- Excellent reliability
- Classy interior
- Low running costs
- Expensive from new
- Entry-level models sparsely equipped
- Bouncy ride with empty load bay
Rugged 4x4 pickup that’s surprisingly car-like
The Toyota Hilux is one of the most famous names in motoring history. Known for its indestructibility and toughness, even TopGear couldn’t destroy the Hilux. Today the Hilux is as good as it’s ever been. With buyers clamouring for SUVs, the Hilux has aimed itself at the mainstream market. Offering family practicality, with a tradesman’s loadbay, the Hilux is as good on the building site as it is on the family shop. And with some surprisingly economical diesel engines, it won’t cost as much to run as its vast size suggests.
An update in 2015 saw a subtle redesign. With an improved interior, specification, and aesthetics. The 3.0 litre diesel engine previously on offer was ditched for the UK market.
In the Cabin
When you see a big, rugged 4x4 pickup, the last thing you think of is a high-class interior. But the Toyota Hilux will surprise many. It’s very similar in quality to that found in the Auris hatchback. And with plenty of practicality, and solid build quality, it’s a great package.
The dashboard of the Toyota Hilux will impress you straight away. Compared to its rivals, it feels classy and upmarket. As you’d expect from Toyota, build quality is excellent. But that isn’t all. The materials used for the dash, and especially the seats, are up there with some crossover SUVs. Controls are simple and easy to use too, whilst the touchscreen control system found on higher spec models is not only great to look at, it’s so simple to use on the go.
Practicality is obviously a huge factor for buyers of double cab 4x4 pickups. Not only has it got to have space for tools and equipment in the back, it should also be able to ferry the family around on the weekend. Thankfully, the Hilux does both. Inside the cab there’s more than enough room for four adults and one child to sit comfortably. Whilst the load bay can accommodate up to a huge 1,100kg of cargo. Your crossover can’t carry that, can it now?
Specification levels in the Hilux are decent, though you might want to avoid the entry-level models if you like your creature comforts. The best model in the range for those used to driving conventional cars is the Invincible trim. It might be the second-most expensive, but it’s definitely the best. Coming with 18” alloy wheels, keyless entry, LED headlights, DAB, and a touchscreen infotainment system, it’s a real touch of class. Range-topping Invincible X adds leather seats, parking sensors, and upgraded exterior trim.
The Toyota Hilux offers a great interior package for those who want a family car that can survive at work during the week. It’s classy enough to be pleasing for long journeys without it falling apart over rough terrain. No wonder the Hilux is a legend.
Best in class both on and off-road
For a big bulky 4x4 pickup, the Toyota Hilux is a surprisingly good car to drive on the road. Ok, it isn’t as fun as a sports coupe, but it’s comfortable to live with day to day. The handling is pretty good too. Though there is a fair amount of body lean through the bends, it’s only to be expected from a car in this class. And no rivals are as good, or versatile as the Hilux. Off-road the Hilux is great too. Allowing you to attack the elements without worrying about getting stuck..
Suspension and Chassis
Perhaps more important for family buyers is the comfort levels that the Hilux offers. On the whole, it’s a pretty relaxed ride. Though if there’s nothing in the load bay, it can bump around a bit over rougher surfaces. Wind and road noise are apparent on the motorway, but it’s far from being oppressive. You won’t have any issues living with the Hilux as your everyday runaround.
Gearbox options in the Hilux come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a six speed manual transmission. Uncharacteristically for a 4x4 pickup, it’s actually pretty good to use. With its slick, precise shifting action, it definitely won’t leave you complaining. A six-speed automatic gearbox is also available. Though it’s easier to drive in this guise, it does hamper fuel economy somewhat.
Economical diesel engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Hilux, you’ve only really got one option: diesel. Until 2015 there was two options, but models produced after this date come as standard with the 2.4 D4-D diesel engine.
If you’re on the lookout for power in your Hilux, you won’t be upset. But then again, none of the engines in the Hilux offer breakneck speed. But that isn’t what the Hilux is all about. The most powerful engine on offer is the pre-2015 3.0 D4-D diesel. It produces 169 bhp and 266 lb/ft of torque, which is more than you need in a car of this class. A 0-62mph time of 12 seconds, and a top speed of 109mph make it good for motorway driving too.
Eco-friendly buyers don’t usually go for big bulky pickups, but if it saves on having two cars in the household, the Hilux can surely help the ecosystem due to its flexibility. The best model for the planet in the range is the 2.4 D4-D diesel engine. Only slightly less powerful than the 3.0 litre, it produces just 185g/km of CO2 emissions. Impressive for a car in this class. Money-savers will be more than happy with the 40.4mpg figures on the manual model too.
Whether you go for the 2.4 D4-D, or the 3.0 D4-D, you’re going to get an engine finely tuned to suit the Hilux’s characteristics. There’ll be plenty of power on tap for off-roading, as well as overtaking on the motorway. And it won’t cost a bomb to run day-to-day either. Perfect.
Excellent safety equipment as standard
You might not expect a big rugged 4x4 pickup to score well during NCAP tests. But prepare to be surprised. When the Hilux with the safety pack was tested in 2016, it received the full five stars. With scores of 93% in adult safety, 82% in child safety, 83% in pedestrian safety, and 63% in safety assist. Those sort of ratings put it up there with the best conventional family cars.
You’ll also get plenty of safety kit with your Hilux. Standard models come with seven airbags, hill-start assist, traction control, and stability control. Again, Invincible models are the best option, as they add the safety pack which gives the full 5-star NCAP score. Additions include autonomous emergency brakes, road sign recognition, and lane departure warning.
Great value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Toyota Hilux is one of the best value 4x4 pickups on the market. It might not be the cheapest to buy from new, but its proven track record of reliability and longevity make it a car that can last throughout the generations. Not only that, but running costs are pretty cheap. Especially if you go for the 2.4 D4-D model. Though even the higher powered 3.0 litre unit stacks up well when compared to the Hilux’s main competition.
When it comes to insuring your Hilux, which spec you go for will affect your insurance costs, though only marginally. You won’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival. Insurance groups for the Hilux are in the 8-9 range.
Depreciation is one area that affects the Toyota Hilux. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
If you’re on the lookout for a big rugged 4x4 pickup that can also serve as a family car, look no further than the Toyota Hilux. With its low running costs, impressive handling, and classy interior, you certainly won’t feel like you’re in a car as practical as the Hilux is. And with unbeatable reliability and indestructibility, it’s a car that will last you a lifetime. If Clarkson & Co can get it to the magnetic north pole, we’re sure it’ll be able to cope with the rigours of Britain.
Buying a used Toyota Hilux online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Toyota Hilux for sale, it can feel like a bit of an ordeal. But with our range of easy finance options, you won’t ever need to feel stressed. Whether you want HP finance, £0 deposit, or simply want to pay the least you can per month, we’ve got the best deals for you. And with a range of Toyota Hilux starting around £400 a month, your perfect car won’t cost an arm and a leg. Even if you do pay no down payment to start with. We really are simple for finance.
What’s more, with any Carspring used Hilux, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your 2nd hand Toyota to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.