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