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Monday, April 25, 2022

Review: 2022 Toyota Hilux Conquest 4x4


Without a doubt, Toyota’s been pouring over the spreadsheets, and in recent years they’ve made grim reading for the Hilux. Once the undisputed leader in the pickup segment regardless of powertrain combination, its sales, particularly in the high margin 4x4 segment, have been eaten into by the likes of the Ford Ranger and the Nissan Navara. Its competition, aimed at wooing lifestyle enthusiasts as much as farmers and construction workers, have been driven by all things SUV. So, what’s Toyota to do? Come up with the Hilux Conquest.

Now, this isn’t the first time Toyota’s done a high-spec Hilux. The first Hilux Conquest came out in 2018, but to be frank, it didn’t feel high-spec at all. Sure, it got a Tacoma-inspired front-end and some LED-powered dazzlers, but that was it. Even the tailgate graphic felt like it belonged in George of the Jungle rather than on a pickup truck that you’d take seriously. Skip three years, and this is Toyota’s reaction to the trend for people desiring high-spec, well-kitted pickup trucks with powerful engines.



Updated last 2021, the Hilux Conquest is now far more differentiated from the G variant positioned just below it. Not only does it get unique lighting elements, but the entire front-end’s now changed with a different grille and bumper. Even better, it gets painted fender flares, some decent-looking graphics on the side, and a sports bar on the bed. Overall, the visual effect works well in communicating that this variant is the top-dog in the Hilux line. Having said that, there’s one small problem. The badge placement at the back is an eyesore—the words, “Toyota,” “Hilux,” and “V” don’t align in anyway. You’d actually think every Hilux Conquest figured in an accident and whoever repaired it didn’t know where the badges go; even if that’s actually how they rolled off the assembly line.

Inside, the Hilux Conquest still can’t shake off its utilitarian roots, but overall, it’s a decent place to be in. Hard plastics is the order of the day, even if Toyota tried to mask it by masquerading it as metallic accents or glossy piano black trim. Everything feels well screwed together, and the switches and controls all operate with precision. If there’s one shortcoming it’s that Toyota still opted to omit leather except for the one on the steering wheel.



The revised instrument cluster also includes more functionalities such as a digital speedometer and a steering angle display. The former is great, especially if you happen to drive on expressways on a regular basis, but the latter isn’t well-executed. The display only shows full turn, half turn, and straight—it’s not as helpful on an off-road trail as you’d think.

One welcome improvement surrounds its infotainment system. The new 8-inch system comes with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system can still feel laggy at times, but at least it’s easy enough to understand. Besides, the introduction of smartphone mirroring, at this point, is proving to be invaluable. Weirdly enough, the Hilux Conquest may come with two power points located on the lower dash, but there’s only one USB port. So, best to bring one of those 12-volt USB chargers just in case everyone aboard wants to juice their devices up.



As with any other pickup truck, interior space is limited. That said, the single-action 60/40 split-folding rear seat adds a dose of flexibility. The system allows the seat cushion to fold up, perfect for loading tall stuff without soiling the back seat like wet grocery or plants. There are under seat cubby holes too to store loose items as well as the tools and jack.

Now, despite all this talk about SUV-ifying the pickup truck experience, the Hilux still pretty much drives like one. There’s only so much that could be done given that the basic ingredients—leaf springs at the back, a tall ride height, and a weight distribution of a lonely see-saw—are all common across trucks of this shape and size. However, kudos to Toyota for actually managing to do some suspension work to make it more settled down, even if the rear-end’s unladen.



Because it’s designed to deal with huge weights in its bed, the Hilux is bouncy over rough roads and speed bumps, although compared to its competition, it does far better now. It still can’t match the coil-sprung Navara and Ranger Raptor, but it’s now close to the Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50. Take note though that it still doesn’t do well when it comes to tight turns. Its turning radius is among the biggest in the business, so it doesn’t play that well with U-turn slots. Thankfully, the hydraulic power steering isn’t so heavy.

Off-road, the Hilux Conquest should be virtually unstoppable. If the selectable four-wheel drive with high- and low-range aren’t enough, there’s even a switchable rear differential lock to help get it out of really sticky situations. There’s also hill descent control (Downhill Assist Control in Toyota terms). It also has more ground clearance, and has a better approach angle than most other pickup trucks, so rocky surfaces don’t pose a challenge. However, it can’t wade as deep since its maximum fording depth—700 mm—falls short against the class leaders.



