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2018 Toyota HiLux Review

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April 2020 update: small business tax break

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finder score: 76.66%

Avg. critics score: 76.66%
3 critics
How did we calculate this? We analysed and aggregated the scores of Cars Guide, WhichCar and Motoring to bring you the finder.com.au score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the four different expert ratings you see below.
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Critic reviews

WebsiteRatingNotable quotes
Cars Guide80%"The Hilux does its best to be the best ute for all people, and with no less than 31 possible body style combinations, it certainly positions itself well to do just that."Read more
WhichCar80%"The HiLux is very good off-road, and tows very well. Toyota’s remote-area service is second to none."Read more
Motoring70%"Australia’s best-selling ‘car’ lacks the punch of its big-engine rivals."Read more

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How does the Toyota HiLux compare with its peers?

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Payload ANCAP rating Price (from) Finder Score Read review
Ford Ranger
945 kg
5 stars
$27,990
85%
Volkswagen Amarok
1,020 kg
5 stars
$38,490
85%
Mitsubishi Triton
855 kg
5 stars
$22,490
80.5%
Holden Colorado
1,029 kg
5 stars
$29,490
80%
Mazda BT-50
1,039 kg
5 stars
$25,570
78.8%
Toyota HiLux
924 kg
5 stars
$20,990
76.66%
Nissan Navara
930 kg
5 stars
$19,490
75%
Isuzu D-Max
924 kg
5 stars
$28,500
73.25%
Mercedes-Benz X-Class
1,188 kg
5 stars
$45,450
72.5%
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The complete Toyota HiLux review

Toyota HiLux Pricing

When buying a HiLux, you’re paying in part for its reputation. Driveaway prices start at $26,400 for the rear-wheel drive, 2.7L petrol, baseline WorkMate single cab chassis model. The top of the range SR5 4x4 dual cab ute with a 2.8-litre diesel automatic costs $61,441.

Prices shown include 12 months registration, 12 months compulsory third-party insurance (CTP), dealer charges, stamp duty and non-metallic paint. Figures shown are for postcode 2000.

Single Cab Chassis

Want to compare monthly repayments between banks and lenders for a particular make? Just click the price.

DX 4x4RX 4x2 RX 4x4
2.3L Diesel 120kW Manual – $38,0422.3L Diesel 120kW Manual – $31,8622.3L Diesel 120kW Manual – $39,072 (Optional Auto $41,647)

Single-cab

WorkMate 4x2 chassisWorkMate 4x4 chassisSR 4x4 chassis
2.7L petrol manual $26,4002.4L diesel manual $43,2132.8L diesel manual – $45,708
2.7L petrol automatic $28,4602.4L diesel $30,678
2.8L diesel manual – $47,776

Extra-cab

WorkMate 4x4 chassisSR 4x2 Hi-Rider pick-upSR 4x4 cab chassis
2.4L diesel automatic – Unavailable2.8L diesel automatic $45,1782.8L diesel manual – Unavailable
2.8L diesel automatic – Unavailable

Double-cab 4x2

WorkMate pick-upSR Hi-Rider pick-upSR5 Hi-Rider pick-up
2.7L petrol manual – $34,6492.8L diesel manual – $44,1482.8L diesel automatic – $54,616
2.7L petrol automatic – $36,7092.8L diesel automatic – $46,208
2.4L diesel manual – $38,048
2.4L diesel automatic – $43,713

Double-Cab 4x4

WorkMate cab chassisWorkMate pick-upSR cab chassisSR pick-UpSR5 pick-up
2.4L diesel automatic – $51,6512.4L diesel manual – $48,3662.8L diesel manual – $52,2462.8L diesel manual – $51,0662.8L diesel manual – $59,341
2.4L diesel automatic – $50,4662.8L diesel automatic – $54,3462.8L diesel automatic – $53,1662.8L diesel automatic – $61,441

Overview

The HiLux is not only Australia's best-selling ute, it’s the best-selling vehicle overall. Toyota has a rock-solid reputation for building an unbreakable, capable 4x4 that’ll work hard for its keep.

With that said, this isn’t the best ute currently on the market. For that bragging right, you should look towards the Volkswagen Amarok or Ford Ranger.

Reviewers generally agreed the HiLux falls down slightly with its lower power outputs and less fuel-efficient engine fitments, as well as a relatively high-price. You are definitely paying a premium for the HiLux name.

