The Toyota Hilux is one of the most rugged vehicles built by Toyota and it features a very versatile character. Thanks to its strong built quality, the Hilux has anything it needs to tackle the heaviest works without whining. The Hilux has a long history behind and it was especially appreciated for its bullet proof build quality and the famous Japanese reliability.
While the pickup truck’s segment is highly competitive, the Hilux has some aces hidden in its sleeve which help it to deal pretty well with its rivals. The vehicle is available with a choice of 2, 5 litre or 3.0 litre diesel engines witch develop 144 hp or 171 hp, respectively. The engines are married to manual or automatic transmissions depending on the model.
LDV isn’t known my many people but it’s a UK company specialized in manufacturing small commercial vehicles. While at the moment the company builds only the LDV Maxus LCV, in the past its lineup of products also included the Convoy which was discontinued in 2005.
The Convoy was never a huge success, but has helped the company to survive until 2008 when the production was stopped. Luckily the company was rescued in 2009 when the assets were sold by administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers to China Venture’s firm Eco Concept.
But while the vehicle was behind its competitors when it comes to build quality, comfort and power, the Convoy managed to win some adepts thanks to its generous payload capacity and the affordable price.
The market of mini trucks is pretty small and is filled with many Chinese models which don’t inspire too much confidence to buyers. Luckily, there are also other manufacturers who thought to take a stab at this segment, and one of them is Daihatsu.
Daihatsu’s experience in the mini LCV segment is pretty vast, as it started to built the first models since 1960. Thankfully, since then Daihatsu’s models were constantly upgraded and today, the most advanced small LCV in the company’s lineup is the Gran Max.
The Gran Max was launched in 2007 and is based on the old Hijet model which was received pretty well by the market. The new Gran Max has the same versatile character as its predecessor and is offered in three versions namely the van, minibus and pick up.
The Daihatsu Hijet shared the same design and underpinnings with the old generation Piaggio Porter. Unlike the Piaggio which was sold pretty poor, the Daihatsu received more attention from the buyers and it was sold in better numbers.
The vehicle is available in both panel van and chassis cab versions and despite its compact dimensions, it has a very flexible and versatile character which make ideal for a wide range of light commercial applications.
The vehicle’s payload capacity is ranging from 560 kg to 1120 kg and comes with two wheelbase lengths measuring 1810 mm and 2180 mm. The Daihatsu Hijet is powered by a 1.3 liter petrol engine which develops 64 hp and 100 nm of torque.
Today, there aren’t many mini vans around, as this segment is pretty poor represented. But despite the sluggish sales there are a few manufacturers who dare to venture in this realm.
Daihatsu plays a pretty important role in this segment as it designed two iconic models namely the Hijet and Extol. The Extol is placed above the Hijet in Daihatsu’s hierarchy as is powered by a stronger engine which develops 84hp.
The Daihatsu Extol mini LCV was available in both panel van and chassis cab versions. Due to its compact dimensions and the limited payload, the vehicle is aimed especially to small business owners such as florists, electricians or caterers. The Extol was built between 2003 and 2006 and competed against models like theSuzuki Carry and DFSK Loadhopper.
While Piaggio is mostly known for its three wheelers and scooters, the company also builds a small light commercial vehicle named the Piaggio. The Piaggio is a versatile micro-van that was engineered to go against models like the Suzuki Carry or DFSK Loadhopper and features a bulky design combined with a pretty spacious interior.
The small truck is available as a panel van, chassis cab, tipper, MPV, top-deck and pickup and is powered by a 1300 cc petrol engine which develops 65 hp. The Piaggio Porter has a payload capacity between 560 kg – 1120 kg and comes with two wheelbase lengths measuring 1810 mm and 2180 mm.
The Suzuki Carry is now out of production, but it was a pretty iconic vehicle produced between 1999 - 2005. The Carry occupied a segment of its own, as at its time there weren’t many micro-vans rolling on the UK’s streets.
The truck was offered in both van and chassis cab versions and was aimed at those looking for a commercial vehicle, with minimum costs of ownership which would also be able to carry some load at the back. The Suzuki Carry was engineered as a small working horse, designed without all the bells and whistles of its bigger siblings.
LDV is a small British company that currently builds only light commercial vehicles. The company had some hard times when it was hit by the recession and has struggled a long time to remain alive. Until recently all its models were also far behind the competition and the company’s future was heading towards a black hole.
Recently however, the story has changed and it seems like the company has finally a winner in its hands. While the new LDV Maxus still has its faults, it is by far the best LCV ever built by the company and has a huge potential to revive LDV from its ashes.
The LDV Maxus is available in a wide range of body versions including combi, van, minibus, chassis cab and van models.
Toyota has already proven its value when it comes to capable SUVs and off road vehicles. One of the off road icons of all times is the Land Cruiser which even since its inception had proved to be suited for a very wide range of arduous applications.
The Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series chassis cab is around for some time now, but despite its old age the vehicle still keeps up with the times and remains one of the most capable and reliable all road vehicles in its class.
The truck is sold mostly on the Australian market and is powered by Toyota’s intercooled V8 turbo diesel which is combined with a strong all wheel drive system.
JAC is a Chinese manufacturer that made a joint venture with Navistar International Corporation in 2010 to develop together new products and to share technologies.
The JAC light duty trucks are sold globally in three versions, being able to cope with a various range of applications thanks to their flexible character. The trucks are offered with GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) ratings ranging from 4.5 tonnes to 7.5 tonnes and there are five different wheel bases available which comprise of 2490 mm, 2800 mm, 3000 mm, 3308 mm and 3360 mm with single, one and a half and double seats.
The trucks feature a pretty rudimentary design, but they have capable towing abilities as they come with wide range of Cummins engines.
The Hino 300 Series is a light commercial duty with a highly versatile character. The truck is based on the Toyota Dyna and shares many elements with its donor.
When Hino engineered the 300 Series, its main objective was to make it as efficient as possible and thanks to the addition of the a Diesel Particulate Active Reduction System (DPR ) the result is pretty good. Besides its good efficiency, the truck also offers generous payload capacities with GVMR (gross vehicle mass rating) that can go up to 8.5 tones.
The Hino 300 Series is available with both regular and wide cab configurations and is powered by a 4.0 liter diesel engine which develops up to 155 hp.
Need a compact vehicle that can move you around with some weight at the back with a minimum investment and low costs of maintenance? Of course you do, everyone in the light commercial industry is looking for something like this. Well, you should take a closer look at the DFSK Loadhopper which does exactly that. Probably most of you never heard of it, but the DFSK Loadhopper is sold in UK and has what it needs to be able to make a compelling case for itself.
It’s main fault? It’s Chinese and this says a lot about its reliability. It’s biggest advantage? It’s priced from only $13.000 (excluding taxes) which makes it the cheapest model in its class and also comes with a standard 3 year warranty which should be able to keep you far from trouble, at least for a while. The DFSK Loadhopper continues the story of models like the Suzuki Carry and is basically a rear wheel drive micro LCV equipped with a 77hp Euro 5 (!) petrol engine.