Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the 2013 Toyota Hilux SR5 4×4 diesel.
The Toyota Hilux continues to be one of Australia’s most popular vehicles despite an array of very good competition in the ute market.
Ranging from the basic single-cab 4×2 variant to the flagship 4×4 SR5, the Hilux range offers something for just about everyone.
The SR5 is where most buyers looking for the mixture of dual-cab 4×4 adaptability and some creature comforts go.
All of those vehicles were all quite capable in their own way, but no other manufacturer has been able to replicate that famous Hilux feel.
It’s anything but cutting edge, it’s really not that much fun to drive either, but yet the Hilux is still quite attractive in its own rough and tough kind of way.
A rather thirsty V6 engine is available in the Toyota HiLux SR5; I had the much more frugal 3.0L turbo-diesel four.
Delivering 126kW and 343Nm the diesel uses just a combined 8.3L/100 and that is excellent. Thankfully the engine, while being a touch noisy, gives the Hilux good acceleration (even down low in the revs) and it appears to not want for any extra grunt.
The SR5 range is available in 4×2 and 4×4 variants, while transmission choices in the diesel are limited to a four speed auto or five speed manual, again anything but cutting edge. I had the manual which, while proving a good match to the diesel engine, has an excessively long throw between gears.
Steering is typical Hilux – a touch heavy and requiring a lot of turns to negotiate around bends. Again however this is a feeling that isn’t out of place on a vehicle like this.
The ride also falls into the agricultural category, but the brakes feel much more reassuring than what was experienced in some of the Hilux competitors – particularly Colorado.
Inside the cabin the Hilux cabin the theme is practical and durable. There is a mountain of hard plastic, the seats are quite firm and the storage areas, other than the centre console bin, are disappointingly small.
The Toyota Hilux SR5 gets a digital touch screen stereo system with satellite navigation and Bluetooth; a reversing camera is only available as an added option.
To date the Hilux just that little more it utilizes an old fashioned key, the driver info screen is of the old LCD variety and the gauges appear to be straight out of the 1990’s.
Leg room in the dual-cab Hilux is adequate front and back and headroom is more than ample for taller drivers.
I was disappointed to see that the Hilux, despite being a popular choice among families now-a-days, doesn’t come with child seat anchors as standard. It also has only a 4-star ANCAP safety rating as opposed to full safety marks achieved by Colorado, Mazda BT-50, Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok.
Summing it up – the Toyota Hilux SR5 looks the part and has the grunt and strength to back it up.
And as I always say, if you are considering any of the 4×4 duel-cabs as a family vehicle be prepared to compromise comfort, driving pleasure and to a degree safety.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 3.0 litre turbo diesel delivering 126kW and 343Nm
Transmission: Five speed manual or four speed automatic
Safety rating: Four stars
Price: As tested $50,990