All-new 2016 Toyota Hilux SR5 has the style, comfort and ability to keep it at the top end of the sales charts
The Toyota Hilux has been one of Australia’s strongest nameplates for some time, and the T brand has renewed the range from the ground up – bar some engines and transmissions – for 2016.
The new 2016 Toyota Hilux is bigger, better looking and has better driveability than the ever-popular outgoing model. We sampled the SR5 specification of the new version to see if it can improve on the previous model and stay at the pointy end of the local sales charts.
What we like:
- Interior space and comfort
- Much improved road manners
- Smooth V6
- Tough exterior styling
Not so much:
- Steering can be heavy
- V6 is smooth but very thirsty and isn’t hugely powerful
- Rear parking sensors should be standard on SR5 models
- Cheap, hard and shiny interior plastics and trim
Price and Equipment
Toyota currently offers the Hilux in a huge range of different versions that cater for small businesses, tradie types and even those who want to split their Hilux’s duties between work and play. We sampled the Hilux SR5 Double-Cab Pick-Up with the 4.0 litre petrol V6, six-speed automatic and 4×4.
Standard equipment includes satellite navigation, Bluetooth streaming, digital radio a reversing camera, single-zone climate control, keyless entry, push button start, hill-descent control, a low-range gear box, diff locks, 18-inch alloy wheels, rear sports bar and a host of safety equipment.
Our test car was priced from $55,990 excluding on road costs.
The new Hilux’s interior design is sharp, fresh and modern. Glossy piano black and silver finishes combine car-like style with truck-like toughness – and the look works. The touchscreen infortainment screen (size) has beautiful graphics, is easy to use and has clever voice control system if the driver doesn’t want to take their hands of the leather wrapped steering wheel.
The gauges are bright, clear and easy to read –although adjusting brightness levels can be difficult, and there didn’t seem to be a digital speedometer.
Passengers are kept entertained with a punchy sound system that includes digital radio, Bluetooth streaming and of course USB input. The seats manage to be both soft and supportive and leave passengers feeling fresh after long stints on the road. There’s ample room for five people, with even the three passengers at the back enjoying more than enough space on their comfy bench.
However, while the new Hilux’s interior is good looking, comfortable and well-designed, it has one major drawback – the use of materials. We complained about cheap, shiny and hard cabin surfaces when we tested the previous model and its much the same story in the new version. While not exactly a luxury car, these shortcuts certainly are a black mark on an otherwise very good interior package.
Engine and Transmission
The 4.0 litre petrol V6 produces 175kW @ 5200rpm and 376Nm @ 3800rpm and power is sent to the road through a six-speed automatic and an on-demand 4×4 system.
The V6 is quiet and smooth, but it doesn’t feel particularly powerful or torquey, even when unladen. We suspect that the engine may struggle when towing a caravan or a trailer full of work gear. The transmission is generally smooth too, but can be a little indecisive and clunky at times.
Maximum rear payload is 1000 kilograms and maximum braked towing capacity is three tonnes.
Full consumption is officially rated at 12 litres per 100 kilometres, but we found 13.9 litres per 100 kilometres on a combined cycle was more realistic, and this would jump significantly should one be carrying said cargo. The donk has an appetite for premium unleaded too.
In sum, not a bad engine, but not a great fit for the ‘Lux. Consider the new 2.8 litre turbo diesel instead.
On The Road
Utes or pick-up trucks have traditionally been bouncy and agricultural without a payload to settle things down and it could be argued this was the case with the old Hilux. The new 2016 Hilux turns this driving experience on its head.
The Hilux handles tidily, steers accurately for a big rig and the leaf-spring sprung rear end only loses composure over rubbish tarmac. All these traits will form a big part of the Hilux SR5’s appeal, especially for buyers who plan to use it as a daily driver and then to get away on the weekends and it is evident Toyota has invested a good deal of time and money into the ride and handling set up.
The LED headlights are best described as excellent. Their range and beam are both powerful and clear and would easily illuminate the darkest of remote locations at night.
Tight car parks and city streets can still be testing though, largely due to the car’s massive size and heavy steering. The reversing camera is of good quality and the guidance lines also having markings that allow the driver to align with a tow ball. Parking sensors should be fitted as standard at this price point, though. Especially at the front, where it can be difficult to see the edge of the bonnet.
When one does choose escape and hit the rough stuff, there’s a low range gearbox, diff locks and hill descent control to help make sure the Hilux doesn’t get stuck.
Dual front, side, head and a driver’s knee airbag are standard along with anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control are all standard.
The Toyota Hilux is backed by Toyota’s 3 year/100,000 kilometre warranty.
2016 Toyota Hilux SR5 Specs
Make and model: Toyota Hilux SR5
Engine type: 3956cc six-cylinder petrol engine in a V configuration
Power: 175kW @ 5200rpm
Torque: 376Nm @ 3800rpm
Transmission: six-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Fuel consumption: 12 litres (combined)
Dimensions: 5330mm long, 1855mm wide, 1815mm high and 3085mm wheelbase
Steering: Electrically assisted Rack and pinion
Country of Origin: Thailand