Toyota Hilux Fails Sweden’s Moose Test
Scary times for Hilux owners avoiding wildlife!by Mark McNabb, on
Nine years ago, Teknikens Värld tested the Toyota Hilux in Sweden’s version of the Moose Test – the agility maneuver that tests a vehicle’s stability at roughly 40 mph. The Hilux failed miserably, nearly flipping over. Well, the same is true for the 2016 Toyota Hilux, as a sharp turn put the truck on two wheels.
The test is used to demonstrate a vehicle’s stability during an emergency maneuver typical of what a driver would instinctively do to avoid a moose. The Hilux’ competitors handled the test with ease, showing the test can be easily passed by other high-riding pickups. The testing regiment included the Ram 1500, Nissan Navara, Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, and Mitsubishi L200.
As Teknikens Värld points out, this tendency to roll is not safe. It is also surprising Toyota has not addressed this concern with advancements in roll stability control software and suspension tuning. Interestingly enough, the Hilux fitted with 17-inch wheels performed better than the truck with 18-inch wheels. It’s pointed out that the 17-inch wheels were wrapped in less-grippy tires, which helped stop the truck from tipping.
These tests were conducted with the trucks loaded to the manufactures stated limits. While the Hilux is capable of hauling 2,209 pounds in its bed, the truck was only loaded with 1,830 pounds as apparently TV ran out of weights. We’re thinking that was a good thing.
Bengt Dalström, Toyota Sweden’s General Manager of External Affairs/PR, provided an official response to TV’s testing, saying, “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. Hilux has been repeatedly tested according to the ISO 3888 standard for evasive maneuver tests during the development of the model and then it passed the tests successfully.”
Hopefully Toyota is pushed to solve the issue with its Hilux. Thankfully Toyota customers in the U.S. don’t have to worry since we’ve got the Tacoma pickup. This is perhaps the only time we’ve been happy about that.
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Why It Matters
The infamous Moose Test has claimed many a victim over the years. The Jeep Grand Cherokee comes to mind first, actually haven flipped over during the test. The Hilux and its passengers were thankfully spared that fate, though it was some quick-thinking counter steering that saved the day.
Pickups aren’t sports cars – yes – but they also need to handle better than a bucket of water. Drivers can’t predict a moose darting out into traffic, so vehicles have to be ready to accept drastic inputs from the driver. The other trucks fared moderately well in the test, most just safety understeering. A rollover isn’t any better than hitting a moose, so understeer is definitely the better alternative.
Read our full review on the 2016 Toyota Hilux here.