Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Toyota Hilux pick-up?
A plastic or spray-on bed liner isn’t standard fit on most pick-up trucks, but it is a very useful thing to have, otherwise you’ll scratch up the paint in the often-exposed bed of the truck. This will then corrode over time, leading to future rust holes.
Invincible models and above get a suite of autonomous safety tech including autonomous emergency braking. That’s important because, without it, the Hilux only has a three-star Euro NCAP rating as opposed to the full five when it's fitted.
Dents and scratches
The Hilux is a 5.3m long vehicle and most models do without front and rear parking sensors. What’s more, basic Active models forgo a back up camera so it’s for low obstacles to go unnoticed. Check the exterior for damage, or evidence of poor quality paint repairs.
Condition of tyres
The high sidewall of the tyres used on the Hilux means the alloy wheels should remain unscathed from kerb damage, but jagged rocks that you may encounter while driving off road can cut into the rubber. These cuts might look innocent, but they increase the risk of a blow out at speed.
Spare wheel theft
The spare tyre on a Hilux is located under the bed at the rear. There will be a security lock on it from the factory, but this is worth inspecting to make sure it works correctly, otherwise, the opportunist thief might relieve you of your wheel.
Despite some impressive approach, break over and departure angles (31deg, 23deg and 26deg, respectively) you should still check underneath for signs of off road damage. Also, make sure any thick mud has been washed off the chassis; otherwise it’ll trap moisture and cause corrosion.
What are the most common problems with a used Toyota Hilux pick-up?
Diesel particulate filter (DPF)
The DPF on examples that are left to idle a lot or complete only short journeys can block up with frustrating regularity. There is a specific button you can press to regenerate the DPF to help prevent this, but taking prolonged drives at faster speeds is a better option.
Poor fuel economy
Fuel economy is not the Hilux’s strongest attribute, and is also not helped by that manual DPF regeneration switch. Using it injects additional fuel into the exhaust stream to increase the temperature in the filter, burning off the trapped soot. The 80-litre fuel tank is therefore necessary for decent range.
Is a used Toyota Hilux pick-up reliable?
The Hilux is a bit too scarce to have featured in our most recent What Car? Reliability Survey, unfortunately. However, you can take some comfort in the fact that Toyota as a brand finished in a great third place position overall, out of 31 car manufacturers.
If you would like to see the full reliability list, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.
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