"For the love of building my welding business and tired of continually hiring pick-ups whenever I needed to transport materials to and from sites, I chose to invest in a pick-up,” Isaac Mutunzi Mbabazi says.
The decision was not an easy one seeing that he had just lost a huge portion of his work to thieves, but he had to do it or continue paying heavily to transporters. With loss hovering over his head, Mutunzi needed to get a pick-up truck that would serve him for long yet not be extremely expensive. “That is how I zeroed in on this four door double cabin,” he adds.
It has a longitudinal 2.7 litre diesel engine, four cylinders with two valves per cylinder producing 94bhp or say 75kilowatts of power at 4600 rpm with a specific output of 42 bhp per litre.
With a maximum torque of 181 nm at 3000 rpm and a specific output of 80.91 nm per litre, Mutunzi says it delivers power enough to carry him through any type of road and its maximum speed is 143 km/h.
Besides that, Mutunzi loves that he only has to use one litre of diesel for every five kilometres, “Besides that, it is a manual four wheel drive which makes it a master on the road,” he says.
It has a great suspension system with a coil at the front and the rear has bar-like suspension. Mutunzi says this kind of suspension is great given that he carries fairly heavy loads. That is coupled with it being able to carry a maximum load of 500kgs.
It is also stable and that is owing to its weight of 1,420kg. “The stability works well more so off-road,” he adds. However, its stability is enhanced by the fact that its greatest force is behind.
It is 4,820 mm long, 1,690 mm wide with a height of 1,760 mm and ground clearance of 220mm making it indeed a great car on roads away from the city. “I have no problem visiting sites located in areas whose road network is bad because I am certain the bottom of my car will not scrap,” he says.
Mutunzi says the car’s seats are fairly comfortable. “It is not about comfort for me as I majorly bought it for my work. It only gets tricky when my children complain about how uncomfortable the seats are. However, I pretend I do not hear the complaints and drive on,” he says.
There is also enough legroom, “which means that even on long journeys, I never feel cramped. Besides that, it has four speakers which bellow good quality sound, offering me great company on some of those long and lonely journeys.” All that is coupled with two cup holders although he notes with regret that it has no air bags. “The resale price is also good. I have been offered Shs20m but I would not want to sell my truck. It is irreplaceable,” he says, adding that it is also easy to get its spare parts around Kampala.
I have learned that all this car needs is proper clean diesel or else injector pumps will have to be replaced constantly. I have, therefore, learned to steer clear of adulterated fuels.
Mutunzi simply loves his Hilux. “It is a farm truck, a delivery truck and can also get me to any occasion. There is nothing not to love about it,” he concludes.
On one rainy Christmas day in the village, the roads were so bad that salon cars were getting stuck. But everyone on board was certain that with this Hilux, we would reach our destination without a glitch. That was before the injector switch expired mid-way the journey. Oh, the panic was palpable but thankfully, injector switches are not costly and are available in most spare shops. So I replaced it and we were on our way.