Toyota's all-new pick-up promises a much improved drive and better economy ahead of its July launch

The all-new Toyota Hilux, the best-selling pick-up truck in Europe, will reach the UK in July armed with a downsized, more efficient diesel engine, a stiffer chassis, and a more premium SUV-like interior.

Priced from £19,177 (excluding VAT, as it is sold as a commercial vehicle), the Hilux will be offered in three bodystyles: Single Cab, four-seat Extra Cab, and the five-seat Double Cab.

Read our review of the 2016 Toyota Hilux Invincible Double Cab

The engine is an all-new 2.4-litre turbodiesel unit. It is smaller than the 3.0-litre diesel in the previous Hilux, but torque and fuel economy have been improved. It produces 148bhp and 295lb ft from 1600-2000rpm. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with a six-speed automatic optional on Double Cab versions. In its most fuel-efficient form (Single Cab with manual transmission) economy is 41.5mpg and CO2 emissions are 178g/km.

The Hilux, which rivals the likes of the Ford Ranger, Volkswagen Amarok, Mitsubishi L200 and Nissan Navara, is now in its eighth generation and is widely regarded as the leading go-anywhere vehicle for durability and reliability. Chief engineer Hiroki Nakajima referenced “toughness”, particularly in terms of its day-to-day usability, as the thing his team has worked on most to improve in the new model.

Read our review of the 2016 Toyota Hilux Double Cab Icon auto

As such, the Hilux has been made more SUV-like to give it broader appeal.

It is built on a new ladder chassis that’s 20% stiffer than the previous Hilux’s. Toyota says the new Hilux has been tuned for improved handling, greater steering stability, and improved NVH. The suspension is double wishbones at the front, and leaf springs at the rear; it has been revised for improved wheel travel (up 20%) and an improved towing capacity of up to 3.5 tonnes (by the end of 2016, 3.2 tonnes at launch).

The bodyshell has been formed from strong but light high-tensile steel, and the number of spot welds in the body has almost doubled from the old Hilux to 288 to further improve rigidity.

The switchable all-wheel drive Hilux is also packed with electronic driver aid and safety systems. Included is a Pitch and Bounce Control system to stop those in the cabin from being bounced around over broken road surfaces, and a full suite of trickery to boost off-road performance, including an Active Traction Control System that brakes individual wheels as they lose traction and sends torque to wheels that have grip. In fact, Toyota claims the Hilux now has the off-road ability of a Land Cruiser.

That desire to be more SUV-like not only comes in changes to the body, chassis and suspension to improve ride and handling, but also to the interior, which is much plusher and tech-laden than the previous Hilux’s.

The cabin is more spacious, and its NVH is said to have been reduced to passenger car levels. Toyota has also increased the size of the Hilux’s cargo deck, and made it and the tailgate stronger. Various lockable covers and rollers can be added as options. 

Four trim levels are offered for UK buyers: Active, Icon, Invincible, and Invincible X. The Single Cab and Extra Cab models are only available in the base trim, while the range-topper gets a leather upholstery and a sat-nav in the upgraded multimedia system. Alloys measuring 17in and 18in in diameter are offered. 

Our Verdict

Toyota Land Cruiser

The Toyota Land Cruiser is capable, but its rugged nature is better suited to Africa than the UK

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17 May 2016
That is all.

17 May 2016
Or is this what people are buying instead of Mondeos these days? Maybe because it's a "commercial vehicle" there are some tax advantages, but surely these things belong on a building site?

17 May 2016
They can put as much leather in as they like, improve the stiffness of the chassis to the nth degree and do as many spot welds as they can....but if it has leaf springs it will still bounce around uncomfortably when unladen and roll like a barge in a storm.
If Nissan can fit proper springs to these things and still have the same weight capacity why would you rattle around in one of these?

17 May 2016
This Toyota Hilux must be pretty high on the list of Al Nusra and ISIS running around doing the dirty work of the British & American government attacking the people and government of Syria, given how many they have already been given by western governments and others states in the region who are in the pockets of western governments. It's not going to matter to these terrorists how the rear end is suspended after they have attached a large calibre machine gun to the load bay or roof of the cabin.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

17 May 2016
First there's the Autocar article on the Mercedes GLT, now a road test on this. Perhaps people are fed up with SUV and want something even bigger and more macho. Powerful engines are out, sheer size is in.

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