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While Toyota has finally launched the much-awaited Hilux pickup SUV in India, and many dealerships witnessed an overwhelming response to the pickup SUV, Toyota was not able to sell one unit of Hilux pickup SUV in the state of Kerala.
Though Kerala is home to some very tastefully modified vehicles in the country, rules are very strictly followed in this state, especially by the Kerala Motor Vehicle Department. Sometimes, many may feel that some of the rules and restrictions are a bit too unnecessary, and the Kerala MVD is going a bit overboard with their implementation of rules.
In India, registering pickup trucks as private vehicles is not encouraged at all, especially if the payload capacity is rated above 1 Tonne. This is one of the reasons why we do not see many private registered Mahindra Bolero Camper pickup SUVs on the Indian roads.
However, it must also be noted that the Isuzu V-Cross pickup SUV can be registered as a private vehicle in Kerala, and the Japanese automaker has sold many units of the pickup SUV in the state despite the model being a direct competitor to the Toyota Hilux pickup SUV.
While it may seem like the Kerala MVD is in the "favour" of Isuzu, in reality, Isuzu played it really smart with the rules by undervaluing the deck carrying capacity as 215kg. As such, the Isuzu V-Cross can now be registered as a private vehicle without any fuss.
Coming back to the Toyota Hilux pickup SUV and Kerala MVD, this particular issue with the registration of the model in Kerala was highlighted in a YouTube channel by the name Talking Cars, where the presenters mentioned the problem at the end of the video.
Speaking about the Toyota Hilux pickup SUV, bookings for the model have been stopped temporarily citing high demand. Moreover, prices for the Toyota Hilux pickup SUV starts from Rs 33.99 lakh (ex-showroom, India) for the base 'STD' variant with the manual transmission, whereas the top-spec 'High' variant with automatic gearbox is priced at Rs 36.80 lakh (ex-showroom, India).
The Toyota Hilux is powered by the same tried-and-tested, 2.8-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine from the Toyota Fortuner. This engine produces 201bhp of peak power and 500Nm of peak torque. In addition to that, this engine can be optioned with either a 6-speed automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual transmission. It is also worth mentioning that the peak torque is limited to just 420Nm in the manual variant of the pick-up SUV.
Speaking about the drivetrain, the Toyota Hilux features a robust 4WD system that comes with a low-range transfer case, electronic differential locks and a limited-slip differential for improved off-road ability. Whereas other features on the pickup SUV include a large 8.0-inch infotainment unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, second-row AC vents, TFT multi-function display, UV cut glass, steering mounted controls, a dual-zone climate control system, electrochromic mirrors, and many more.
One of the biggest talking points of the new Toyota Hilux pick-up SUV is its size as the model is longer than both the Innova Crysta MPV and the Fortuner SUV. Apart from that, the new Toyota Hilux pick-up SUV also comes with a substantially longer wheelbase at 3,085mm, which is 335mm longer than the Toyota Innova Crysta's and 340mm longer than the Toyota Fortuner's wheelbase.
Coupled with the large exterior dimensions, the new Toyota Hilux looks even bolder with its large hexagonal front grille and swept-back headlamps with stylish LED DRLs. In addition to that, the ruggedness is carried to the sides of the new Toyota Hilux with its large flared wheel arches, chunky black claddings and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Thoughts About The Toyota Hilux Pickup SUV
Despite its tall asking price, the Toyota Hilux seems to have clicked with the Indian audience, however, we are not sure when the Japanese automaker will re-open the bookings for the pickup SUV.