The Toyota Hilux, Australia’s top-selling light commercial, has dramatically under-performed in a European extreme handling evaluation called the 'moose test'.
The test saw the publication (which regularly conducts such a manoeuvre) load the car to 830kg, drive to 60km/h and then aggressively swerve left and right.
The test is designed simulate an extreme evasive manoeuvre under load. The reason for the name is self-evident: moose are huge, and are to be evaded.
(Photo Credit: Glenn Lindberg/Teknikens Värld)
As you can see in the image, the Toyota dangerously cocked its right wheels before driver Oskar Krüger pulled it into line.
The problem was deemed to be a result of tyre grip and the absence of an anti-rollover system, given the suspension didn't bottom out.
The red test car was running on 265/60 tyres on 18-inch wheels (like those on the popular SR5 spec in Australia).
A later test with less grippy 265/65 hoops on 17s yielded a slightly better result, though the inside wheel still raised up. Both sported traction control.
Staff reporter Linus Pröjtz slammed the HiLux, saying that little had changed since the previous iteration was tested in 2007.
"Nine years has passed, nothing has evolved. This extremely dangerous behaviour shows itself at 37mp/h, the competitors like Amarok and Navara can do it at 42mp/h and are not showing anything close to that behaviour," he said.
The conclusion drawn? "Something is seriously wrong with Toyota's dynamic security, and the result depends on the tires the car has", the testers said.
Toyota Sweden responded to the test with the following statement:
"Based on all the tests carried out during development, we are confident that the Toyota Hilux is a safe vehicle.
"As we understand, you have performed an evasive manoeuvre tests in your newspaper testing protocols on a series pickups, including the Toyota Hilux.
"You have informed us that the Toyota Hilux is not living up to your expectations. We were surprised by the test results, and we will take your assessment very seriously, just as we take the capacity for evasive manoeuvres as serious in the development of our vehicles.
"Hilux has been repeatedly tested according to ISO 3888 standard for evasive action test during the development of the model and then have passed the tests successfully.
"Several technical parameters have an impact on the outcome of an evasive manoeuvre, so we want to better understand the exact parameters for your test."
We have contacted Toyota Australia for comment.
The HiLux sold here has standard traction and stability control, airbags for all occupants, reversing camera and the maximum five-star ANCAP crash rating.
Toyota Australia statement.
"At Toyota, the safety and security of our customers remains our number one priority.
"Toyota takes the report published by the Swedish automobile magazine, Teknikens Värld, on this emergency-avoidance test seriously and we are currently in discussions with the publication to find out additional details about the test."