The Toyota HiLux SR5 sits at the top of the tree for the popular range; A Wheel Thing tested the 4.0L petrol engined four door version recently and was left with the impression that Ford, Holden, Mitsubishi etc shouldn’t be worried…
For a four wheel drive capable ute, a torquey engine should be the go. This is where diesels are ideal for this class of car and yes, there’ll be those that will consider off roading going through a puddle on their front lawn, therefore a petrol donk is the go. Due to the high revving nature (3800 for peak torque of 376 Nm) and low gear ratios, the 4.0L V6 isn’t able to get the SR5 off the line all that quickly, needing something around 3000 plus to see something approaching alacrity…it wasn’t the thriftiest of things, as a result, with around 13.0L of its chosen 95 RON tipple per 100 km the end result from a 80 litre tank.
There’s 2000 kilos to move from the start, plus a 3000 kilo towing capacity, which makes the SR5’s lack of urge from the big V6 all the more a standout.
Toyota quotes 12.0L for a combined and a Range Rover HST (with supercharged V6 of just three litres capacity) beating 16.4, as in thirstier, for the urban cycle. Even a freeway run is quoted as 9.4L per 100 km. Peak power is just 175 kW at over 5000, by the way. Transmission is a six speed auto and that’s it (the 2.8L diesel option for the SR5 gets both manual and auto) and it’s mostly ok, smooth enough yet had a predilection for holding gear at around third or fourth for too long. Recent external facelift aside, with the somewhat protuberant nose and eyebrow LEDs, the interior needs a lift as well. No sunroof? All plastic interior? No HUD? A driver’s seat with electric adjustment as a $2k option, rather than included? Carpet mats, not rubber? No Blind Spot Monitoring? Single zone aircon?You DO get a redesigned dash look, with a simple and clear layout under the binnacle, a seven inch touchscreen (which still looks like a last minute addition, but not as badly as the Lexus RX) with a user friendly menu system, Bluetooth audio, DAB radio (putting it ahead ahead of the Koreans, who, admittedly, lack an entrant in the ute field but none of their mainstream cars have DAB), push button start and decent dash dials although there’s no colour display. The tiller is adjustable for reach and rake however and there’s hints of an attempt to brighten the cabin, with brushed aluminuim highlights on the steering wheel spokes and driver’s side air vent. Having said that, the Triton and Ranger do feel as if their dash is of a more cohesive look, a point A Wheel Thing has noted about Toyota’s styling previously. For example, the electronically engaged four wheel drive system dial is awkwardly located near the drivers knee, isn’t terribly easy to see and potentially could be knocked by said knee. The top section of the dash also looks somewhat separate in the greater design scheme of things. But, again, a couple of little things like two 12V sockets and a 220V three pin socket are included.
There was also the need to duck the head upon entry and rear seat leg room was tight. That in itself was odd as the HiLux is one big unit. It’s 5.3 metres in overall length (the test car was the four door with tray) but has a 3085 mm wheelbase, shorter than most in its class. With that amount of space between front and rear wheels, it appears that Toyota has prioritised the load space at the expense of the back seat, with a tray length (interior) of 1570 mm. Given the target aim of the SR5, well off tradie style that will hardly, if ever, utilise the off road credentials, a more family friendly space would be appropos.Speaking of road credentials, either the tyres were underinflated or the suspension is softer than expected, as it seemed doughy, spongy, in the lower part of the ride and managed to also feel quite jiggly on uneven and undulating surfaces and, oddly, choppy on shopping centre parking speed humps . With the tyres fitted (265/60/18) and the ride quality being as squishy as it was, it wasn’t unusual for the nose to run wide in corners and slightly woolly steering didn’t help either.
In gear acceleration was…leisurely, requiring a hard right foot to see much happen on the speedo, although the noises from up front, under the steel (not alloy) bonnet, would infer otherwise.
As always, you’ll get plenty of peace of mind and safety in the form of three years warranty or 100000k, airbags, driver assist such as Hill Descent Control and diff locking. Part of the testing for the updated model included over 650000 kilometres of testing in Australia. You’ll also get ANCAP’s five star safety rating, diff lock for the rear, 279 mm clearance. Service intervals are six months apart or 10000 kilometres (Amarok, Navara, Ranger, for example, are 12 months or 15000 kilometres) with a capped cost of $180 per service for the first six.
At the End Of the Drive.
At just under $56k plus on-roads and premium paint at $550, which take it up to around $61700 for a private buyer, it’s starting to not look like the best value 4×4 ute around. The relative lack of comparable features, the ride quality, the economy and drive, the interior trim, if benchmarked against the rest, leave the HiLux SR5 looking flat and left behind.
To make up your mind about the 2016 Toyota HiLux SR5, with 4.0L V6 petrol engine and standard auto, go here: 2016 Toyota HiLux SR5