Interested in a Toyota HiLux?
    • Remains a solid all-rounder
    • Off-road ability
    • Strong aftermarket support
    • Interior looks and feels old
    • Six-month service intervals
    • Updated model is right around the corner
    5 Star

    The Toyota HiLux is under fire.

    It was beaten on the sales charts in 2023 – the first time in seven years – by its arch rival from Ford, the Ranger.

    What’s more, big-spending private buyers are looking past high-end HiLux variants like the SR5+ on test here in favour of the newer, higher-tech Ford.

    Toyota has confirmed there’s an updated HiLux coming next month with the option of a 48V mild-hybrid system, tougher new looks, and some mild tweaks to the cabin.

    Is it worth waiting, or should you snap up the current model before it’s gone?

    Note: Toyota Australia has confirmed pricing for the updated HiLux with V-Active Technology (48V mild-hybrid tech) but has stopped short of confirming details of the entire 2024 line-up. Read more here.

    How does the Toyota HiLux compare?
    View a detailed breakdown of the Toyota HiLux against similarly sized vehicles.

    How much does the Toyota HiLux cost?

    As ever, the Toyota HiLux range is absolutely massive – with 28 variants on offer in Australia.

    Four-wheel drive pricing is below. For a full breakdown of the range you can check out our price and specs story, or our price and specs tool.

    4×4 dual-cab chassis

    • 2023 Toyota HiLux Workmate 2.4TD 6AT: $48,735 (+$560)
    • 2023 Toyota HiLux SR 2.8TD 6MT: $50,955 (+$560)
    • 2023 Toyota HiLux SR 2.8TD 6AT: $53,105 (+$560)
    • 2023 Toyota HiLux SR5 2.8TD 6AT: $59,990 (+$560)

    4×4 dual-cab pickup

    • 2023 Toyota HiLux Workmate 2.4TD 6MT: $47,985 (+$560)
    • 2023 Toyota HiLux Workmate 2.4TD 6AT: $49,985 (+$560)
    • 2023 Toyota HiLux SR 2.8TD 6MT: $52,445 (+$560)
    • 2023 Toyota HiLux SR 2.8TD 6AT: $54,605 (+$560)
    • 2023 Toyota HiLux SR5 2.8TD 6MT: $60,490 (+$560)
    • 2023 Toyota HiLux SR5 2.8TD 6AT: $62,490 (+$560)
    • 2023 Toyota HiLux Rogue 2.8TD 6AT: $70,760 (+$560)
    • 2023 Toyota HiLux GR Sport 2.8TD 6AT: $73,990

    Prices are before on-road costs

    To see how the Toyota HiLux compares with its rivals, use our comparison tool.

    What is the Toyota HiLux like on the inside?

    The HiLux is starting to feel its age inside.

    It was given a few gentle updates in 2021, led by an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system packing smartphone mirroring, but alongside the Ford Ranger it’s a long way off the pace.

    I find it hard to clamber into, with limited adjustment in the steering wheel meaning I have to awkwardly lever my lanky legs beneath it, and the driving position feels quite cramped.

    With that said, the front seats are well-padded for longer trips, and the view of the road ahead is commanding. Our tester with the optional SR5+ Package has leather seat trim in place of the cloth in the regular SR5, along with heating and power adjustment for the front seats.

    The package doesn’t transform the HiLux into a luxury car – the coarse steering wheel doesn’t really feel worthy of a $65,000 dual-cab ute, and there’s a lot of hard plastic around – but it’s decent value at $2000, and will be welcomed by owners who use their truck on a work site and the school run.

    Also worth noting is the fact hard plastics are hard wearing, which is in keeping with the HiLux’s billing as a go-anywhere, do-anything work ute.

    Toyota has a good grasp on ergonomics. Need to press something often? Chances are it’s within easy reach, which makes the learning curve more of a molehill than a mountain in here.

    The infotainment system is relatively simple to use on the move, and responds quickly enough to inputs. It’s not what you’d call standout, but the addition of smartphone mirroring is a big development. Points to Toyota for fitting hard shortcut buttons and a proper volume knob, too.

