Workhorse with class

Toyota Hilux
Toyota Hilux
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Although the Toyota Hilux has forged a reputation as something that cannot be killed, a little luxury inside still plays well with buyers and the latest car serves up a more refined feel.

The styling changes also give it a more upmarket look yet prices have remained reasonable.

There haven’t been wholesale changes to the way the latest Hilux drives. The two engines available have been carried over largely unchanged. Both are direct injection common-rail diesel units and comprise a 2.5-litre D-4D engine and a 3.0-litre D-4D unit. The 3.0-litre effort produces 169bhp and a maximum torque of 343Nm all the way through from 1,400rpm to 3,400rpm. The 0-62mph dash is reached in 12 seconds on the way to a top speed of around 106mph. One area where the engines have been tweaked a little is in terms of emissions. The CO2 emissions are 203g/km and it will return 36.7mpg on the combined cycle.

The 2.5-litre unit has 142bhp and can lumber from zero to 62mph in 13.5 seconds. It has a top speed of 103mph and a maximum torque of 343Nm at 2,000rpm. This engine achieves 194g/km emissions and narrowly pips the 3.0-litre unit when it comes to fuel economy, registering a combined figure of 38.7mpg. It will be more than adequate for most applications.

The Hilux is one of the better handling pick-up trucks but don’t read too much into that. The ride is on the bouncy side but is helped markedly when there’s a load in the back to compress the heavy-duty rear suspension. The vehicle’s sheer size means it isn’t the most manoeuvrable but, again, by the modest standards set by its competitors, the Hilux is a composed performer and the presence of some of the sector’s most powerful engines only enhance the experience behind the wheel. The most obvious change to the latest Hilux is its exterior styling. The front end looks a whole lot smoother than the rather setsquare look we’ve become accustomed to. The Toyota Hilux has always scored well with those who need a tough pick-up that drives better than the class norm. That it can do this while retaining the appeal to lifestyle drivers who need a vehicle with good hauling capabilities and easy access speaks volumes about the essential rightness of the car’s engineering.