WORKMATE

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Head To Head -

VALUE

The HiLux Workmate dou­ble cab 4WD is $43,990 plus on-road costs but it has lim­boed to $41,990 drive-away in re­cent months, about $4000 off full price. It comes with a 2.4-litre turbo diesel (rather than the 2.8 in the higher grades) but still gets rear cam­era, cruise con­trol, air­con, power win­dows and re­mote cen­tral lock­ing.

DE­SIGN

It’s de­signed for func­tion­al­ity, which is why the bumpers are grey and the floor cover­ing is vinyl. Am­ple un­der­body pro­tec­tion is stan­dard. The ute tub with ex­ter­nal tie-down hooks means you can’t have a gen­uine tub liner and a hard lid — it’s one or the other. Not ev­ery­one is a fan of the black rims but they won’t be this

shiny for long.

EN­GINE

The 2.4-litre turbo diesel is a gem. It has a lit­tle more in­duc­tion noise than the 2.8 in the HiLux SR and SR5. But it has more torque (400Nm) than the pre­vi­ous HiLux 3.0-litre (343Nm), and not much less than the new 2.8 (450Nm). It’s su­per ef­fi­cient, too. We logged 8.0L/100km un­laden cruising at about 80km/h or more. Works well with six-speed man­ual or auto.

SAFETY

Seven airbags (in­clud­ing one for the driver’s knee) are stan­dard, as is a rear view cam­era (its guid­ing lines don’t turn with the steer­ing). Rear sen­sors are op­tional. The low and high-beams are strong (good for coun­try roads), and the in­stru­ments are clearer to read in the HiLux than they are in the HiLux-based For­tuner SUV.

DRIV­ING

The wheels might not be pretty but the tyres they come with are more cush­ioned on bumpy roads than the top-of-the-range HiLux SR5. This means the blokes in the Workmate are in fact trav­el­ling in more com­fort than the fore­man in the SR5. It feels sta­ble (for a ute) though the Ford Ranger and VW Amarok are still the bench­marks for on-road com­po­sure. The HiLux is hardier off-road.

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