    Along with satellite navigation and the requisite Bluetooth phone connectivity, there’s wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring for easier phone calls, Google Maps, and media access on the move.

    There’s also an abundance of storage with a phone-sized slot under the dashboard, twin cupholders, a large storage bin under the armrest, a two-tier glovebox, and spacious door pockets.

    Rear passengers are treated to acceptable amounts of legroom and headroom, but the HiLux is not a class leader. As is the case in all the dual-cab utes popular in Australia, it can also be quite a bouncy, uncomfortable place to spend time with no load in the tray.

    Air vents feature back there for kids (or apprentices) on hot days, as does a fold-down central armrest. The door trims are home to bottle holders as well.

    A pair of ISOFIX points feature on the outboard rear seats, and there’s a trio of top tether points for child seats. If you are fitting a child seat, it’s quite fiddly to access the top tether anchor point – as is the case in all dual-cab utes.

    What’s under the bonnet?

    ModelToyota HiLux SR5+
    Engine2.8-litre 4cyl turbo-diesel
    Transmission6-speed automatic
    Driven wheelsFour-wheel drive (2H, 4H, 4L)
    Weight2110kg (kerb)
    Fuel economy (claim)7.9 litres per 100km
    Fuel tank size80 litres
    Gross vehicle mass3050kg
    Gross combination mass5858kg
    Payload 1000kg
    Braked towing 3500kg

    To see how the Toyota HiLux compares with its rivals, use our comparison tool.

    How does the Toyota HiLux drive?

    If you’ve driven a HiLux in the last 10 years, the way the current one behaves won’t be a surprise.

    It’s not the most refined ute in the world, with a clattery sound on startup and plenty of vibrations through the steering wheel when you push it hard, but it does pack enough of a punch.

    An update in 2021 brought about more torque (500Nm, up from 450Nm), and it’s noticeable when you put your foot down.

    Rather than feeling strained, the HiLux feels muscular in the mid-range – which pays off when you’ve a load in the tray, or are towing something heavy.

    Toyota’s six-speed automatic transmission mightn’t have as many options as the 10-speeder in the Ford Ranger and its bi-turbo engine, but it makes up for it by being decisive and intelligent on the move.

    It’s happy to hold a taller gear and lean on the mid-range on lighter throttle inputs, and kicks down smartly when more performance is required. There’s also a sequential-style manual shift option for control freaks, but it’s best left to its own devices for the most part.

    Toyota made a raft of changes in 2021 to improve the HiLux’s ride in the city, including longer leaf springs spaced further apart; new spring, damper and bushing rates; and new cabin mounts.

    It’s not a featherbed. You can feel pimply city streets jittering through the structure, although they’re better kept at bay than in the pre-update model, and sharper bumps really make their presence felt.

    At higher speeds, testing at the ex-Holden proving ground at Lang Lang showed it can also be quite bouncy over big highway crests and dips at high speed.

    With that said, the engine is quiet at 100km/h, and you don’t get too much wind noise or roar on average roads.

    No dual-cab ute is as refined as a passenger car or SUV on the road, given the trade-offs inherent in making a car capable of carrying a tonne in the tray. If it is an SUV-like ride you’re after, the HiLux doesn’t go as far to hide its commercial vehicle roots as some of its rivals.

    Where the HiLux does perform strongly however is off-road. It has good approach and departure angles (29 and 27 degrees respectively) and ground clearance (226mm), and in our ute mega test it trucked on through all our tests without ever breaking too much of a sweat.

    The four-wheel drive system operates using a chunky dial on the dashboard, and it’s easy enough to know how your car is in 4H, 4L, or has the rear differential locked. Toyota’s hill descent control is reliable, and is simple to engage.

    It’s a shame the HiLux can’t run in four-wheel drive on sealed surfaces like a Ranger V6 though, and inexperienced off-road drivers would benefit from off-road drive modes to automatically configure the four-wheel drive system, traction control, and rear differential based on the terrain.

