The Hilux is one of the most iconic vehicles when you think of a pickup truck, with its exemption in the TRAIN TAX law, this category has been significantly growing among above earners as a multi-purpose vehicle because of its functionality and movability.

One variant to address this is the Hilux Conquest, the high-end variant of the Hilux line that is designed to be capable in moving work and even style when going out. We recently got to try out one due to our move out from the old HG studio, to the bigger HG studio. We required a pickup truck to remove some items and move large objects from the studio and fortunately the Hilux made it a lot easier.

External

The Hilux Conquest unit we reviewed is the Nebula Blue Metallic in color, exclusively available for the Conquests variants. Honestly, it’s a color that not a lot choose, but makes it stand our similar to my personal car nash (Yes it has a name).

Additionally, Toyota opted to add some TRD kits as an additional flare to the marketing unit. But the one they are selling will be the original conquest look, will provide a reference photo below. Honestly, we feel the red TRD touches as it adds flair to the standout nebula blue already but it might be a preference as well.

Moving forward the Hilux Conquest is definitely a looker, it has stronger grills with side skirts more prominent as compared to the regular Hilux. Additionally, the nack has additional support beams for stability and oversized cargo fitting.

At the tailgate is a big conquest branding indication its a different variant. While this is oddly weird for minimalist car enthusiasts, seems for a special variant this is fair especially in pickup trucks.

The wheels are 18″ 265 / 65 made in an alloy, the rims have a special two-tone black/silver finish as compared to the regular silver only with a less dynamic look. Along the fenders are additional polycarbonate panels to add style through an industrial screw placement as well. They even have angular finishes similar to a shark’s fin for a stronger image.

Side mirrors are also automatic folding with included light indicators, we personally love the automatic folding functionality as it’s just a must feature aside from auto-lock.

The back is pretty standard with the same materials as the low variant Hilux.

Interior

One the inside is similar to the interior setup this lineup of Toyota, the familiar piano style and faux leather plastic dashboard.

The steering wheel is wrapped in leather that is rugged and nice to touch. While the navigation buttons for the left side have we head unit controls like volume and calls and the right for the center dashboard control for the measurements like mileage, trip management and more.

Head unit is basic with navigation and Bluetooth included, also single touch with no fluid multi-touch interface. We would have liked to have it compatible with Apple Car Play or Android Play at this time since its already complete with multiple USB ports.

The aircon controls along with the dial system for the four-wheel drive system is simple enough to understand, along with the LED indicator panels that might be just enough as a Totoya.

Switches on the window are finished with a piano black plastic frame, everything is visible with LED indicators but slightly positioned backward making me always open the back row windows when paying for parking.

Overall materials used in the dash area is fairly ok, no special thouch like leather stitches found in competitors. But this is still better than the interior of the Chevrolet Colorado in our opinion.

Driving Experience

One of the main reason for our Hilux experience is the transfer of our studio. We carried over more than 3 trips of used woods from the renovated ancestral house we have. This is a great way to transfer the old junk and enter new items into the house.

So we transferred old materials such as ceiling panels and much more for disposal. Fortunately, the Hilux can simply handle these payloads easily.

Moving with a full load required me to use the H4 option for better grip due to its even distribution of the front and rear differentials. Especially that we went to Cainta and traversing through some rough road to offload our payload of old scaps.

Though we weren’t able to utilize the L4 for more challenging paths, the H4 was more than enough additional torque in the wheels for managing the heavyweight.

We had an opportunity to drive one night to Tagaytay, for a 65km trip just to eat at Leslie’s we enjoyed the trip with its smooth engine and transmission.

The 2.8L Diesel 4-Cylinder engine is powerful enough for regular driving and casual payload lifting, we don’t think there is a need for higher engine capacity. There is also a lower variant of 2.4L within the Conquest lineup and major torque difference is around 50Mn/rpm.

There is an option to use the ECO Mode which let us achieve around 10.7km per liter mileage and maintain the RPM from 1,800 to 2,500. While Removing the ECO mode let us achieve easy 2,000 RPM to 4,000 RPM without stepping too much on the gas.

