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While the HiLux has lagged behind in the
power and equipment stakes, Toyota has
relied on the vehicle?s high-sales reputation,
according to some critics.

But the company has made some timely
improvements. Perhaps the most significant of
these is the introduction of a V6 petrol engine
as the standard motor on 4x4 models. Another
first is Toyota?s option of automatic
transmission with the V6 engine.
Although the 2.7-litre, four-cylinder engine has been dropped from 4x4 models, it now
replaces the 2.0-litre four as standard fitment on 4x2 models. Toyota has also
developed an LPG-compatible version of this engine and provides full warranty when
fitted with an approved Impco LPG system. Diesel engines are unchanged, with a
3.0-litre normally aspirated version available on some models and a more powerful
turbo-charged 3.0-litre diesel on others.

Taken from the superseded Prado, the new 3.4-litre, quad-cam multi-valve V6
produces 124kW of power and 291Nm of torque. Although slightly down on power and
torque than the Prado version, the engine performs just as well, perhaps because
HiLux is lighter overall.

The Police Journal test-drove the top-spec SR5 Double Cab 4x4 fitted with the new
V6 and optional four-speed automatic transmission. Its power and driveability can?t
be faulted. On tap is ample power for all situations. The automatic transmission
behaves more like that of a family sedan than a workhorse utility.

...power and driveability can?t be faulted
...more agile handling on any surface
Also impressive is its ride and handling. All HiLux models now feature independent front
suspension with double wishbones and torsion bar springs. At the back is a rigid live axle
with leaf springs. While the suspension is not revolutionary, revised rear spring rates on
double-cab models provide a firm but compliant ride and more agile handling on any
surface.

Inside, SR5 has higher specification levels, and features:

Power windows and mirrors.
Remote central locking.
Quality CD audio system with four speakers.
Very comfortable sports-style seats.
The driving position is better, as are ergonomics generally. Outside, the SR5 features
alloy wheels, sidesteps, a hefty alloy roll bar and lots of chrome.

All 4x4 models feature a two-speed transfer case and part-time four-wheel-drive system.
On the SR5 ? which features an automatic disconnecting front differential (ADD) ?
changes between 2H and 4H can be made at up to 100km/h. This system is operated by
pushing a button on the side of the transfer-case lever. It works well but comes with the
potential to accidentally engage 4x4 while searching for the overdrive button on the
automatic transmission. All other 4x4 models feature manual-locking front hubs.

The HiLux range now consists of 27 models, most of which can be optioned with dual
airbags and ABS brakes. Prices start at $18,990 (2.7-litre Cab/Chassis) and $29,950 (4x4
V6 Cab/Chassis) and range through to $47,240 (Dual Cab SR5 Turbo-Diesel). The
journal-tested SR5 V6 auto retails for $44,040. Unfortunately, air-conditioning is optional.
Heavyweight a breeze to drive
Toyota?s big gun, the 100 Series LandCruiser, has also had some surgery. The
on-again, off-again V8 has now been reintroduced as the only petrol engine on offer.
With a capacity of 4.7 litres, the quad-cam V8 delivers 170kW of power and 410Nm of
torque. In addition to improved performance, the V8, Toyota claims, gives improved fuel
economy and reduced emissions.

An all-new five-speed automatic transmission is offered with V8 and turbo-diesel
engines. Featuring a gate-style shift pattern, the transmission can be used in D or as a
manual, using the gated selector.

LandCruiser?s hefty rigid front axle is only retained on Standard Van and GXL diesel
models. All petrol and turbo-diesel models now feature an independent front suspension
system with variable-ratio rack-and-pinion steering.

Other changes have brought the reintroduction of the Sahara nameplate with better
equipment levels than the outgoing GXV. Sahara features:

Leather trim.
Power seats.
17-inch alloy wheels.
Touch-screen satellite navigation system.
Dual climate control.
Trip computer.
Sunroof.
Refrigerator inside its huge centre console.
The mid-spec GLX gets extra equipment:

ABS.
Air conditioning.
Six-disc in-dash CD.
Cruise control on V8 and turbo-diesel models.
Dual SRS airbags are standard across the entire range.

Despite its large size, a GXL ? fitted with the new V8 and five-speed automatic
transmission ? proved surprisingly light and easy to drive on a Police Journal test run.
The V8 and auto box are a super smooth and powerful combination. Its new suspension
and steering provide a better ride with more nimble handling.

Prices for the eight-model 100 Series range from $51,990 to $89,900.
An article from the Australian Police magazine, Police Journal, on the Hilux
4x4 and the Land Cruiser 100.