expected to position the Hilux as a premium pick-up truck. So, it will be going against the V-Cross.

In terms of dimensions, the Hilux is pretty close to the V-Cross. It measures around 5.3-metres in length and has a wheelbase of more than 3-metres. This means the Hilux is longer than the Innova Crysta and the Fortuner. Another thing to note is that the Hilux uses the same IMV-2 platform as the Fortuner SUV and the Innova Crysta MPV.

Because it shares the same platform, the Hilux will share other underpinnings with both the vehicles as well. So, expect the Hilux to have the same seats as the Fortuner and even the cabin design will be pretty similar to the one found on the Fortuner. The higher variants will come with a touchscreen infotainment system will come with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that was introduced with the facelifted versions of the Innova and the Fortuner.

The engine options are also expected to be the same as the Fortuner and the Innova Crysta. The Hilux is expected to be offered only with diesel engines. The lower variants could be offered with the 2.4-litre diesel engine that produces 150 PS of max power and 360 Nm. It will be offered with only a two-wheel-drive powertrain that will be driving the rear wheels only through a 5-speed manual gearbox.

The higher variants on the other hand could get the 2.8-litre diesel engine from the Fortuner. The engine produces 204 PS of max power and 500 Nm of peak torque. It is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard.  Toyota might also offer a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox as an option and the higher variant would also be offered with a 4×4 drivetrain.

Because Hilux is a pick-up truck and will be used for towing and carrying heavy cargo in the bed, the engines would be slightly retuned. It would have shorter gearing which will help the truck in going through tricky and slippery situations. The engine should produce its peak torque in lower down the rev range. This mated to a 4×4 system helps in tackling muddy off-road situations.

All this part sharing would help in saving manufacturing costs to Toyota. This should help them in pricing the Hilux competitively in the Indian market. It could be priced slightly higher than the Isuzu V-Cross which starts at Rs. 16.98 lakhs ex-showroom and the top-end variant costs Rs. 24.49 lakhs ex-showroom.