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Taking over by force

Toyota Hilux Conquest

Published

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Once strictly workhorses, pickups are now vogue these days. You can use them as a workhorse for your business and then use the same vehicle to show off in the city.  Car makers are finding great ways to make them even more appealing to customers who might be in the market for their first or next vehicle.

Earlier this year, Toyota came out with a new Hilux variant called the Conquest, and it’s easily the best looking pickup on the market at this time. Emblazoned with the word ‘Conquest’ on the tailgate, the Hilux aims to assume control of a place by force.

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An ambitious name? The ubiquitous Hilux is found all over the world and on both sides of any conflict. Whether in war or peace time, it has proven itself over and over, decade after decade.

History lesson aside, let’s take a closer look at what is probably the best dressed Hilux 2.8 G 4×4 to roll out of the factory.

Exterior

The Conquest has a new front end, which sets it apart from the other Hilux variants.  It has a more aggressive-looking grille and a gaping air dam on the lower half of its sportier bumper, which has given it a more macho jawline than regular Hiluxes.

It has automatic LED headlights with DRL’s and its Nebula Blue paintjob is an eyecatcher.  There’s the Conquest sticker on the back, declaring to all that this is no ordinary pickup.  It comes with a bedliner for its rear end and “sports bars” to add to its conquering looks.

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Inside

Its dark interior does away with any “family vehicle” feels, giving it a serious ambiance that’s all business, and at the same time reduces glare to make it easier on the eyes even at high noon.  The brushed aluminum trim has been done away with, replaced with glossy piano black. There’s dark seat fabric with contrasting stitching.  It even has the convenient push-start engine ignition and a new entertainment system with navigation.

Powerplant

Under the hood is the turbocharged four-cylinder 2.8L diesel engine putting out 174-Ps at 3,400 rpm with 450-Nm of torque between 1,600-2,400 rpm. This is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with 4WD.

The drivetrain has three power modes, accessible by buttons near the shift lever.  Normal drive mode is the default when starting without pressing any of the buttons. Eco mode retards acceleration a bit, coercing its gears shift up as soon as possible, enabling better economy. Power mode has better acceleration and allows the engine to rev higher before shifting up.

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The Hilux has one of the firmer rides in the local pickup category, but then you’ll need that if you use it for its payload capacity.  A firm ride also comes in handy on twisting roads, lessening body roll.

Power on tap is good and even with load in the rear, there’s more than enough torque to get you moving.  This is the truck for you if you your vehicle does double duty as a workhorse and daily driver.

The Hilux Conquest is both form and function, looking the part and capable of doing it, while looking good at the same time. Priced at P1.777M, it’s near the high end of the price spectrum, but you know this is a bullet proof pickup that could easily become a family heirloom, passed down to your kids and could unsurprisingly still be running many generations later.

Yes, the Hilux has conquered a lot of the world already and could be what you need to conquer your part of the world.

Text and photos by Neil Pagulayan 

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