We all live a life full of drive, whether we actually drive a car of not. It is the force which moves us forward. As for Toyota, their latest IMV lineup offers a drive for virtually everyone. We fly to Palawan to find our how the 2016 Fortuner, Hilux and Innova fit in our daily lives.
We then embarked on a 240-kilometer drive from the provincial capital of Puerto Princesa through the towns of Roxas, San Vicente, Taytay eventually ending up at the alluring town of El Nido by sunset.
Our day began at Toyota's Puerto Princesa showroom to pick up our respective steeds. Divided as groups composed of 3 to 4, I was teamed up with veteran journalists Al Mendoza (Business Mirror), Dino Directo (Stnadard) and Ira Panganiban (Wheels). We were then given the keys to a Hilux G 4x2 with automatic transmission for our first task, a fuel efficiency run.
Common ground – fuel efficiency
Perhaps the common ground for anyone who drives would be fuel efficiency. Teams were given a challenge to achieve the best fuel economy realistically possible with their respective vehicles as compared to a baseline figure set by Toyota.
All teams were given autonomy in how they chose to achieve their fuel economy figures as long as they did the following:
1. Follow road rules.
2. Do not turn off the engine.
3. Reach the destination in one (1) hour.
We embarked from the showroom on a 53-kilometer fuel efficiency run from Puerto Princesa to the town of San Rafael. The key to getting good fuel economy number is patience; a difficult thing to do on Palawan's wide-open road network. The cruising speed may be slow and steady, but fuel economy runs are always a good opportunity to take in the views, have a bit of good conversation, and enjoy some music.
Our team achieved an average of 16.4 kms/liter with the 2.8-liter 1GD-FTV powered Hilux 4x2 with an automatic transmission. We performed 36.31% better than the base 10.9 kms/liter figure.
The base figures were set with the air conditioning on max level with the average computed over four trips.
After a short break, the whole caravan was on its way to the town of Taytay for a photo-op with the Fuerza Santa Isabel, a fort built by Augustinian priests back in 1667 in honor of Spanish Queen Isabela II. The town of Taytay became the first capital of the island province in 1859 until 1876.
The final stint of driving involved winding and scenic driving roads through the mountains and hills with the occasional view of the sea. It was a leisurely cruise to get a real-world feel of Toyota's latest IMV lineup composed of the Fortuner, Hilux and Innova.
If one vehicle here really improved leaps and bounds, it's the Innova. Looking around the cabin, Toyota has clearly stepped up their MPV's game in terms of appointments, features, and luxury. Quite simply, this is probably the most impressive vehicle being produced locally thus far.
Soon we'll give the Fortuner, Hilux and Innova a more thorough test drive, one that will put them through their proper paces in everyday driving. But for now, standing at our destination of El Nido, we'll just enjoy this sunset; a fitting scene to cap off a 240 kilometer journey.