ProsConsNotable quote
CarsGuide
  • Extensive model range
  • Strong drivetrains
  • Easy to drive
  • Not as well equipped as some rivals
  • Harsh ride
  • Not the best payload capacity
“To say that Toyota is really hitting its stride with HiLux sales is like suggesting that Steve Smith is in reasonable form, or that Lionel Messi is quite good at football.”
WhichCar
  • Built tough
  • Good off-road
  • Huge model range
  • Sparse equipment for money
“The new-generation Toyota HiLux has a smooth diesel engine and comes in more varieties than any other ute….The HiLux is very good off-road, and tows very well. Toyota’s remote-area service is second to none.”
Motoring
  • High resale price
  • Five-star safety rating
  • Well-sized
  • No Apple CarPlay
  • No active driver assists
  • Lacking power and torque
  • Average fuel consumption
“The truth is the HiLux is starting to feel the heat in this company. The expensive purchase price, ageing interior traits and agricultural drivetrain are rightfully overlooked by some buyers, but cannot be underestimated in this instance.”
CarAdvice
  • Off-road and towing abilities better than ever
  • Refined diesel engine
  • Less fuel-efficient than rivals
  • Clunky infotainment system
  • Poor unladen ride
“The Toyota HiLux is by no means perfect and in SR5 guise it isn’t cheap either. What it is though, is incredibly capable and effortless.”

Engine and performance

Toyota sells the HiLux with three engine options. For bog standard, rear-wheel drive WorkMate utes, Toyota offers a 2.7-litre petrol, with 245Nm of torque and a decent 122kW at 5,200 rpm. The petrol engine appears to be underpowered by modern standards but it’s cheaper than the lowest-priced diesel HiLux.

Moving up the range, Toyota has developed two oiler options. The first has a displacement of 2.4 litres, providing 400Nm when mated to the auto box and 110kW. This engine is the most fuel-efficient of the range. The HiLux is available with a more pokey 2.8-litre diesel, which produces 450Nm of torque and a reasonable, if not groundbreaking,130kW.

The 2.8-litre diesel is also fitted to the Toyota Fortuner and also the Prado. Reviewers found it to be an excellent engine, though it doesn’t offer as much power or torque as other power plants in its class.

The HiLux is available with three gearboxes too. There’s a five-gear manual for the lower-end WorkMate models. There’s also the option to fit a six-speed manual, as well as a six-speed auto.

Journalists noted how smooth the automatic swapped cogs, almost seamlessly. The auto box mated with the diesels also increases the maximum torque available, though you’ll burn through more fuel. Frustratingly, opting for the 2.8 diesel automatic which should tow like a train, actually lowers the maximum towing capacity to 3,200kg.

Engine type
- Direct injection, 16-valve with chain-driven double overhead cam, single or twin turbocharger/s
Drivetrain
- 4x2 or 4x4
Engine size/displacement
- Petrol: 4-cylinder petrol, 16-valve DOHC with dual VVT-i
Diesel: 4-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC
Drivetrain
- 4x2 or 4x4
Engine size/displacement (cm3)
- Petrol: 2,694
Diesel: 2,393 or 2,755
Fuel type
- Unleaded or diesel
Cylinders
- Inline 4
Fuel tank capacity
- 80 litres
Max. torque (Nm@rpm)
- Petrol: 245 @ 4,000
2.4 Diesel: 400@1,600-2,000 automatic
2.8 Diesel: 450@1,600-2,400 automatic
Fuel consumption – combined petrol / diesel
- 11.1L/100km / 7.1L/100km
Max. power (kW@rpm)
- Petrol: 122 @ 5,200
2.4 Diesel: 110 @ 3,400
2.8 Diesel: 130 @ 3,400
Combined CO2 emissions petrol / diesel
- 259g/km / 203g/km
Acceleration
- N/A
Emissions standard
- Euro 6
Top speed
- N/A
Security
- Engine immobiliser
Transmission
- 5-speed manual
6-speed manual or
6-speed automatic
Towing capacity (braked/unbraked)
- Up to 3500kg/750kg

Fuel efficiency

Surprisingly, the HiLux isn’t the most fuel-efficient ute. The petrol engine uses a whopping 11.1L/100km combined. The smaller of the two diesels, at 2.4L displacement, uses around 7.7L/100km and the larger 2.8 diesel glugs through 8.1L/100km.

Take these numbers with a pinch of salt. Real-world economy figures are almost always worse. The automatic gearbox further increases fuel consumption, as do any loads or roof bars and different body style combinations. Compared with other utes in its class, the HiLux is actually one of the least fuel-efficient.

Handling

For a ute with leaf springs, journalists said the HiLux rides pretty well. The steering is progressive, not sluggish and imprecise like other utes. Reviewers commented that the ride is firm and solid, feeling secure around corners and on wet roads. However, the firm ride is translated through the seats and into the passengers, which becomes tiring on long drives.

Adding weight into the back helps to settle the leaf springs and the HiLux doesn’t suffer from a bonnet up in the air stance as with the Navara, for example.

The brakes feel responsive with the now-pretty-much standard front disc, rear drum convention.

The HiLux doesn’t really come unstuck in any key areas, doing everything you’d want from a ute and a little more.

Off-road performance

The HiLux is excellent off-road. It has bags of grip, ground clearance and higher-end models have locking diffs plus high/low range 4WD. Toyota also clad the 4WD models with modest underbody protection.

