Would you buy a premium pickup truck in India? Hilux vs V-Cross

I just love pick-up trucks and their presence, ride quality be damned. Yes it’s not a practical car unless you’ve huge cargo like farm produce etc to be hauled.

BHPian Aditya recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Would you buy a premium pickup truck in India? Toyota Hilux vs Isuzu V-Cross:

Toyota Hilux:

What you’ll like:

  • Macho styling & incredible street presence. Turns heads wherever it goes.
  • Tough build. Toyota body-on-frame UVs are known to have very long lives.
  • Proven and powerful 2.8L diesel engine with user-selectable driving modes.
  • Impressive offroad capability and proper 4×4 system with low range transfer case, limited slip differential, electronic differential lock, hill assist control (up/down) and tyre angle monitor. Water wading depth = 700 mm.
  • Excellent cargo capacity makes it a talented work truck.
  • Loaded with features like auto LED headlamps, heat rejection glass, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, 220V AC socket, etc.
  • Top-notch safety kit includes 7 airbags, ESP, TC, hill assist, ISOFIX & 3-point seatbelts for all. 5 star ASEAN NCAP rating.
  • Toyota’s excellent after-sales quality, fuss-free ownership experiences, low service costs & up to 5 years of extended warranty coverage.

What you won’t:

  • Sheer length (longer than even the Fortuner), heavy steering & large turning radius make it cumbersome in the city.
  • Bumpy ride quality, especially at the rear (due to leaf springs).
  • Expensive! Its closest rival – Isuzu V-Cross – is substantially cheaper.
  • Cost-cutting in a couple of areas; some interior plastics, ICE audio quality, camera display…
  • Uncomfortable rear seats with limited rear legroom.
  • The same money can buy you a proper 7-seater SUV.
  • Missing features such as TPMS, 360-degree camera, ventilated seats, rain-sensing wipers, seat lumbar adjustment, paddle shifters like the Fortuner etc.
  • No petrol engine (Fortuner offers one) for customers from Delhi-NCR, or those with low running.

Link to Review

Isuzu V-Cross:

What you’ll like:

  • Macho styling & incredible street presence. Turns heads wherever it goes.
  • Very solid, very robust. Build quality is the best among pickups in India.
  • Practical 1.9L diesel engine. Good driveability too.
  • Proper 4×4 system with low range transfer case. Ground clearance = 225 mm.
  • Excellent cargo capacity makes it a talented work truck.
  • User-friendly cabin can easily accommodate 5 adults. Rear legroom is sufficient.

What you won’t:

  • Sheer length, heavy steering & 6.3m turning radius make it cumbersome in the city.
  • Bumpy ride quality, especially at the rear (due to leaf springs).
  • Isuzu’s wafer-thin dealership network.
  • Heavy kerb weight, long wheelbase & rear overhang limit its offroad credentials.
  • The same $$$ can buy you a proper 7-seater SUV.

Link to Review

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

I love pickup trucks, but I would never buy them in India.

For one, I don’t lug around stuff at all (labour is cheap in India), so I don’t want to waste all the real estate of that big bed. Second, for 4×4, I much prefer cars like the Thar, Gurkha, XUV700 & Scorpio-N. These are more my style, especially the Thar & Gurkha. The pickup trucks in India are also too bumpy, too expensive in India, cumbersome to drive and suffer from image issues (e.g. commercial operator).

On the other hand, I would totally consider a high-end pickup truck in the USA. They are supremely comfortable, spacious, have all luxury amenities, get big engines and look absolutely fantastic. Something like the F150 Raptor, I’d buy over a Wrangler in the USA. Even the F150 Electric is so tempting.

Here’s what BHPian GhostGrid had to say on the matter:


I’ve had my eye on an Isuzu V-Cross for many years, but I couldn’t afford it because the price is so high and my needs are so limited. I am not sure when I will buy one, but I will definitely buy one in the future.

Now the question is: why? Well, it may sound childish, but there are some dreams that you can never get rid of, no matter how grown up you become.

I am a huge Hollywood fan, and in 1999 I watched a movie called Twister, where they showed a “1995 Dodge Ram 2500.” Since then, I have told myself that no matter what, I will buy something like that. When I first saw the Isuzu V-Cross, it just hit me then and there. I like the Toyota one as well, but I would prefer the Isuzu if given the chance.

However, if we leave the desires behind, then a pickup truck is not the ideal option to go with in our country.

Here’s what BHPian Bibendum90949 had to say on the matter:

If I had 43 big ones lying around, I would’ve picked up a Hilux AT by now . I just love pick-up trucks and their presence, ride quality be damned. Yes it’s not a practical car unless you’ve huge cargo like farm produce etc to be hauled. It’s a dream, may be some day ! Here’s a picture of one owned by a friend:

Here’s what BHPian BlackPearl had to say on the matter:

I have been a pick-up fan from the Tata Telcoline 4×4 days and dreamt of buying it. But by the time I had the money to get one they had come out with the Tata Xenon. Xenon looked nice but not as good as the TL.

When Isuzu launched the V-Cross, I was sure that I would get one. Test drove the V-Cross several times and had almost finalised it, but one thing or other came in the way.

