Jeremey Clarkson, no less, once said “thank goodness there’s a small Swedish publication that still does things properly”.
He was referring to the now infamous first generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the relative ease with which it could potentially roll should the driver need to perform a sudden swerving manoeuvre.
Clarkson, like others, had believed that the A-Class was a new model worthy of the three-pointed star badge, and test drives in normal situations had done nothing to sway him or the rest of the motoring press otherwise in the A-Class’s earliest days.
In Sweden they call it the ‘moose test’ – a sudden swerve to the left or right and then back in the opposite direction to simulate the avoidance of a moose standing on the road during everyday driving.
The small publication is Teknikens Varld, and the same group of thorough testers has now exposed a similar flaw with the current Toyota HiLux.
The HiLux with 830kg in its tray (170kg less than the one tonne payload) comes close to coming a cropper during the moose test, and the Swedish mag noticed this behaviour when the pickup was tested on both 16- and 18-inch wheels.
Days later, the test was performed for a third time with 17-inch wheels used on the final occasion. Similar (but improved) results ensued, but at no stage in any of the tests did the HiLux actually roll or tip onto its side.
The test was conducted at 56 km/h on the 16s and 59 km/h on the 18-inch alloys, with test driver Oskar Kruger commenting “[the HiLux] feels like it gets way too much grip – I was totally focused on getting the car back in between the last cones and didn’t notice it until we were very close to flipping over”.
This result for the HiLux is particularly relevant for Teknikens Varld, as the mag achieved the same result in the moose test nine years ago in the previous generation HiLux.
“It’s nine years later, and this is still the basic behaviour of the Toyota HiLux,” Teknikens Varld’s Linus Projtz said. “[This] ain’t good enough, not even close.”
Toyota was quick to respond to the test, saying it was taking the results “very seriously”.
“We will take your evaluation very seriously, in the same serious way we do with the capacity for evasive manoeuvres in the development of our vehicles,” Toyota said.
The mag was testing six other pickups on the day – the Mitsubishi Triton, Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, Volkswagen Amarok, Nissan Navara and a model from RAM Trucks. All performed better than the HiLux although none were rated ‘moose test compliant’ (so to speak) at speeds above 70km/h.