Toyota Hilux review

Category: Pick-up

Section: Performance & drive

Toyota Hilux 2021 Off-road rear tracking
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Front 3/4 tracking
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Off-road rear tracking
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Dashboard
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Rear seats
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Infotainment screen
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Right tracking
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Rear 3/4 tracking
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Front 3/4 cornering
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Rear cornering
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Off-road tracking
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Centre console
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Cubby
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Front 3/4 tracking
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Off-road rear tracking
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Dashboard
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Rear seats
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Infotainment screen
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Right tracking
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Rear 3/4 tracking
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Front 3/4 cornering
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Rear cornering
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Off-road tracking
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Centre console
  • Toyota Hilux 2021 Cubby
What Car?’s Hilux deals

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

We’d recommend opting for the more powerful 2.8-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine in the Toyota Hilux as its 201bhp gives far punchier performance than the significantly slower 2.4-litre.

Many buyers decide to go for the six-speed automatic gearbox rather than the manual option. The auto helps haul the 2.8-litre version from 0-62mph in a 10.7sec, while the manual takes 2.1sec longer to cover the same sprint.

The Hilux is designed to deal with huge weights in its bed, so Toyota has fitted pretty stiff rear suspension. This causes the back of the truck to feel a little bouncy over speed bumps and rough roads, although that's a trait shared with all other pick-ups.

It’s by no means the worst, with the Musso and Isuzu D-Max proving even more jittery, although the Ranger provides a smoother ride, especially if you opt for a Ranger Raptor.

While stiff suspension usually improves handling, the Hilux quickly feels out of its depth if you pitch it into a corner hard. Its soft front suspension leads to lots of body lean and you don’t have to be going fast for the tyres to start squealing then run out of grip.

If good cornering is one of your priorities, you probably shouldn’t be looking at a pick-up at all, although the Musso and especially the Ranger are more accomplished. Off the road, the Hilux is virtually unstoppable. All models get selectable four-wheel drive with high and low range gearing for particularly demanding ascents.

If that’s not enough, a switchable rear diff-lock is standard to get you out of really sticky situations. There’s also hill descent control – an electronic system that helps to prevent the car from sliding down a steep hill – and plenty of other tech, so that muddy, uneven hills shouldn’t be too tricky.

With 60mm more ground clearance and a larger obstacle-approach angle than the Ranger, the Hilux can take on rocky surfaces with ease, although it can’t quite wade as deep as the Ford (700mm against 800mm respectively).

Toyota Hilux 2021 Off-road rear tracking