What is it? The Toyota Hilux is the quintessential pickup truck and it has achieved iconic status for its quality, durability and reliability. Even Top Gear’s Clarkson couldn’t kill it despite it being drowned, torched, crashed and dropped from a great height.
Who is it aimed at? If the choice of car reveals more about you than you think certainly my week behind the wheel was proof that not too many women are found at the helm of a Hilux as I got more than the occasional stare of curiosity, although the “Crimson Spark Red” colour probably didn’t help.
Styling? Pretty, it’s certainly not but practical it certainly is and while it doesn’t look radically different to the outgoing model it is now longer and wider and improvements include a more menacing presence outside and more space inside.
Under the Bonnet? Powering the new Hilux is an all-new 2.4 D-4D engine with 148bhp and 400Nm of pulling power. There is also the choice of a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox.
What about inside? Inside it feels much more like an SUV than its styling might suggest and the cabin is comfortable with soft touch materials. All the controls are exactly where your want them to be and its easy to get comfortable in the driver’s seat plus it never gets noisy inside. Our test car came with a seven-inch touchscreen that controlled the Toyota Touch 2 infotainment system. Depending on which model you opt for loadbay length varies from 2,315 in the single cab to 1,525mm in the double cab. Even a trip to the recycling centre with a decade of forgotten “treasures” from the garage didn’t even put a dint in its capacity.
On the Road? Despite its size the Hilux is capable and comfortable on or off-road. The handling is impressive and for those who need to haul even more around the towing capacity has improved and is now up to 3.5 tonnes. Those wishing to venture off road will be reassured to know that the Hilux comes equipped with a new improved 4×4 system that can be easily switched from 4WD high, 4WD low range and 2WD just by the turn of a dial and not by a second gear lever in the floor as in previous versions. For serious off-roading a rear differential lock is standard.
And Safety? You won’t have to fret about safety, as a full set of airbags, Pre-Collision System with pedestrian recognition, Lane Departure Alert and Road Sign Assist all come as standard.
What are my options? There is a choice of a single cab (designed for one driver and one passenger ) or double cab body styles (can seat up to five individuals, with two in the front and three in the back.) along with four trim levels to fit all budgets Active, Icon, Invincible and Invincible X.
Standard equipment includes 17-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity
Will it break the bank? You shouldn’t have to worry about breaking down or it needing costly repairs, as Toyota is known to build reliable cars. Prices for the new Hilux start from a £19,177 (ex-vat) right up to the Invincible X model from £28,185 (ex-vat). Fuel consumption is a reasonable 40.4 mpg and CO2 emissions are 185g/km.
Verdict? The Hilux is a really good balance between the worlds of on-road and off-road driving and its easy to drive making it the ideal car if you need to blend an endurance workhorse and family-friendly MPV. It may look rugged on the outside, but inside it is impressively comfortable, well equipped and quiet. All you need now is a map of the North Pole and a sense of adventure.
Why you’ll buy one? Iconic; Indestructible; Practical
Why you won’t? There is no disguising its size; fuel efficiency could be better
Land Rover Defender
Toyota Hilux Double Cab 2.4L Diesel 24D- (150 HP) Manual 6
Engine: 2393cc, 150bhp @3400, 400Nm @1,600
Max speed: 115 mph
Emissions : 185g/km
Model price range from: £19,177 (ex-vat)
No of Doors: 4 doors
Euro NCAP : 3 stars ( 5 stars with optional safety pack fitted)
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 40.4mpg
Payload kg: 1110
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
3rd January, 2017