Back in 2007, the seventh-generation Toyota Hilux pickup truck spectacularly failed the infamous “moose test” when it was assessed by Swedish magazine Teknikens Varld. At just 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour) it rode up to two wheels and came within a few degrees of rolling over. Only the driver’s quick reactions rescued the situation.
The magazine recently repeated the test with the latest Hilux, which shockingly exhibited exactly the same behaviour.
The moose test is a rapid lane change exercise consisting of a left turn followed by a right turn, mimicking an evasive maneuver around an errant ruminant.
Tackling the test at 37 mph (59.5 km/h), driver Oskar Kruger noted that the left turn felt fine, but as he turned to the right “it feels as if the car gets too much grip. I am totally focused on getting the car into the first lane again and I notice nothing until we are about to tip over. Then I countersteer and the wheels get back on the ground.”
Teknikens Varld usually conducts the moose test with pickups loaded to their full capacity. However, in this case the Hilux was only loaded with 1,830 pounds (830 kilograms) of weight, 379 lbs (179 kg) below the limit.
All of the Hilux’s main rivals have passed the test at higher speeds. The Ram 1500 and Ford Ranger passed at 40 mph (64 km/h), the Isuzu D-Max and Mitsubishi L200 at 41 mph (66 km/h) - though the latter did lift a front wheel - and the Nissan NP300 Navara and Volkswagen Amarok managed 42 mph (67 km/h).
A Hilux riding on smaller, 17-inch wheels was also put through the test, at the same speed, with the same result, albeit to a lesser extent. Teknikens Varld concludes that “something is seriously wrong with Toyota’s dynamic safety system, and the result is dependent on the tires the car is equipped with.”
Bengt Dalstrom of Toyota Sweden responded to the magazine’s conclusion: “Based on all the tests carried out during development, we are confident that the Toyota Hilux is a safe vehicle. We were surprised by the test result, and we will take your evaluation very seriously, in the same serious way we do with the capacity for evasive maneuvers in the development of our vehicles.”
Source: Teknikens Varld