When I shifted to the UK I still had the inclination towards pick-ups and had thought of getting the Isuzu Arctic Truck or the Hilux Arctic Truck versions. I did not like the stock Hilux as it looks quite boring and it struggled horribly in one of our greenlaning trips. However last to last week we did one trip and a black Hilux Arctic Truck joined us. It looked terrific. Problem is that Artic Trucks come with automatic gearboxes only. Let’s see what happens, for now posting a couple of pictures of the Hilux AT 35:

Here’s what BHPian SNA411 had to say on the matter:

Isuzu any day.

The Hilux doesn’t justify the price differential over the V-Cross.

  • D-Max V-Cross Z 4×4 MT = 27.65 Lakhs on-road Punjab
  • Toyota Hilux STD 4X4 MT = 35.77 Lakh on-road Punjab

Is the Hilux worth the 8 lakhs more? No way.

3 Lakhs more? Maybe.

The Isuzu has proven to be, and remains a very well respected, and capable vehicle in J&K, Himachal, Punjab, Haryana, and even Rajasthan to a cetain extent.

Here’s what BHPian roddam31 had to say on the matter:

Since my days in the U.S.A I have always liked trucks, but didn’t buy one due to lack of utility. I have moved back to India a few years ago, and having taken a break from corporate job I started a sustainable lifestyle company of mine own. I feel pickup trucks can really help me in my day to day activities ferrying things between my factory in East Bangalore and my store in central Bangalore. Not just that, I potentially see the pickup truck with a bit of mods helping me take things to my coffee estate and back.

I showed an interest to buy V-Cross MT 4×4 to local Isuzu dealer in Bangalore around early March 2023. Since BS6 S1 dmaxs will need to be sold/registered before March 31st, I was adamant with my ₹₹ offer to buy at. By mid March all MTs were sold out, but I was adamant and I conveyed to them that even AT is ok as long as I get the same discount and freebies that I had asked for. On March 29th, they lost patience and gave in.

Now I drive a silver V-Cross AT 4×4. Since my FIL is a car enthusiast who collects vintage and modern cars, I was privileged enough to drive them whenever I go out of town. I like the V-Cross on the highways way better than the Thar. In the city as Iong as I am heading to a place where there is parking V-Cross size doesn’t bother me at all in the traffic. I have been driving an Ecosport for 10 years now and it’s going strong. I know I can fall back on it whenever I need to. This was my small checklist I figured worked for me:

  • A city car all the time at your disposal.
  • You frequently haul something that doesn’t fit in your car.
  • Don’t mind driving a big car in the city.
  • Serious overlander.
  • Have parking available in your apt/house.
  • Freaking crazy about trucks.
  • You would like to frequently chop change how your car looks – I feel a pickup truck gives you that flexibility to do whatever on and in its bed. What you do on its bed can change the whole look of the truck.
  • You like to build things. Even though the bed isnt massive, for me it’s enough to build something cool, especially if you are into design and build. Think overlanding, a family room on long trips, etc.
  • You have an IE license to import things to try things on the truck. This is applicable to any car, with a pickup truck you have a lot more possibilities.
  • Have a farm of your own that you need to visit frequently to take and bring back stuff.
  • Own a dog(s) want to take her/him/them wherever you go.
  • V-Cross doesn’t have a good pickup until turbo kicks in. May be Hilux does with its 200 HP engine. Either ways one cannot hope let’s challenge those SUVs and sedans. It’s a vehicle to chill and drive.

This checklist is valid if and only if you are in the market for a pickup truck and live in a metropolitan. Why do I say this? One needs to already have a conviction to drive a pickup truck. This checklist only gives you clarity to your thoughts in my opinion not a reason to buy. If you can check at least 8 points in this list, i think you can buy one.

Do I like my truck? Hell yeah!!

Here’s what BHPian AXe77 had to say on the matter:

Never say never of course but I can’t see myself owning a Hilux / V Cross style pick up in India. Its simply too much real estate to lug around all the time assuming its ever useful that one time a year.

If I took up off roading / jeeping as a hobby, I’d more likely buy a Thar or similar. If I wanted a big BOF SUV, I’d more likely but a Fortuner or similar.

The only scenario I could buy it is if I have a TRUCKLOAD (pun intended) of money AND time to the point where the cost of this vehicle is irrelevant to me, I have space to park it without a thought, I have taken some specific hobby like motocross or enduro (or track days) and I want to personally (for some bizarre reason) drive across the country in such a vehicle with the bikes loaded at the back, in order to experience the drive as well as the ride.

On current financial / aspiration projections, I don’t see that happening.

Here’s what BHPian ambarkhan had to say on the matter:

Every time I see a BOF SUV, I wonder why the Indian pickup market is leaving behind a crucial segment of affordable premium pickup trucks. On one end of the spectrum, we have the Hilux and VCross, both of which cost between 30-40 Lakhs on-road. On the other end, we have the Bolero Camper and Tata Yodha.

The Getaway and Xenon were ahead of their time. If we could get pickups based on the Thar, Scorpio N, or Hexa in a similar price range as their SUV siblings, many potential buyers might convert who simply cannot afford a VCross or Hilux.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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