Used Toyota Hilux 2016 - present review

Category: Pick-up

Great if you need a dependable workhorse that’ll always get you out of a muddy building site, but has highly compromised on-road manners

Toyota Hilux
  • Toyota Hilux
  • Toyota Hilux interior
  • Toyota Hilux interior
  • Toyota Hilux side
  • Toyota Hilux rear
  • Toyota Hilux bed
  • Toyota Hilux side
  • Toyota Hilux rear
  • Toyota Hilux
  • Toyota Hilux interior
  • Toyota Hilux interior
  • Toyota Hilux side
  • Toyota Hilux rear
  • Toyota Hilux bed
  • Toyota Hilux side
  • Toyota Hilux rear
Used Toyota Hilux 2016 - present review
Star rating

What's the used Toyota Hilux pick-up like?

If you were asked to name a used vehicle that was figuratively bulletproof, then chances are you’d have replied ‘Well, that’ll be the Toyota Hilux, of course’. For more than 50 years, the Hilux has forged a reputation for dependability when faced with the most inhospitable of environments. It’s also given buyers exactly what they wanted in terms of towing, payload capacity and cost of ownership – values it continues to strive for even in its eighth generation.

Under its long bonnet is a large capacity 2.4-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. Unlike the ultra-smooth and very powerful 3.0-litre V6 found in the Volkswagen Amarok, the engine in the Hilux is grumbly at idle and gets no better once you’re on the move. To make matters worse, it only produces 148bhp to shift a vehicle that weighs over two tonnes before you’ve added any payload, so you’ll be working the engine quite hard when merging onto faster roads.


Great if you need a dependable workhorse that’ll always get you out of a muddy building site, but has highly compromised on road manners

  • Highly accomplished off road
  • Great reliability
  • Practical load bay
  • Underpowered
  • Bouncy ride with empty bed
  • Poor infotainment

Despite its lack of outright oomph compared with rivals, the Hilux can still offer a payload capacity of 3500kg – one of the best in the business. It can even tow a braked trailer of 3500kg, if required. Only the most powerful Amarok can top that.

The bed is impressive, too. With a length of 1510mm and a width of 1560mm at its widest point (1080mm where the wheel arches intrude), the back of the Hilux has been well thought out, even if a Nissan Navara does have a longer bed and an Amarok has less wheelarch intrusion. At 475mm in depth, it’s deep enough to load up plenty of stuff, but not so low that you’ll need to clamber onto the tyres when reaching in to grab equipment out of the back.

Although pick-up trucks these days are almost as likely to be bought for family car duty as they are a workhorse role, the Hilux interior is durable rather than plush. Don’t expect any soft touch plastics or thick carpets; think of it more as a hose-down and wipe clean environment, even though top models come with leather seats. The driving position isn’t bad, but shoulder room isn’t great and rear occupants will find things a bit cramped. Shallow footwells mean they’ll have to travel with their knees bent at an uncomfortable angle, too.

This agricultural nature extends to the driving experience. The Hilux has rock-hard rear suspension that needs considerable ballast before the leaf springs will yield to bumps like the rather soft front suspension does. The latter also causes the front end of the vehicle to dive considerably upon entering a corner, while the rather knobbly tyres howl in protest if you try to carry speed through a bend. Don’t expect precision from the steering, either: it’s rather slow to respond for the purposes of off road driving.

The basic Active model comes with air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, auto headlights and electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors. You’ll need a mid-range Icon model for alloy wheels, a DAB radio, cruise control and a reversing camera; autonomous safety equipment only comes as standard from Invincible spec onwards, while top-of-the-range Invincible X is the only one to get sat nav as standard.

Ownership cost

What used Toyota Hilux pick-up will I get for my budget?

If you’re prepared to sacrifice some luxuries and go for a basic Active Hilux, then an early 2016 example with an average number of miles can be found for £16,500. Step up the pecking order for an Invincible model and a 2017 car can be found for £21,500 - £22,000. If you want something a bit newer and posher, then a 2018 Invincible X with less than 10,000 miles could be yours for between £30,000-£31,000.

Check the value of a used Toyota Hilux with What Car? Valuations

Toyota Hilux interior

How much does it cost to run a Toyota Hilux pick-up?

There’s only one four-cylinder diesel engine on offer, which you’d think might be quite economical. Unfortunately, only the most basic manual Hilux manages to return a palatable 40.4mpg according to the old NEDC cycle, and road tax costs £250 a year. The automatic version is even worse and drops the combined figure down to 36.2mpg and raises yearly road tax to £315.

Any Hilux registered after 1 April 2017 falls under a revised road tax system and both the automatic and manual attract a charged a flat rate annual fee of £140.

No Hilux of this generation is old enough to qualify for Toyota’s cheaper Essentials Care servicing costs, which means you’ll have to pay full dealer pricing that can get quite expensive. An intermediate service is £250, a full version is £395, or there's the complete full plus package for £500.

Unless you’re buying an Invincible model, the chances are your Hilux will come without insurance friendly automatic emergency braking, so getting cover might be more expensive than it is for rivals.

Our recommendations

Which used Toyota Hilux pick-up should I buy?

The engine choice is already taken care of here, so you’ll just have to make your mind up about whether to go manual or automatic. The auto might give you better control in off road conditions, but is very slushy and makes the Hilux even slower. On balance, we’d go for the surprisingly slick six-speed manual instead. It’ll also cost less to run thanks to better fuel economy.

Most examples on the used market are the more practical double cab, which sacrifices bed length for a bigger and more practical body with four independently opening doors. The extra cab has to make do with smaller, rear hinged doors that require you to open the front ones first, and provides rather marginal rear legroom. The single cab has no rear seats, but offers the biggest load bed of the Hilux range.

Of the various models available we’d suggest avoiding entry-level Active and mid-range Icon and go for a higher spec Invincible model, mainly because it’ll come with extra safety tech for the full five-star euro NCAP rating. You’ll also get much better LED lights that will be useful at night. The leather seats of the Invincible X doesn’t turn the Hilux into a luxury vehicle, so isn’t worth paying extra for.

Our favourite Toyota Hilux: 2.4 D-4D Double Cab Invincible manual

Toyota Hilux side


What alternatives should I consider to a used Toyota Hilux pick-up?

Our favourite pick-up truck right now is the Volkswagen Amarok; not only does it have a very practical bed, but it drives really well and has a gutsy 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine. You won’t find soft touch plastics in the interior, but the design is classy and the infotainment system is light-years ahead of the one offered in the Toyota Hilux.

If bed length is your biggest concern, you’ll need a Nissan Navara for its massive load bay. What’s more, the Navara has a powerful engine and a commanding driving position, which will be great for filtering through traffic and picking your route while going off road.

Toyota Hilux rear