With a maximum wading depth of 700mm and 279mm of ground clearance, it makes water obstacles and rock crawling a breeze. Fortunately, the firm paved-road ride translates into a supple and smooth ride off-road.

Interior and other features

With several body styles available, there’s a HiLux that will suit most drivers. Tradies will love the load-hauling ute double cab, whilst farmers will benefit from the tray-back single cabs.

Trim levels are: WorkMate, the base spec for workhorse utes; the SR which is slightly upgraded and offers long-distance driving comfort; then finally the top of the range SR5 trim. SR5 has all the mod cons.

Much like its rivals, every trim level comes with Bluetooth phone connectivity, voice recognition, cruise control, a touchscreen and steering wheel controls. Unlike its rivals, the HiLux has a reversing camera as standard. There’s a tilt-and-reach adjustable steering column too, which many other utes fail to include, or at least do so only partially.

There are plenty of airbags – seven in fact – protecting all occupants, including those seated in the rear of the double cabs. Electronic Stability Control comes as standard, in addition to a neat Trailer Sway Control feature which prevents drivers towing trailers from getting a swapper on. The HilLux also has a reasonable Electronic Traction Control, though some reviewers found it got in the way on off-road hill climbs.

The interior is well-made, using tough, rugged plastics. One reviewer felt it was as solid as oak. Front passengers have plenty of room, though the rear of the double cab is a bit more snug. On the SR5 model, passengers in the back receive cool air via rear vents.

Toyota has also done an excellent job of reducing cabin noise. Even at high speed, you can hold a conversation with the people behind you which certainly goes a long way to making long journeys less tiring and more enjoyable.

Features

WorkMateSRSR5
2.4L diesel
2.8L dieselOPTOPT
2.7L petrolOPT
5-speed manual gearbox
6-speed manual gearboxOPT
6-speed automatic transmissionOPTOPT
4-wheel driveOPT
Rear-wheel drive
Chassis cabOPTOPTOPT
Locking rear differential
Reversing camera
Remote keyless entry
Smart entry and start
Underbody protection for transfer box, sump, fuel tank
Standard rear leaf suspension
Multi-reflector headlights
Auto-leveling LED headlight
Chrome exterior trim
Speakers246
6.1-inch touchscreen
7-inch touchscreen
Built-in satellite navigationOPT
Privacy glass
Side-steps
Premium leather seatsOPT
Stainless steel sports bar
Vinyl flooring
Carpet flooring

Verdict

The HiLux has a wide-reaching reputation that precedes it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite live up to the hype. Toyota needs to revisit the HiLux to offer more active driving assists, higher engine power outputs and better fuel economy.

It’s frustrating that the 4WD system only works off-road and there’s a definite premium added to final prices because the HiLux is in such high demand.

Is the demand warranted? It’s a good ute, but it’s not the best.

By taking just a few moments to compare car loans below, you could save hundreds of dollars on a new Toyota HiLux.

Don't forget to take a few minutes to compare car insurance for a Toyota HiLux, to save even more!

Compare some options to finance a Toyota HiLux

Data indicated here is updated regularly
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
IMB New Car Loan
4.99% (fixed)
5.34%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
$275.12 ($250 Application fee + $25.12 PPS registration fee)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
Loans.com.au - New and Dealer Used Car Loan
From 4.67% (fixed)
5.22%
$5,000
3 to 5 years
$400
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment. Note: Settle the loan before 30 November 2020 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel voucher. Terms & conditions apply.
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From 4.05% (fixed)
5.63%
$10,000
3 to 7 years
$700
$8.25
You'll receive a fixed or variable rate depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
Heritage Bank Car Loan
4.89% (fixed)
5.53%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$200
$5
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Finance a new or used car up to 5 years old. Large maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000 and terms up to 7 years.
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From 4.45% (fixed)
5.29%
$10,000
1 to 7 years
$350
$5
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.45% p.a. with a comparison rate of 5.29% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

CUA Secured Fixed Car Loan
6.79% (fixed)
7.16%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$265 ($175 Establishment Fee + $90 Security Administration Fee)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.79% p.a.
A secured loan with a high maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000. Redraw facility and no monthly fees.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
From 9.99% (fixed)
10.88%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$150
$10
You'll receive a fixed rate between 9.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 10.88% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% (13.56% comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
Symple Loans Personal Loan
From 5.75% (variable)
6.47%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
from 0% to 5% of the loan amount
$10
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 21.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.
Driva Car Loan
From 4.34% (fixed)
5.5%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
$295 (Varies by lender, starting from $295)
$10
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.34% p.a.
Borrow up to $250,000 with loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Get access to a range of lenders.
Plenti Car Loan
From 4.89% (fixed)
5.44%
$10,000
3 to 7 years
from $249 to $799
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a Plenti Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
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