Tougher, more refined and more Australian than ever.
Tested By Matt Page
Iconic and famously unbreakable, the Toyota HiLux has sat proud atop the Trade Ute stack for generations. Toyota’s reliability and the credibility in the brand itself is something other vehicle brands can’t buy. What’s most exciting about the 8th generation HiLux is that whilst the fundamentals that have made the marque what it is are still present, there’s a level of refinement that has been cast into the interior, ride and the design.
We got our hands on the top of the line dual cab 4×4 SR5, 2.8 TD, auto which a good example of how Toyota see the new HiLux as not only a work vehicle, but also a family and weekend adventure vehicle.
THE TOUGH BITS
What’s new? The list is long, but here are some important revisions to the platform:
- New stronger frame with 20 percent increase in torsional rigidity, side and cross members are up to 30mm thicker
- Stronger and more rigid body with the upper body having 120 more weld points than before, the body steel is a maximum 590MPa high-tensile steel (v 440MPa).
- More use of galvanised steel, the tub is more reinforced and has thicker headboard and outer panels and there is an increased maximum tow rating (3.5 tonnes) and maximum payload capacity available in the range.
We decided to use the Hi Lux as a day-to-day vehicle and clocked up over 1000 kilometres. The objective was to use it for work, family and play. Our SR5 was optioned with some genuine Toyota roof racks that made transportation of ladders and materials a breeze. The tie down points in the tub are also well placed for securing loads during the week and boys toys on the weekend.
There is no doubt the new HiLux is a head turner and the electric blue metallic paint (optional), LED day lights and imposing front grille all add to the on road presence.
Drive: refinement has been a buzz word for Toyota and the first thing we noted was the vast improvement in dash design and styling; akin to a modern SUV and much less utilitarian than past generations. Well-appointed, all controls were easy to see and backlit with a blue hue. The large tablet style touch screen is the interface for navigation, audio and a host of apps you can download. The steering wheel controls are well positioned and the sound system is brilliant with a crisp full bass sound.
WTW Tough tests wouldn’t be tough if they didn’t feature something extreme. We decided to pitch the new HiLux in a David versus Goliath battle against a 20 tonne loader. We wanted to see if the HiLux would not only pull it off the line, but also drag it around for 20 metres. With experts on location, we hit every traction control aid available including the rear difflock and switching the dial to 4xlow range…
The result? Bit of an anticlimax really. The 450nm of torque easily lurched the iron giant off the line and beyond. It looked impressive though. Watch the video on our Facebook page!
* Don’t try this at home as it will void your warranty
What would you pay?
4×4 SR5, 2.8L TD, Auto with Metallic paint: $57,990
Price listed is manufacturer’s list price and does not include statutory charges or other on-road costs.
Website for further information and Stockists: www.toyota.com.au/HiLux
FIND ALL Tradie Tough Tests in What Tradies Want magazine.
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