March 15th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham
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 Continue reading “Toyota Hilux 2WD Dual Cab 2012 Review” »
November 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Always check if something doesn’t feel right. It’s a lesson I had a gentle reminder of when I took the new Hilux to the in-laws’ farm on the Coromandel Peninsula. I’ve driven various models of Hilux before and they’ve always been accomplished, reliable utes, so the snap oversteer at low speed in the wet coming up the winding hill on Auckland’s Domain was a bit of a surprise. The traction control deftly reined it in a fraction quicker than I could apply opposite lock – that was unusual as we were only doing 20-25kph.
The second reminder was that on the open road the Hilux was ‘jiggly’…overly so. But I put this down to it being a ute with nothing in that back, and that if there was half a ton of hay and sheep in there it would settle the suspension down. Driving up the Thames coast wasn’t particularly pleasant at times, but you wouldn’t expect the Hilux to be a demon in the corners.
Once at the farm, which has some nice steep tracks, we decided to do a bit of light off-roading, even though the supplied tyres are barely mud oriented – really just chunky road tyres. Some light rain that had passed over the hard-packed clay soon made the going treacherous and we hit a small drainage rut that slid the Hilux sideways towards a stand of manuka that, while sparing us from dropping down a steep bank, wouldn’t have made the paintwork that flash.
I made the executive decision that we should probably stop at that point, as my significant other (who grew up on the farm) knew that the track got worse further on, and we were having small moments of being out of control.
As there was nowhere to turn around, reversing 150m back up the track was the only option. Except that putting it in reverse yielded zero grip and saw us edging perilously sideways towards the trees. “I’m letting some air out of the tyres,” I said, secretly hoping that the embarrassment of having to be pulled out by the family’s digger like one previous visitor who lost his ute down a bank wouldn’t become a reality. Continue reading “Toyota Hilux 3-litre diesel 4×4 2011 Review” »
October 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
It happened in December of 2010 but just this week Guinness World Records has recognised a new world record for the fastest overland journey to the South Pole.
Last year two modified Toyota Hilux trucks travelled 2,307 kilometers across the Antarctic High Plateau in 108 hours. Sounds pretty easy, right? Wrong, the average speed for the tough trip was just 21km/h which gives an indication of the extreme conditions the drivers had to deal with.
The expedition was organized by the Kazakhstan National Geographic Society and The Antarctica Company, and the crew was four strong. It included Konstantin Orlov and Stanislav Makarenko from KNGS, Andrey Myller from TAC, and Hlynur Sigurdsson from Arctic Trucks – the off-road tuning company that built the vehicles. Continue reading “Toyota Hilux team sets record South Pole crossing” »
October 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The Toyota Corolla has taken back the number one sales spot on the NZ national sales charts, both for the month of September and year to date. The Corolla has faced stiff competition this year from the new 2011 Suzuki Swift and the pair have dueled it out for total sales supremacy.
Official data for the month of September shows Corolla outsold all other passenger and commercial vehicles, and Toyota’s Hilux ute took a strong second place. It was a very strong month for Toyota with four vehicles in the sales top 10 – the others being the Highlander SUV and the Hiace van.
Steve Prangnell, general manager Sales and Operations, said the sales figures reflect the full recovery of Toyota’s international supply chain, which slowed for several months after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. “To have Hilux at the top of the overall year to date table, and Corolla a strong second, is incredibly pleasing. It shows Kiwis trust the Toyota brand and keep turning to the vehicles they know and love.” Continue reading “Toyota Corolla takes back No.1 sales spot in NZ” »
October 3rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The updated Toyota Hilux has just been launched in New Zealand with a brand-new variant, new features, styling updates and a colourful new ad campaign.
Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said “This is a significant change for Hilux. The improvements we have made now will further strengthen Hilux’s reign as New Zealand’s most popular light truck.”
Since the seventh-generation Hilux was released in 2005 it has been continually tweaked and updated to improve its practicality as a workhorse/family-friendly vehicle with the latest updates continuing this trend.
Mr Prangnell said “Toyota engineers have travelled around the world to learn about how Hilux is used, in order to develop ways to address the changing demands of our customers. While in New Zealand, they drove our farm tracks, spoke to customers, and then formulated ways to make Hilux even better suited to our unique conditions.”
The new model has been added to the Hilux range is a standard grade 4WD extra cab ute with a 3.0 litre turbo diesel engine and a five-speed manual transmission. Continue reading “Updated 2012 Toyota Hilux goes on sale in NZ” »
September 13th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Toyota NZ has revealed initial information of the facelifted 2012 Hilux which will be available in Toyota showrooms later this month.
Toyota NZ General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell said “Hilux has built its reputation around being unbreakable. We’re taking the tough and reliable truck that so many New Zealanders love and making it even better with a fresh line-up, improved safety and bold new looks. These latest changes will substantially improve the value of Hilux for our customers and further strengthen Hilux’s position as New Zealand’s favourite truck.”
A new model has been added to the Hilux range – a standard grade 4WD extra cab ute with a 3.0 litre turbo diesel engine and a five-speed manual transmission.
Cosmetic changes include a completely new Landcruiser-inspired front end, this means new guards, headlights, bumper, bonnet and grille. At the rear, there’s new tailights and a replaced rear bumper. There’s also new mirrors and alloy wheel designs. Continue reading “Facelifted 2012 Toyota Hilux on sale in NZ this month” »
July 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Toyota has officially unveiled its facelifted 2012 Hilux ute. The 2012 Hilux has a number of styling updates and safety upgrades across the range.
Cosmetic changes include a completely new front end on the 2012 Hilux, this means new guards, headlights, bumper, bonnet and three-bar grille. At the rear, there’s new tailights and a replaced rear bumper. There’s also new mirrors and alloy wheel designs.
Inside, changes are subtle and centre around new seat and door trims, there’s also an available 6.1-inch touchscreen multimedia system. Toyota is also claiming that the 2012 Hilux will offer “greater colour consistency throughout the interior.”
Anti-lock braking has now been adopted across the Hilux range as a standard feature, previously it was only available as an option for models except the top-spec SR5. Continue reading “Toyota reveals facelifted 2012 Hilux ute” »
May 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Toyota’s long-serving Hilux ute is a bit of a legend really. Not just for its ongoing sales success but also for the stories of ridiculous robustness and unlikely war zone application. Crossing the Sahara desert without a drop of oil or having surface-to-air missiles launched off their decks, some Hiluxs certainly have to earn their reputation. But the Hilux’s battles aren’t just fought by militias in Africa or the Middle East it’s caught up in a war right here in NZ. The dominance of Toyota’s pickup is no longer total, it faces threats from all sides, the torque thumping Nissan Navara, Great Wall’s low rent V240 and the slick VW Amarok.
How can the Hilux best arm itself for the challenges ahead?
With a new safety package on its top spec SR5 model double cab, that’s how. Sure, it’s not as exciting as another 50Nm of torque from its diesel mill or some fierce new exterior styling but safety upgrades extend the Hilux’s appeal as a true work/play proposition. It’s also reason enough for Car and SUV to get back behind the wheel of a Hilux and revisit this ageing superpower of the ute segment. Continue reading “Toyota Hilux SR5 2011 Review” »