Australian Geographic Outdoor - - Road Trip -

There are 31 variations of the new HiLux from which to choose; 19 are 4WDs, and dual-cabs make up most of those.

The diesel au­tos can tow 3200kg; the diesel man­u­als 3500kg. HiLux has a five-star ANCAP safety rat­ing; there are seven airbags in the cabin and ISOFIX points in the back seat.

In­side, the cabin is a bit taller and wider than be­fore and it looks and feels like a car’s in­te­rior. The multi-func­tion touch­screen unit on the dash is big and user-friendly, and there’s plenty of stor­age spa­ces through­out. There’s tilt-and-reach steer­ing-wheel ad­just­ment in all mod­els, and SR5s have seat-height ad­just­ment.

The new HiLux has not lost any gen­uine off-road abil­ity. We took this stock-stan­dard SR5 through a sec­tion of track that would chal­lenge some mod­i­fied 4WDs; deep rut­ted ditches, mas­sive rocks, some loose clay and sand. We were fine. And for good rea­son; this new HiLux has been rethought, re­designed and re­built from the ground up, with a big dose of test­ing and de­vel­op­ment tak­ing place right here in Aus­tralia. The rear dif­fer­en­tial lock in SR and SR5 mod­els is of great ben­e­fit when driv­ing off-road.

The 2.8-litre turbo-diesel en­gine is a real win­ner; it’s gutsy and re­sponds more read­ily than the pre­vi­ous model’s 3.0-litre en­gine. It also works su­perbly with the six-speed auto. This HiLux is quiet too, on and off the road.

The new HiLux is a vast im­prove­ment over the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion: it’s bet­ter look­ing, smoother, qui­eter and more re­fined.

Price as tested: $55,990 (SR5 2.8TD auto) More info: www.toy­ota.com.au

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