The Hilux is well appointed and compares more to a car than a pick up
This month we move on from the Ford Ka to a very different animal in the Toyota Hilux 4x4 Double Cab. This model is similar to previous editions, but now comes with climate and cruise control. The 3-litre diesel model that I tested made good use of the fi ve gears available. Being a pickup and rear wheel drive it is light at the back when not loaded – when cornering on wet roads, the back end has a tendency to come round to meet you, and on dry roads it can hop – but if the vehicle is carrying a load, which is the reason for buying it, then I would expect it to be more stable.
The Hilux is well appointed inside and compares more to a car than a pick up. Features include air conditioning and power windows, a good radio/CD sound system and plenty of little cubby holes for your bits and pieces as well as your cup of tea on the way to work. All round vision is good, though there is dark glass fi tted to the rear section of the double cab.
The rear can seat three comfortably. The rear seats fold down for extra storage space and the seats fi tted all round in the front and back were solid but comfortable. The only adjustment was back and forward and as the seat was higher than I required, taller people might spoil their hairstyle on the cab roof, especially on bumpy country roads.
Perhaps because of the high clearance of the vehicle, and higher seats, assist grips are fi tted on the door pillars, which for people of my smaller size were a welcome feature and which would help tired farmers after a long day out in the fi elds. The 3.0-litre Hilux model has a manual gearbox, and with a diesel engine is expected to deliver approximately 34 miles per gallon, four more than the automatic box. The engine CO2 fi gure is 219, and the tank capacity is 80 litres, or 18 gallons in old money, which should see you right for around 500 miles. I only tested the vehicle on tarmac in the Borders but according to Toyota it will perform well at 9,185 feet in South Africa, in freezing weather in Alaska and at 47 degrees in Dubai. Even rivers up to 700mm deep are no problem, and that is the reason why this vehicle has been sold to over 12,000,000 owners world wide. T
he standard manufacturer’s warranty can be extended up to seven years. Sat nav is also an option, but I doubt whether most of these vehicles will stray too far from home. Leather seats are another option.
To sum up, this is a nice neat business vehicle that will double up as a car when required. The current price is £17,595 plus VAT, delivery and registration fee, and the road fuel tax, because of the CO2 emission fi gure, is £185.00, which is less than some of the big monster vehicles out there. As a package I think it is good value for money, but if you have plenty of that, my advice would be to go and look at something else, such as a top end Range Rover, for weekend pleasure and leave the truck in the garage.