The 2.8-liter engine in the Hilux Conquest gets a massive dose of updates headlined by a larger turbocharger and increased pressure in its common rail system. It now boasts of 204 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque—figures you surely feel thanks to plenty of low-down shove. Plus, there’s no need to hear the decidedly agricultural soundtrack as the engine rarely needs to be pushed. Good pace is achieved even with light taps of the throttle giving this pickup truck a sense of quietness and refinement aboard the cabin.

The accompanying six-speed automatic is well-matched to the engine as well with the right ratio always selected at the right time. Fuel economy is also respectable, hitting 10.75 km/L, though that’s at an average speed of 23 km/h. There are selectable drive modes located to the left of the shifter too, but it’s best to keep things in Eco or Normal. In Power mode, it’s a bit too rough.



The Toyota Hilux is a famously dependable beat of burden, and is still one of the most capable pickup trucks available. Typically, it’s marketed as an unpretentious workhorse relying on unseen, yet important traits of QDR—Quality, Durability, and Reliability. It’s built its reputation around QDR that it’s often joked that it can survive a nuclear war. The arrival of the Hilux Conquest though means you no longer feel like you’re hiding in the bunker. It manages to round off some of the rougher edges without alienating its core following.

2022 Toyota Hilux Conquest 2.8 4x4

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Ownership 2022 Toyota Hilux Conquest 2.8 4x4
Year Introduced 2015 (Refreshed: 2022)
Vehicle Classification Pick-up Truck
Warranty 3 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type 5-door pickup truck
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/4WD, Low, Locking
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.8
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Common Rail
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 204 @ 3,400
Nm @ rpm 500 @ 1,600-2,800-
Fuel / Min. Octane Diesel
Transmission 6 AT
Cruise Control Yes
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 10.75 @ 23 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 5,325
Width (mm) 1,900
Height (mm) 1,845
Wheelbase (mm) 3,085
Curb Weight (kg) 2,110
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, Double Wishbone
Rear Suspension Leaf Spring
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Parking Brake Manual
Tires Bridgestone Dueler H/T 684 II 265/60 R 18 H (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 7
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear
Parking Camera Yes, Rear (as tested)
Yes, 360-degree (as standard)
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR with pre-tensioner x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Start Assist
Hill Descent Control
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Front (LED)
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Tailgate Manual
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) 6-way, Manual
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) 4-way, Manual
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat 60/40
Sunroof No
Trip Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Rear View Mirror Day/Night (as tested)
Auto-dimming (as standard)
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Yes (as tested)
Dual (as standard)
Audio System Stereo
USB
Bluetooth
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes

13 comments:

  1. Sir Uly, though that in the spec sheet of the particular Hilux Conquest you've reviewed didn't have a dual-zone AC system, 360-camera system, and auto-dimming rear view mirror. But a small update last year gained these aforementioned features for the 2022 model year. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for mentioning that. The spec sheet as been updated to reflect them.

      Delete
  2. Is the Hilux still the most durable pickup truck, or the others have already caught up?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just when nissan released a mid grade 4x4 ve mt, toyota ditched the g grade 4x4.. i also don't get it as to why toyota can't equip the all conquests with 2.8 engine as standard regardless if it's 4x4 or 4x2 and just stick that 2.4 to g grade and below. A 4x4 ve mt is even cheaper than a 4x2 conquest mt and ve's more equipped with features or even 4x4 gls mt strada with discount promos everywhere for that matter.

    ReplyDelete
  4. third world platform for third world countries. Why do we tolerate vehicles with archaic suspension set-ups. Sa sobrang tagtag ng picku-up masusuka ka after every ride.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. matagtag. but you gotta remember:

      1. not everyone is a city dweller like you
      2. you live in a 3rd world country

      Delete
    2. @kimiraikz Jeez you do realize that for most part the Hilux is sold globally yea, and leaf springs handle higher loads with less deflection. Whining about the comfort of a utilitarian vehicle lol what a joker.

      Delete
  5. Tama po ba na ang coil springs na nasa Navara results to better ride comfort pero hindi kasing tibay ng leaf springs na nasa Hilux at other pickup trucks?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are more parts in a coil spring for sure, so it may be more costly when it comes to service. In terms of durability, it should be more or less the same.

      Delete
  6. For that exorbitant price they're asking (for an old IMV platform) they should have at least put Toyota Safety Sense on it.

    And wait, until you see the GR-S Hilux. Makes me think what Toyota 's smoking, with their asking prices.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You’re still forgiving with your review Sir Uly. At that price, there’s still no rear AC vents and Toyota Safety sense 😂

    ReplyDelete
  8. ISIS terrorist prefer it for its reliability, durability n ease of maintenance. Indestructible they say

    ReplyDelete

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