What is it?
The Toyota Hilux is nothing short of a motoring icon. Over the past 50 or so years, it has garnered a reputation for being pretty much indestructible, and a true go-anywhere and everywhere vehicle.
Some 18 million versions have found homes across seven generations, and it is Europe’s most popular pick-up truck. And now there is a new version, which is on sale now ahead of the first UK deliveries in July.
There’s plenty of interest here away from the commercial vehicle market, for Toyota is seeking to broaden the appeal of the Hilux with this new model by making it more suited to road use, offering a plusher and higher quality interior, and making the engine more economical. Whisper it, but it could even tempt a few out of their SUVs.
Worry not though; the Hilux has not gone soft. Indeed, Toyota claims it is tougher than ever. At the heart of this toughness is the new ladder chassis, which is claimed to be 20% stiffer than the previous Hilux’s. There are more spot welds in the body, too, to ensure that’s as stiff as it can be and to improve body control and the steering. The suspension has also been overhauled for greater wheel travel, which is said to improve ride comfort and also boost off-road performance.
Powering the Hilux is a new 2.4-litre diesel engine with more torque (295lb ft) and greater economy (from 41.5mpg) than the 3.0-litre unit in the previous Hilux’s range. The 2.4-litre engine is the only choice (the 2.5-litre and 3.0-litre units from before have discontinued) and there’s a choice of a six-speed manual or an automatic gearbox, as well as the ability to switch between two and four-wheel drive depending on the conditions.