    What do you get?

    HiLux Workmate highlights:

    • 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system
    • Wired Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
    • 2-speaker sound system
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Automatic headlights
    • Air-conditioning
    • Power windows
    • Cloth upholstery
    • Vinyl floors
    • Halogen headlights, daytime running lights
    • Reversing camera (Double Cab ute)
    • 16-inch wheels (17-inch in Double Cab, 4×4 variants)

    HiLux SR adds:

    • 4- or 6-speaker sound system (Extra Cab, Double Cab respectively)
    • Side steps
    • Front air-conditioned cooler box
    • 17-inch alloy wheels
    • Body-coloured door handles

    HiLux SR5 adds:

    • LED headlights, daytime running lights, front fog lights
    • Satellite navigation
    • DAB+ digital radio
    • Front, rear parking sensors
    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Surround-view camera
    • Rear cross-traffic alert
    • Privacy glass
    • Dual-zone climate control air-conditioning
    • Rear air vents (Double Cab only)
    • Keyless entry and start
    • Premium shifter and steering wheel
    • Carpeted floors
    • Chrome door handles
    • Puddle lights
    • 18-inch alloy wheels

    HiLux SR5+ package ($2000) adds:

    • Power driver’s seat
    • Heated front seats
    • Leather-accented upholstery

    Is the Toyota HiLux safe?

    The Toyota HiLux wears a five-star ANCAP rating for vehicles sold from July 2019 onwards, scoring 96 per cent for adult occupant protection, 87 per cent for child occupants, 88 per cent for vulnerable road users and 78 per cent for safety assist.

    Standard safety equipment across the entire HiLux range includes:

    • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
      • Pedestrian (day/night) detection
      • Cyclist (day) detection
    • High-speed adaptive cruise control
    • Lane departure warning (w/ brake-based steering assist)
    • Traffic sign recognition

    HiLux SR5 adds:

    • Blind-spot monitoring (dual-cab pickup only)
    • Rear cross-traffic alert (dual-cab pickup only)
    • Front and rear parking sensors (pick-up only)
    • Surround-view camera (dual-cab pickup only)

    How much does the Toyota HiLux cost to run?

    The Toyota HiLux is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty which covers any Toyota-produced part, panel and accessory.

    Engine and driveline warranty can be extended by another two years provided the vehicle is serviced according to schedule, and the car is backed by seven years of emergency assistance.

    Maintenance is still required every six months or 10,000 kilometres, shorter than the usual 12 month/15,000km intervals offered by most rivals.

    Service pricing is capped between $245 and $290 per visit for the first six visits, covering three years or 60,000km.

    CarExpert’s Take on the Toyota HiLux

    The Toyota HiLux remains a solid work ute, but it’s not the best dual-cab ute out there if you want to use your ute in lieu of a family SUV or sedan.

    Updates in 2021 brought about a better ride, more punch, and more up-to-date interior technology, but the new Ford Ranger puts high-specification versions of the HiLux in the shade.

    The fact maintenance is still required every six months or 10,000km instead of annually like its rivals is a knock, too.

    That doesn’t mean the Toyota is completely without merit.

    Toyota’s sprawling dealer network is reassuring if you’re planning to take your ute deep into the wilderness or want to carry the family around Australia with a caravan, and the range of accessories on offer remains a drawcard.

    The update coming soon to Australian dealerships will no doubt bring a price rise, but it’ll also bring a more efficient engine option and a few choice interior upgrades.

    We’d be waiting to see the changes in person before signing on the dotted line for a high-end HiLux.

    Click the images for the full gallery

    MORE: Buy a Toyota HiLux
    MORE: Everything Toyota HiLux

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

    Overall Rating

    Cost of Ownership7.5
    Ride Comfort7.5
    Fit for Purpose8
    Handling Dynamics7
    Interior Practicality and Space7.9
    Fuel Efficiency8
    Value for Money7.5
    Technology Infotainment7
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