Toyota Hilux 2WD Dual Cab 2012 Review

Toyota Hilux 2WD Dual Cab 2012 Review

Aimed squarely at the urban tradesman, the Hilux was almost immediately pressed into service helping me move a large number of items from one storage place to another, including things like a ladder and garden tools. Our test Hilux had been fitted with a number of useful SR5 options such as a roof rack, security alarm, reversing sensors, nudge bars in stainless steel, rear corner protectors, side running boards, a custom cab, towbar, monsoon windows, alloys, a clear acrylic bonnet protector and more. These added significantly to the visual appearance of the Hilux, and added significantly to the price (see the table below).

If you don’t need four-wheel drive because your working life involves visiting the suburbs, you’ll benefit from the extra efficiency that not having to drive all four wheels gives you (8.1 litres per 100km as opposed to 8.3l/100km) and, if you’re like me, you’ll enjoy the five-speed manual gearbox and sense of connectedness with what’s going on that is often lacking in today’s vehicles.

The gearbox grabs the power from the 3-litre turbodiesel which sucks air into the intercooler via a bonnet scoop. It produces 126kW and 343Nm which gives it adequate acceleration for getting out of junctions in the city. A limited slip rear differential helps keep the power to the ground, but no

traction control means care is required in the wet. In fact, the only electronic aid you get to help you out of tricky situations is ABS. There’s no electronic brake force distribution, stability control or brake assist like you get on the four-wheel drive Hilux models. It’s also a tad light on airbags – only the two at the front.

The 2WD models ride lower to the ground than the 4WD models which makes them look longer. You’ll still get 181mm of clearance (vs 227mm in the 4WD), and you can tow 2250kg (vs 2500kg with the 4WD).

Our test vehicle had reversing sensors which were very welcome and made parking much easier in town.

On the inside you get vinyl mats – convenient to clean – a few cubby holes and a sunglasses holder. It’s fairly utilitarian other than that. One feature I like, but is now not available on hardly any cars, is the slider in the air conditioning to determine whether you want your air to come from inside the car, outside the car, or a mixture of both. The air conditioning comes with a clean air filter.

The stereo is improved from the last model and features Bluetooth hands-free phone connection, voice control, phonebook access and MP3 input. There are only 2 speakers, but again ,Toyota has gone for the features that give the travelling worker the right options for productivity and convenience.

The steering wheel has been redesigned since the last model and includes audio controls and a cruise control wand. As with most Toyotas, the driving experience is exactly as you’d expect it – steering is precise and not too light or too heavy, the position of the steering wheel is good (despite only being able to be adjusted up and down), the pedals are spaced well and the seats are supportive.Toyotadoes do ergonomics well.

In summary, the 2WD Hilux is a budget-conscious, no-frills ute which gets you into a Toyota truck without clearing out your business account balance. If you identify with the Toyota brand (because they do a better job of creating brand cachet for their utes than any other manufacturer), you’ll probably purchase this over its competitors. However, Toyota is resting on its laurels and needs to give the Hilux a freshen up to stave off advances by Ford’s Ranger and Mazda’s BT-50.


  • It’s a Hilux, therefore everything works well
  • Looks the part, especially in Velocity Red with the optional extras


  • Noisy at motorway speeds
  • Light on safety features
  • Needs to lift its game to compete with the Ford Ranger/Mazda BT-50

Price: $43,990 + options ($10,493 + labour and tyres)

Floor Mats, Rubber Front $48.98 $56.33
Floor Mats, Rubber Rear $48.81 $56.13
Canvas Seat Covers, Front $212.31 $244.16
Canvas Seat Covers, Rear $185.92 $213.81
Nudge Bar Standard – Stainless Steel $653.64 $751.69
Bonnet Protector – PMMA Acrylic (Clear) $70.00 $80.50
Headlight Protectors – PMMA Acrylic (Clear) $70.00 $80.50
Weathershield, Front RHS (Style Visor) – PMMA Acrylic (Light Tint) $70.00 $80.50
Weathershield, Front LHS (Style Visor) – PMMA Acrylic (Light Tint) $70.00 $80.50
Fog-light Kit $399.23 $459.11
Side Steps –Alloy $679.99 $781.99
Towbar-2250kg, R/T $563.60 $648.14
Towall 1 & 7/8th $13.58 $15.62
Towball Cover, Chrome $6.64 $7.64
Relay Harness $94.43 $108.59
Trailer Wiring Harness 7-Pin Flat Connector $197.00 $226.55
RearParkAssist- 4 Sensor $420.26 $483.30
Rear Corner Protectors- Steel $179.20 $206.08
Cobra Alarm System $431.81 $496.58
Whispbar HD Roof Racks $443.00 $509.45
Canopy, “Commercial” Lowline-High Density ABS, with one sliding and one lift-up window. $2,462.50 $2,831.88
Deck Liner, Under Rail – HDPEDeck Liner, Under Rail – HDPE $375.00 $431.25
16×7″ ‘Mohave’ Alloy Wheels# x4 $1,394.00 $1,603.10

Words and photos: Darren Cottingham

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