Test Drive/Review of the 2012 Toyota HiLux 4x4 Double Cab!

The King is dead? No way, not even resting. HiLux, the nameplate that has ruled the workhorse sector for nearly two decades isn’t yet ready to relinquish the throne.

Test Drive/Review of the  2012 Toyota HiLux 4x4 Double Cab!
New from the A-pillars forward, with a sharpened interior, subtle on-road refinements, and sharpened pricing across the 35 variants in the 2012 range (many prices repositioned downward), Toyota’s 2012 HiLux is still the one by which all others are judged.

At its launch, we put both petrol and diesel HiLux 4x4 Double Cab variants through their paces, in auto and manual. We looked closest at the no-nonsense SR TD 4x4 Double Cab auto for this review.


It’s not the best interior in the sector for style and feel (that mantle belongs to the Mazda BT50, Ford Ranger or Amarok), but the dash, fittings and seats of the new HiLux are improved over the old.

It’s also well laid-out and nicely trimmed in charcoal and grey. And, as we’ve come to expect from the HiLux, everything is well put-together and as tight as a kettle-drum.


The seats are comfortable and, though slightly short in the squab (both front and back), provide enough grip and support when lurching about off-road.

We quite like the feel of the new materials and the trimming on the doors, but the light-grey seat-shoulders began to show a few sweaty hand-prints.

Although manually operated, the seats provide ample adjustment for getting set at the wheel. Unfortunately though, the new four-spoke wheel adjusts only for rake and not reach – something longer-legged drivers may mark down.

On the plus side, like last year’s model, headroom in the rear is pretty good; so is the legroom back there (provided the legs occupying the front aren’t too long)


Now with one of the bigger turbo-diesels in the class (since the Triton down-sized to the 2.5 litre capacity of the Navara, and the Amarok makes do with 2.0 litres), the HiLux’s 3.0 litre TD is a robust and understressed unit.

With 126kW @ 3600rpm and 343Nm of torque from 1400rpm to 3400rpm, the DOHC 16-valve turbocharged and intercooled diesel provides just reasonable on-road urge.

It’s a little more leisurely than some – not helped by the four speed auto – but will sit up quickly enough to get out and around when overtaking. (It will even hit the old ton – 160km/h – if given its head on a longer stretch.)

The high-stepping 4x4 stance on 17-inch rims is not ideal for long tarmac kilometres, but while there is some fore-aft jiggle on secondary surfaces, it’s not half-bad.

On gravel, it is very good and can be paddled along enthusiastically without banging and crashing from below. There were lots of dry and semi-dry creek beds on a leg of the drive route near Charters Towers, but we were in no danger of finding the bump-stops.


The 4x4 HiLux has always been just as much at home on a sticky work-site as on a deeply rutted fire-access track. With the right tyres, you feel like it could climb a wall.

It’s well protected underneath, has steep approach, departure and ramp-over angles (although side steps can compromise things here) and good wheel articulation for stepping over boulders and across ruts.

In the auto, it is simply a matter of pointing the nose at the hill, picking the line and using the torque of the diesel to crawl up and over

(The manual we also drove is equally capable off road but more work at the wheel in balancing the revs and approach speeds – especially on looser climbs.)


Author: Al
Source: Autolatest

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