New Toyota Hi-Lux - THe Growler
Interested to see HJ?s comments (Nov 22) about the new model he drove in Thailand and the introduction of a similar version to UK. It seems here in the Philippines we are definitely getting the best of the pick of the range. The 3.0 soon-to-come diesel he mentions is in our showrooms in turbo intercooler form along with the full double cab, i.e. a full 4 doors. The truck looks really something in black with black tint and I?m still hovering on the brink of buying as I posted earlier: only thing is a 10 week waiting list.

It does have twin airbags, though no ABS. Interior is a gloomy grey cloth so needs upgrading with leather throughout, that?s fairly cheap to do here, as I believe it is in TH. The sound system is excellent with radio, cassette, 6 CD changer and MP3. The size is just about right for conditions here, enough to intimidate the idiots as required but not so big as to be hard to manage and park, as was my Ford F-150.

Getting a test drive in the Philippines is a real feat (conventional wisdom would be that anyone daft enough to allow that would see the last of their vehicle, and the salesperson with it! I joke not......). However, I did manage one, along with a very anxious Toyota legs-firmly-crossed saleslady. Doubtless the hand she kept down beside ther seat firmly her clutched her mini stun-gun!

The big diesel is very quiet given what it is and pulls right off the mark, unlike (it appears) the 2.5l. I would have liked to see a 6 cyl at this capacity but couldn?t complain about the smoothness of the 3.0. True as HJ remarks the ride is a bit bouncy but since mine will have a 600lb motorbike in it a lot of the time that should damp things down a bit. A very exciting bit of kit indeed. Price (just gone up a bit) is Stg equiv 14,360 OTR inc. 3 yrs free road tax and 1000 litres of diesel.

The Isuzu D-Max gets a mention too by HJ. I tried this. Gutsy it is and they got their biggie to market ahead of Toyota, but it has that infernal Isuzu diesel rattle which makes it sound like one of our 60 years old passenger jeepneys and looks-wise it?s very bland, plus the interior appointments are inferior. I also looked at the Ford and Mitsubishi equivalents but they are a couple of years out of date now as well as being a bit agricultural. Pickups here are now valid and fashionable urban transportation and Toyota has got there first for sure.

My cellphone keeps bleating with texts from the showroom, I suppose I?ll give in eventually!

New Toyota Hi-Lux - Happy Blue!
Hi bigman - I was just thinking the other day that we had not heard from you for a while - how are you and your sweeter half?

Interesting notes about the Toyota. I saw one in Manchester last week in black. It looked huge and menacing. Handy for carting the bike around though!
Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
New Toyota Hi-Lux - THe Growler
Salamat po, sir! V. Busy-busy as the "sweeter half" is now in the throes of opening a t-shirt etc making business, so we took time off on the Harleys to visit the S. E. Asian Games and laugh at the bad-tempered Thais claiming we cheated on the Golds. Just because we were better trained....Thai visitors to PH will certainly get a hard time from Immigration for a month or so now.......

Wish I had not made yesterday's BR post. Although up-country at the moment, found myself dragged into the Toyota San Fernando showroom today by some unseen force. Yes, it will do. I think I'll have the suspension raised a notch and some heavy-duty shocks on there, then we'll need the stainless roll-bar and the (Heaven forfend!!!!) bull-bar. Black leather with grey inserts or grey with black? Better let Her Philipine-ness make that call.

Passing on this nugget resulted in a querulous "you mean you got me out of the beauty parlor to show me this? You can't get it yet anyway. We budgeted this month for the Yamaha edging machine for the workshop, remember?" Dear me, I hope she's not broody or something, more enthusiasm for my vehicular excesses is usually forthcoming.

There is another "cultural" tale on the stocks. The plot of this one has yet to run its course; when it has I'll post it up.

We now have, to my certain knowledge, but there may be more, no less than FOUR speed cameras in the Land of Sun & Fun. However, the High Court has issued a Temporary Restraining Order on their use, saying they are "unconstitutional" and the case will now go before the Supreme Court. Given the way the wheels of what passes for justice grind here, no need to watch this space. At the same time the North Expressway Traffic Police have written off 5 of the 7 BMW police pursuit bikes they ordered from Hong Kong (no ride training) and so are back to their Chinese Jangshin 150cc's or whatever they are. Since these are not fast enough to catch a snail on Mogadon, they have resorted to their old ways of parking under bridges out of the sun and smoking themselves to death or simply sleeping.

Meanwhile the weather is warm, the beer is cold and the women are beautiful......

Growler out

New Toyota Hi-Lux - Harmattan
No big deal after an F-150, and no big deal really here in West Africa where diesel is just under 50 pence a litre, but it may be worth UK buyers paying a little attention to fuel economy depending on how they use their pickups. I like the look of the one new Hi-Lux (Vigo) I've seen but had a bit of a surprise this week on a 900 km trip in a nearly new Toyota Prado with similar 3.0 turbo-diesel engine. Thrashing one of these or the Hi-Lux down to the villa in Spain in summer could be a little expensive. Driving hard on fast roads three-up at mostly around 150 kph, with double air conditioning working full blast to cope with 34 deg C outside, fuel consumption went down to about 13 MPG at one point. Even allowing for a bit of fuelling error, the overall trip was not much better than 16-17 mpg. However, I wasn't able to factor in how much fuel was used with the engine idling with aircon running while the driver waited for 3-4 hours while we went about our business.

Value my car