|Hilux Review from
Toyota brings Hilux into line
HiLux 4X4 Double Cab SR5 V6
SR5 V6 gets new alloy wheels
New 3.4-litre V6 makes hefty 291Nm
HiLux 4X4 Xtra Cab V6
HiLux 4X4 Single Cab, Cab-Chassis V6
Toyota HiLux 4X2 Workmate
There are quite a few options when it comes to hard-working utes in Australia, with the most popular by far
being Ford's reliable Falcon ute.
Holden offers a sportier, more lifestyle-oriented utility, while Mitsubishi's Triton is also gaining popularity,
thanks to its powerful V6.
So what of the Toyota HiLux, then? Apart from its stellar record -- launched in 1963 and selling more than
11 million units to date -- there's some big news from Toyota Australia, and part of it includes a more
powerful V6 model.
But many who went out and purchased a Falcon or Triton ute did so because they offered good load
carrying capacity, a solid V6 and an auto gearbox.
For some 35-years, Toyota has only ever offered the HiLux with manual transmissions in Australia. So
now that Toyota is finally offering auto models, will its popularity increase?
One would think yes - marginally - but along with a ream of new features, part of a a mid-cycle upgrade for
HiLux, things are looking rosier for Australia's second most popular automaker.
Starting off with the go-anywhere HiLux 4x4 all-wheel drive petrol range, apart from the introduction of
the aforementioned auto shifter, the 4x4 range also benefits from a newer, smarter V6 powerplant.
Displacing 3.4-litres, the new V6 gets quad-overhead camshafts and pushes out a credible 124kW @ just
4600rpm. It's closest competitor, the Mitsubishi Triton, ships with a 3.0-litre V6, worth 133kW @ 5250rpm.
While the Mitsu may have 9kW more power than the new toyota, the all important torque levels tell a
The Triton's mill pushes out 255Nm @ 4500rpm, while the HiLux has peak torque of 291Nm occuring at
lower in the rev range (3600rpm) meaning less fuel is used. As well as meeting passenger car emissions
levels, the new V6 HiLux is six per cent quicker from 0-100km/h than the superceded model as well.
In addition to the tried-and-tested five speed manual, let's also have a look at the new auto transmission
mated to the new V6: The four speed automatic column shifter gets an overdrive mode and is
electronically controlled for better shift patterns and improved longevity.
Seven Quad Cam V6 petrol models are offered in the 2003 HiLux range, with the choice of two
transmissions, three cabins, two body styles (Pick-up or Cab/Chassis) and two equipment grade levels.
The entry-level HiLux 4x2 Workmate now packs the proven HiLux 2.7-litre, multi-valve, four-cylinder
engine, which comes equipped with a balance-shaft. The 2.7-litre engine is now universal across the HiLux
4x2 petrol range.
The trays are an integral part of the HiLux range, and there's plenty of mods included: The tailgate drops,
supported by steel cables, to provide added deck room and an optional rear step bumper simplifies
climbing in and out of the pick-up bed.
A guard frame protects the rear window from shifting loads and a tonneau cover, made of durable and
secure black vinyl, conceals and protects the cargo from the elements. As far as load carrying goes, here
are the dimensions for the three tray sizes:
Regular Cab the largest tray in the range, for big loads
Extra Cab Deck four doors for carrying more mates - but still with a big deck
Double Cab Deck smaller tray offset by family sedan levels of interior room
HiLux specification upgrades also include improved rear suspension for 4x4 Double Cab models,
significantly higher equipment levels for 4x4 Double Cab SR5 grade, more equipment for Workmate, and
LPG compatible engine availability on HiLux 4x2.
In addition, Toyota has broadened the HiLux 4x4 range, with a new model - a 4x4 Turbo-diesel Double
Cab Cab/Chassis. All up, there are now a staggering 15 4x4 models and 12 4x2 models in the upgraded
HiLux range. Seven HiLux 4x2 models are LPG compatible, to suit Toyota's new fully warranted dual-fuel
As for pricing, Toyota's entry level HiLux 2 wheel drive - the Workmate single cab chassis - carries a
recommended retail price of $18,990. For the HiLux 4x4 model segment, the Quad Cam 24-valve HiLux
single cab pickup carries a recommended price of $29,950.
With all these new features, with the auto 'box leading the way, and a genuinely competitive entry-level
pricepoint, the revised Toyota pick-up will provide the likes of Mitsubishi and Holden more fierce
competition - but don't expect Ford's stranglehold on the segment to wane any time soon, though.