Overall, its a nice drive especially via SLEX with the ECO mode on but I’m the driver that likes to maneuver better in overtaking and thus we just turned the ECO mode off especially from Laguna exit to Tagaytay where overtaking is more frequent.

There is also an active head up display that projects the current speed and even indicators for the door. Which is ideal for us as this is a feature nifty to avoid looking at the current indicator speed especially when driving.

No cruise control in the unit unfortunately, we thought a unit this high would have one as standard. It would have been nice considering the similarly priced competitors all have cruise control already.

While there is the Tiptronic mode for the transmission, the automatic mode is sufficient enough to switch gears when needed. We think you’ll only use the manual mode when climbing hills or when in the mood to drive with more control.

Regular headlights are LED already but strangely the beam headlights are still warm in color. Daytime running lights are also present for added indicators and flare to the look.

Overall engine noise inside is similar to driving a Fortuner where is less noisy unlike a diesel variant of an Innova. Driving a pickup shouldn’t be really more comfort towards like an MPV, so we think this is just right especially for the image the conquest projects.

Comfort & Convenience

When it comes to electronics, the Hilux conquest has two USB ports and two AC car adapters for all your needs.

Along with dedicated cup holders on the front and back passengers.

A pre-installed dashcam is already installed, we appreciate this gesture as you don’t need any dangling wires to install and it’s nice in low light as well.

Air conditioning is easy to understand and very comfortable, despite our test unit doesn’t have tints, it’s able to withstand the hot summer sun easily.

All seat arrangements are done manually, no automatic controls here unlike high-end competitors of the Hilux. We think even the driver side should have it as standard, but overall its not of a big deal.

Seats are made of standard car matte fabric similar to our Toyota Innova and even to the Fortuner. You can always just install a leather seating if you want, but its something we don’t recommend with a non-tinted vehicle due to sweating problems.

Legroom is ample even at the back, though people with height more than 5″8 will have some challenge in the ceiling height, this happened with my dad as he is 5″10 and was very conscious already of his hair touching the ceiling. 

Head Unit & Sound System

The default head unit is pretty standard in sound quality, fortunately, the package includes even tweeters unlike with some car manufacturers like Honda sacrificing on their clients. Overall sound quality is ample and loud, there are some equalizer settings to vamp up the treble and bass and we suggest you do this for the best experience.

Now, this won’t blow you away with anything in terms of the audio department, I should say that electronic music is sufficient while pop music is more favored due to lyrics.

As for other modes in the head unit like navigation, its fairly accurate but lacks traffic and even proper search navigation. It really pays to have apple Carplay or android auto for navigation like with the Ford Ranger Wildtrak.

Conclusion

Experiencing various pickup trucks over the past 2 years have given me a better perspective of what are the advantages of Toyota, Ford and even Chevrolet. For me, the Hilux Conquest is simply the most balanced pickup among three, it offers not the best package in every department but its overall looks, performance, and offering is already the base standard of what should a pick-up be like.

If you’re the corporate / weekend warrior type of executive, the Conquest can fulfill your needs. We just advise you to upgrade the head unit and its ok already. It’s a tough competition indeed in the pickup space, but we think the Toyota Conquest has a following despite its some shortcomings.

Pricing of the regular Hilux variant starts at Php929,000 and you can check out more details here.  While the Conquest starts at Php1,342,000 and you can check more details here.  

  • Toyota Hilux Conquest 2.4 G DSL 4×2 MT – Php1,342,000
  • Toyota Hilux Conquest 2.4 G DSL 4×2 AT – Php1,417,000
  • Toyota Hilux Conquest 2.8 G DSL 4×4 MT – Php1,652,000
  • Toyota Hilux Conquest 2.8 G DSL 4×4 AT – Php1,782,000

Advantages

  • Great Handling and Smooth Performance
  • Stand out color options
  • Efficient fuel economy
  • Included Dashcam out of the package
  • Spacious interior as compared to competitors.

Disadvantages

  • No Cruise Control for its price range
  • No Reverse Camera for its price range
  • Basic Head Unit (No Android Auto / Apple Carplay)
  • Materials used in the dash area isn’t really premium

 

 

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