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Toyota Vigo SmartCab (in 2023)


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Hi Everyone,

With imports being closed and new vehicles being super expensive, I am looking for a fun weekender for around 4-5mn.

Narrowed in on the Hilux SmartCabs (2012) (2.5l, no airbags or ABS).

What are your thoughts? Would love some background information on the vehicle..

My main concerns

1. Reliability

2. Safety (read on the forum that these cabs are unsafe)

3. General day to day liveability 


Also, if you guys have any other options, would love to hear them 😊

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We had smart cabs for our project offices (not in SL) so...

1. Reliability:

As good as any Hilux. The chassis, power and drive trains are from the standard body range.

2. Safety:

Well...some markets did get variants with dual airbags, pre-tensioning seatbelts, ABS. These made it a little bit safer. In SL most of the vehicles seem to be bone stock cars with barely a driver side airbag. Mind you considering that these are old vehicles they are not anywhere close to what newer vehicles are like in terms of safety. It doesn't have any traction or stability control. So you have to be very mindful when driving it because the weight distribution makes it easy to spin out (less weight on the rear axle..lesser than the standard double cab).

The smartcab with the bench is meant for storage or to transport people from one end of a farm to the other sort of passenger transport. Not long distance travelling at road speed limits. It is NOT safe as there are no seatbelts.

In SL there are plenty of Smartcabs where people have turned the small cab area into a passenger area. Some just install a seat, some cut out the rear body panel and extend it. Either way it is still not safe to have rear seat passengers. If the body has been cut then it makes the vehicle even less safe as the rigidity and strength is compromised (90% of them are done by maka baases who just cut and shopped).

3. General day to day liveability and practicality

If it is just you and your girlfriend/wife, then it is fine. As a two passenger vehicle it is easy to live with. But if you have kids or your life style makes you travel with more than 2 people, then it loses all practicality. Needless to say, it is not as comfortable as a sedan, hatchback,wagon, crossover.

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Hi @iRage,

Thank you for your reply. 

Happy to hear that it is as reliable as any Hilux, so it will likely outlast me :)

Safety, was a key concern. I think as per my research, in SL the 3L Cabs have ABS and Dual AirBags. I am a fairly sedate driver, but you never know with SL traffic. 

It will be mostly for me or at most one other person, so I think I may bite the bullet and go for it.

Do you have any idea of the rusting on these models? Found a cab at a reasonable price, however chap claims it has a bit of rust.

Is this fairly common? 

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59 minutes ago, MidLifeCrisis said:

I am a fairly sedate driver, but you never know with SL traffic

Even for a sedate driver, the light rear-end combined with a lot of torque can spell out a tricky situation on slippery roads :)

Yeah...rusting is an issue...especially if the vehicles have been doing hard-core field work. It mostly happens because these are treated as work cars don't get religiously or properly cleaned, etc...after running around.  So mud, water, leaves, etc...gets lodged in various little spaces and rots the whole thing from inside. Then on the other hand most of these pickups have exposed or poorly covered cargo beds so when it rains and stuff water gets lodged. If the pickup truck is taken care of just like a Premio/Allion owner would of their sedan, then the Hilux too will also be rust free.

So go for a unit that is properly taken care of and looks like it has been kept nice and clean. This is not just for the SmartCab but the entire Hilux range (even other cars for that matter).

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