Hop into the driving seat of the Toyota Hilux and, as in any pick-up, you
feel on top of the world – the difference is that this one has been there.
The Hilux name has been an unstoppable force in the global pick-up market for almost 50 years and in that time there is no part of the globe from the North Pole to Antarctica that has not felt its tyre tracks.
Pick-ups earn their keep by dealing with the tough stuff in life and the
eighth-generation model has beefed up its credentials with a new, stronger chassis, a reinforced deck structure, improved allwheel-
drive capability and greater towing capacity of up to 3½ tonnes.
But perhaps the biggest surprise lies inside the cabin, which has been clearly designed to respond to the growth in use of pick-ups for leisure in recent years.
Smarter design, higher comfort levels, advanced equipment and improved safety, making the Hilux instantly more stylish and
stress-free to drive than ever before.
But back to the tough stuff, all versions of the new Hilux are fitted with a locking rear differential to improve traction in tricky conditions off-road.
And on road, the pick-up’s stability control system automatically adjusts the brakes and throttle to suppress trailer sway in difficult conditions, such as in high crosswinds.
Longer, wider and lower than the previous model the Hilux continues to offer a choice of body styles: single cab, four-seat extra cab and the five-seat double cab with power from a new 2.4-litre, 148 horsepower,
turbodiesel engine that can deliver day-to-day fuel consumption in the mid-30s.
The test model was fitted with a six-speed automatic transmission that now has a drive mode switch which lets the driver choose between eco and power settings. Eco mode reduces power consumption related
to acceleration and heating and cooling to improve fuel economy; power mode delivers a sharper response to throttle inputs.
Climb up the steps on the chrome side bars and the Hilux cabin is now much like that of a large saloon. The dashboard on the Invincible test model is dominated by an iPad-mini-sized touchscreen display that controls everything from satellite navigation and Bluetooth telephone link to the audio system.
The steering wheel comes with a range of switches and buttons which all helps with keeping your eye on the road. Other car-like luxury touches range from keyless entry and start, cruise control and LED headlights to automatic headlamp levelling and automatic air conditioning.
Safety too is in the large car class with driver and front passenger airbags, driver’s knee and curtain shield airbags. High-tech help comes from a camera and radar-operated pre-collision system that detects
pedestrians, warns when the car drifts from its lane and displays road sign warnings on the dashboard.
The interior is as practical as it is smart, with a split-level glove box with a lockable lower compartment and an upper section that is cooled by the air conditioning system and can hold two half-litre bottles.
The large centre console box has a padded armrest lid and can be fitted with an optional AC 220V power outlet. A fold-down storage point is handy for small items, such as sunglasses and there are dashboard-mounted cupholders for driver and front passenger.
A further large cupholder and a storage tray are incorporated in the transmission tunnel, together with two 12V accessory sockets and ports to connect smartphones and digital devices.
Toyota’s confidence in the total package is clear, as the Hilux is being sold for the first time in the UK with the cover of a five-year/100,000-mile warranty – like Toyota’s cars.
With more than 18 million sold in almost half a century, Europe’s bestselling pick-up is heading for even greater heights of sales success.
Model: Toyota Hilux Invincible 2.4 D-4D Auto
Fuel consumption (Combined): 36.2mpg
Top speed: 106mph
Load length: 152.5cm/60in
Load width: 164cm/64.6in
Fuel tank capacity: 17.6 gallons/80 litres
CO2 emissions: 204g/km
Warranty: Five years/100,000 miles