The eighth generation HiLux boasts a thicker, stronger frame and increased offroad protection, and the SR and SR5 4WD variants fitted with a heavy-duty towbar now have a maximum braked-capacity of 3500kg in the six-speed ‘intelligent’ manual (a new feature that helps eliminate shift shock) and 3200kg in the six-speed automatic transmission.
Kedron’s Glen Gall said his team had relished the opportunity to hitch up their vans to the latest models and hit the tracks in Victoria, New South Wales and far north Queensland.
Glen said his first impression was that the new models have more on-and-offroad presence, due to the larger body which is 70mm longer and 20mm wider. The interior, too, made an impression.
"In the models we had the chance to drive, the first thing that grabs your eye is the tablet-like touchscreen, which is fantastic for connectivity and easier viewing of features, especially for those with a reversing camera for hitching up," Glen said.
Kedron chose to hitch one of its larger caravans to the 2.8L turbodiesel model, which has gained more performance with 25 per cent more torque (now 450Nm) than its 3L predecessor.
"This was noticeable when hitched up to a van loaded to about 3000kg for testing offroad," Glen said. "After passing through a creek crossing, we were faced with a steep, rocky and muddy incline, and normally we would be towing with the likes of either a LC70 or 200 Series. With low 4WD engaged, we steadily edged up, and it truly worked its way up with an awesome ability.
"The vehicle just feels very capable, the more rigid frame with the new suspension package certainly provides more comfort, coupled with a feel of a firmer stance, especially when towing."
Toyota has also released a line of genuine accessories to work with its vehicles, including new winch-compatible steel and alloy front bars, a new snorkel with 25 per cent more airflow efficiency than other models and a reversible head. The canopies now sync with the vehicle’s central locking system and hard lid ute tops also feature central locking, a one-handed operation, an LED light and a safety release.
"For those who have waited for this next generation, the new model will be sure to impress with its much improved array of characteristics, from comfort and convenience to performance and capability, which is now blended together with the attributes that has made Toyota the brand it is today, with its durability and reliability testament in the product’s resale value when it becomes time to sell or upgrade," Glen said.