Toyota, renowned for its robust and versatile utility vehicles, has recently introduced the HiLux Champ in Thailand, a new iteration in its esteemed lineup of utility vehicles. This move marks a significant shift towards providing a more affordable, no-frills utility vehicle tailored for the Asian market.
Starting at a competitive price of 459,000 baht (approximately AUD $19,300), the HiLux Champ stands out as an economical option compared to its more feature-rich counterparts in the HiLux range. The lowest-priced model in the standard HiLux line is pegged at 564,000 baht (about AUD $24,300) in Thailand, highlighting the Champ's affordability.
The HiLux Champ is designed to be practical and straightforward. It is available in both standard (2750mm) and long wheelbase (3085mm) versions, catering to various needs. The vehicle's overall length spans from 4970mm to 5300mm, depending on the wheelbase. Despite sharing its wheelbase options with the regular HiLux, it is slightly narrower at 1785mm in width and stands 1735mm tall.
In terms of design, the Champ adopts a minimalist approach. The exterior features include a black grille, bumpers, mirrors, and door handles, with only four paint options available. The focus on cost-cutting is evident in its simple yet functional design. The interior follows a similar theme with basic features like halogen headlights, manual window winders, vinyl seats, and a simplified instrumentation panel.
Powering the HiLux Champ are three engine options: two petrol variants (a 102kW/183Nm 2.0-litre and a 122kW/245Nm 2.7-litre) and a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine delivering 110kW and 400Nm. The vehicle comes with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, and all models are rear-wheel drive.
Safety features of the HiLux Champ include driver and passenger airbags, ABS, EBD, seat belt pretensioners, and side intrusion beams, ensuring basic safety standards are met.
The HiLux Champ's versatility is further enhanced by its customizable rear, suitable for various conversions like vans, campers, food trucks, and pop-up stalls. This feature makes it an appealing option for both commercial and recreational use.
Despite its potential, Toyota has not confirmed the availability of the HiLux Champ outside of Thailand or other Southeast Asian markets. Toyota's sales and marketing representatives have indicated that the Champ is not currently intended for Australian requirements, maintaining that their existing HiLux lineup suffices for the Australian market.
The introduction of the HiLux Champ represents Toyota's commitment to diversifying its offerings, catering to different market needs and preferences. While it may not be destined for Australian shores yet, its presence in the Asian market underscores Toyota's adaptability and responsiveness to varying consumer demands in the global automotive landscape.
What are your thoughts on the Toyota HiLux Champ? Share your views in the comments below!
Jacob Brooke, a respected voice in the world of automotive journalism, brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to his reviews at CarSauce. His keen eye for detail and passion for all things cars shine through in his in-depth analysis and honest evaluations of the latest models of cars. Join him as he guides readers through the car-buying process and explores the exciting world of motoring.