The Toyota Hilux has claimed the title of Australia’s best selling 4WD for nine years in a row. This is despite Australia being one of the most competitive markets in the world with over 60 brands to choose from.
Known for its reliability and 4WD capabilities, it’s the benchmark for tough, and there is no better demonstration of those two things than Top Gear being the first to drive to the North Pole in one, and doing their best to kill one.
Whilst we won’t be climbing volcano’s, conquering Everest or crossing the English Channel, we’ll be taking the 2014 Toyota Hilux SR5 through its paces and seeing why this Hilux is not only so tough, but also, what makes this a favorite amongst buyers.
The Hilux itself is available in a wide range of configurations to meet any number of needs, and our Double-Cab 4x4 Pick-up is a winner for us when it comes to looks.
On the exterior, there’s a chrome alloy roll bar, alloy wheels, and one big tough looking truck. Stepping inside, the interior is designed for work with plenty of hardwearing surfaces that would act as a fantastic sanctuary and escape from the worksite.
And with the ability to fit four large adults inside with no problems, you’ll earn the title of employee of the month in no time. There’s plenty of shoulder room and legroom all around.
It feels and looks the part, how does it drive on the road?
The Hilux hasn’t seen a major update for a number of years, but this means that everything is tried and tested. This is great news for a vehicle that will most likely see lots of time on the road and off-the beaten track.
Of all of the 4WD utilities we have tested, the Hilux and its 3.0litre turbo diesel engine had the best feel and ride by far. For a workhorse, the cabin is a lot quieter than you’d expect, and the suspension keeps the ride quite smooth – even with no weight in the rear.
On highway and in peak hour traffic, the Hilux is easy enough to drive and to live with on a day-to-day basis. Fuel economy is quite reasonable too with a combined fuel economy figure of 8.7L/100km.
For those who do like to tow, the Hilux officially can tow 2500kg braked on 4x4 models (2250kg on 4x2 models), and 750kg unbraked. Perfect for the work trailer or for hitching up the camper for a weekend away.
While most will opt for the manual transmission, our automatic box with low range proved to hold its own in a variety of situations. Never did we once wish that we had chosen to review the manual – something you don’t hear very often for a 4WD.
Being a utility, it’s way too easy to highlight how capable the Hilux is when it comes to practicality. Whether it’s a workhorse, or the weekend family car, the Hilux is prepared.
Feedback from customers who have recently bought a 4WD ute comment on how important it is to have either rear sensors or a reversing camera. Luckily, Toyota have ensured that both are standard on the SR5. This makes reversing in to car spaces or out of the driveway much safer and easier to do.
If accessories are on your list to add to the Hilux, there’s a huge range of genuine Toyota and third-party accessories to fit to your Hilux, so you can tailor your car exactly how you want it. You can easily transform the Hilux into whatever you need it to be.
Expect to pay anywhere from below $15,000 for a 2WD petrol manual singlecab in fair condition, to past $40,000 for newer, higher-spec 4WD models like the SR5 double-cab tested.
As with other newer Toyota models, you’re covered by a 3 year/100,000km warranty and able to take advantage of the Capped Price Servicing program available for the first 6 standard scheduled services during the first 3 years or 6,000km. Each service will set you back just $170 under the program. None of these should be skipped, so check for a comprehensive service history.
The Toyota Hilux SR5 has quite the reputation, and its not until you spend sometime in the drivers seat, that you appreciate just how tough it is. Sure, the model is getting older now, but if it’s a workhorse you’re after, it won’t let you down and it is easy to see why it still one of the most popular utes on the market.
It’s one of the most comfortable 4WD utilities on the market, and was quite easy to drive. Plus, the practicality is great and appeals to a wide number of different people, and uses.
Toyota knows not to mess with a good thing, and the 2014 Toyota Hilux SR5 matches the legend of the nameplate.
If you would like to check out the 2014 Toyota Hilux SR5 for yourself, you can at Motorama Toyota.