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November 11, 2019

Toyota's Hilux-Based Modern PUV Looks Odd, But is Affordable

Toyota Motor Philippines has now entered the government’s PUV Modernization program with this Hilux-based 12-seater offering. Admittedly, the proportions are odd, given the low driver cabin and tall passenger compartment, but at P 998,000, it’s one affordably-priced Modern PUV.

Backed by Toyota’s penchant for making durable and reliable vehicles, it should fast track the roll out of Modern PUVs, particularly the Class 1 where this Hilux PUV competes in.

As Class 1 modern PUV, the Toyota Hilux prototype has smaller dimensions and passenger capacity (12-seater maximum), and can be considered as the ideal PUV type to service inner city, municipality or barangay/secondary routes, which are currently being served by 10-seater multi-cabs.

It should be noted that under the government’s PUVMP, there are actually 3 classes of public utility vehicles: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3:
  • Class 1 are 9 to 12 seater PUVs, good for narrow barangay, municipal or provincial roads. Its size and price range makes it a better alternative in areas with lower transport demand.
  • Class 2 and 3 (maximum 23 passenger seating capacity) are the current ones being eyed as replacement to the jeepney, except in seating arrangement where Class 2 has the regular jeepney seating, but with ceiling height that will let average Filipinos stand in the middle. Class 2 are made for moving people around the city with quick to board, quick to exit functions.
  • Class 3, on the other hand, are front facing variants. These units are the required replacement for all UV Express. Good for point-to-point routes because of its more relaxed seating arrangement. Even though its layout is front facing, the vehicles are required to maintain an aisle in the middle and its width is also being measured.

Despite its small stature, the Hilux is categorized as Class 1 and has all the required features of a modern PUV including dashcams, CCTVs, WiFi, and an automated fare collection system. It’s also fully air conditioned, and PWD-friendly. Additionally, it passes the Philippine National Standard (PNS) requirements for minimum step heights, door widths, seat heights and widths, and ceiling heights, aisle, and gangway widths.

Powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine, the Hilux Class 1 Modern PUV makes a healthy 147 horsepower and 343 Nm of torque coupled to a 5-speed manual. And with an 80-liter fuel tank, it should mean less fuel stops, too.


  1. would this be stable in crosswinds or even at (moderate) speed? the back seems so flimsy due to the height


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