I never thought driving a Ute could be so fun, until my first drive in a Toyota Hilux. The Toyota Hilux Ute came in manual and it was finally a joy to be able to drive a manual. Utes such as the Toyota Hilux are normally very heavy-duty and are used as work vehicles. Driving the Hilux, I really felt like I was a construction worker, or a farmer driving around on his/her paddock. The interior was very nice and it’s such a rarity that work vehicles can have such a nice but rugged interior.
The model I was driving had a turbo-charged 2.8L Diesel engine with four cylinders. Its maximum power is 130kW at 3400rpm, and its maximum torque is 420Nm at 1400-2600rpm in manual transmission.
With respect to the fuel, the computer told me I got around 9L/100km. The Hilux has a fuel tank capacity of 80L.
You will tend to notice that with an automatic transmission of the same model, the numbers are ever so slightly higher for most engine specs.
Upon driving it out of the dealership, I was keen to find out more about Toyota’s signature i-MT (Intelligent Manual). I misinterpreted it saying that while the vehicle was in first gear it would not stall. Therefore releasing the clutch out fully, I stalled the vehicle. What it really meant was that with it turned on, you can gently lift your foot off the clutch and the vehicle will maintain enough revs to avoid stalling. This is pretty handy for when you’re off road and you’re pointing your Hilux uphill.
With i-MT engaged, the engine will also automatically rev-match for you resulting in smoother gear shifts.
A feature that I would’ve liked is that on the multi information display, it would’ve been nice for it to state what gear you’re in. At the beginning I kept moving off from a stand-still in third gear when I thought it was in first. After a bit of getting used to, you will finally get the hang of it.
One of the first things I noticed when going over pot holes and bumps on the road was that the suspension is relatively weak when in 2WD. When in 4WD the suspension feels slightly firmer, which is to be expected.
H2 for on-road A to B travel, H4 for when the going gets a litte tricker like on gravel roads and L4 is where the off-road adventure begins.
There were times when the Toyota Hilux went on a small off-roading track and what fun it was to drive it through. The steering was light as it is electric-powered, and the suspension held up well through bumps and irregularities on the track, not to mention the Hilux having a pretty high ground clearance. Driving through a big puddle of mucky water had the entire windscreen needing to be ‘de-sanitized.’
With all new 2016 Toyota Hilux’ come with a 7″ touchscreen entertainment system. Navigating through menus and screens on the entertainment system was relatively straight forward and not laggy at all. While it had the usual 0.5 second response time, i’d consider that pretty responsive for a in-car entertainment system. SR5 (this model) and SR5 Limited (model higher up and the highest model) models also feature Satellite Navigation with SUNA traffic avoidance system.
In my opinion, the 7″ touchscreen would’ve looked much better integrated into the center dash instead of it jutting out of the dash with its edges sticking out.
Bluetooth, AM, FM, AUX and even DAB Radio are standard on the 2016 Hilux range. If you’re still a CD fan, you’ll be pleased to know that the 2016 Hilux still have a CD player, just for you.
And what’s a Ute without a towbar. My model Toyota Hilux (SR5 Manual) is capable of towing a maximum braked – 3500kg, and a maximum unbraked – 750kg.
The SR5 model Hilux’ have black fabric seats, while the SR5 Limited models have leather seats. With leather seats come with the ability to have heated seats! Although I think the AC already does a relatively good job heating up the SR5 cabin.
The 2016 Toyota Hilux vehicles don’t come with Blind Spot Monitoring, or Lane Departure Warning etc. because it’s a work vehicle. You’re more likely to be moving all around the place, up/down hills and perhaps even driving through puddles or wading through water.
Overall, the 2016 Toyota Hilux is a very nice Ute, interior and exterior wise. The strong exterior look coupled by some nice colour schemes and the rugged but luxurious interior does tend to make your mouth water. Did I also mention that the back tray of the Ute is very big, deep and strong? Even the tailgate stays are steel, not like the older generation which were made out of cord.
The Toyota Hilux Double Cab SR5 is a ultimate dual purpose truck; it’s as versatile and practical on the work site as it is taking the family to the beach while towing the boat.
For more information on the Toyota Hilux, check out: http://www.toyota.co.nz/our-range/hilux/4wd-double-cab/