Toyota Hyryder AWD off-roading: Perspective from a Duster AWD owner

The Thar is of a different league & it’s more suitable for two people than four. So unless the Jimny is launched, I decided to test drive the Hyryder AWD.

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The Duster AWD is a thing of the past now. Though the Compass AWD will be the perfect upgrade or replacement for the Duster AWD, we can’t be sure of the future of diesel cars in India. Similarly, though diesel, the ScorpioN 4×4 is a very good alternative too, unless Mahindra rectifies the DPF issues at high altitude reliability can be a question.

So what remains is the Vitara/Hyryder AWD, the petrol Thar or the to-be-launched Jimny. The Thar is of a different league & it’s more suitable for two people than four. So unless the Jimny is launched, I decided to test drive the Hyryder AWD.

A small comparison with the Duster AWD:

The positives of the Hyryder AWD:

  • Smooth petrol
  • Good NVH.
  • Interiors are leagues ahead of the Duster.
  • Feature loaded.
  • The AWD electronics work well.
  • Toyota/Maruti reliability.
  • More service centres.
  • Will be cheaper to maintain.
  • The ride and handling, though not in the league of Duster, it’s good. The steering is light but gives decent feedback. The handling is good. The ride felt a bit on the stiffer side.

The not-so-good part:

Outright performance is lacking, but if worked on gears, the car can go fast. I took the car to an under-construction, closed road. There, in the 4th gear, it goes to higher speed without any fuss. Overtaking on single-lane highways will need a proper downshift.

With 137 Nm torque, the grunt of an effortless off-roader is missed. This car needs to be revved out from a tricky situation. Hyryder will be good on snow/slush. Rocky inclines need to be taken with proper planning.

The ground clearance is just okay. Hyryder AWD will suffice the amount of off-roading required during a road trip to an off-beat location on the hills, but this car is not meant to be taken for the others.

In this video, the obstacle was crossed with the ESP on & 4wd lock. The Duster AWD can cross this at a slower pace due to its short gearing and better low-end torque.

ScorpioN 4×4 from Hyryder AWD!

Articulation is comparable to the Duster AWD. Both, being monocoque, this is limited.

The underbelly is well-protected. Unless one is not too careless, there is nothing vulnerably placed in the underbelly. The silencer placement looks fine in the AWD version compared to the 2wd version.

The approach angle, departure angle and break-over angle are just okay for mild offroading.

Though am not a fan of the sunroof, loved the panoramic sunroof of this car.

The dashboard looks good.

A tried and tested engine. The Air-Intake pipe is positioned at a good height. So during rains water wading won’t be an issue.

Grass and mud stuck after a mild off-road session.

The radiator is placed in a secure position. Even if the approach angle fails and the skid plate takes a minor hit, the radiator should be safe.

The AWD buttons.

Handrest placement is fine, though would have liked it to be a bit longer.

Overall it’s a good package. I would have liked it to be priced a couple of lacks cheaper than what it is now. The AWD costs 19.22L on-road in Kolkata. Something around 17-18L on-road would have been more VFM.

It’s a decent package. The overall build quality comes across as satisfactory. One must remember that this a well-put-together Japanese car, & not a German car!
Overall I will rate it 7/10.

Can it be a replacement for a Duster AWD? Yes by brain, but Duster still rules the heart!

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