2016 Toyota HiLux road test and review.
There is absolutely no doubt that the Toyota HiLux is Australia’s favourite ute and while the competitors keep coming up with improved alternatives it seems as though our love affair with the Toyota product is a long way from over.
Late last year Toyota stocked its Australian dealerships with a new HiLux and everyone was quick to ask the question “Is the new HiLux better than the old one?”.
The answer to that question is a resounding ‘Yes’. The new 2016 Toyota HiLux is bigger, better looking and is a nicer vehicle to drive.
I had a drive in the SR5 grade of the new HiLux, a variant that is offered with a choice of 2.8 litre turbo-diesel or 4.0 litre V6 petrol engine, the petrol version being only available with an auto transmission.
The engine is quiet and the power comes on smoothly, I was quite surprised to note that it doesn’t feel particularly powerful or torquey, even without a load in the back and/or a trailer hooked-up. If you’re planning on lugging a load the diesel might be a better option.
The six-speed auto transmission is smooth enough, though at times it can be a bit clunky and a little indecisive. Another downside to the petrol-powered HiLux is the fuel economy, I averaged 13.9L/100km, not exactly frugal.
The one area though where the new Toyota HiLux really shines is its road manners. It handles nicely and the steering is sharp (though a little heavy), while the ride is greatly improved.
Toyota has also put a great deal of effort into the new HiLux’s interior and the end result is a greatly-improved cabin. The gauges are big and clear and all the controls are well-placed and easy to use.
Passengers are kept entertained with a punchy sound system that includes digital radio, while the seats manage to be both soft and supportive and there’s ample room for five people.
Other standard features in the HiLux SR5 cabin include a reverse camera and push-button ignition.
The only thing that takes a few marks off the 2016 Toyota HiLux interior is the quality of some of the materials that are used. Feeling cheap, shiny and hard, these let down the overall feel and that is a shame.
You could also make the point that at this substantial price parking sensors (particularly up front) should be standard.
A five-star ANCAP safety rating features across the entire 2016 Toyota HiLux range.
Summing it up: The all-new 2016 Toyota Hilux SR5 is tough and good looking and features unprecedented levels of comfort, technology and on road capability.
I would however by-pass the V6 and get the more efficient diesel HiLux (review can be found here).
NUTS and BOLTS - 2016 Toyota HiLux SR5
Engine: 2.8 litre turbo-diesel producing 130kW and 420Nm(manual)/450Nm(auto) or 4.0 litre V6 petrol producing 175kW and 376Nm
Transmission: Six-speed auto or six-speed manual (diesel), automatic only in V6
Safety: Five stars
Price: SR5 from $53,990