1 Apr 2005
By CHRIS HARRIS
TOYOTA’S seventh-generation HiLux utility is substantially bigger in all dimensions, more powerful, more refined, more comfortable, safer and, importantly, represents better value than its seven-year old predecessor.
Built on an all-new ladder chassis and employing new engines and suspension, the new HiLux range comprises some 30 variants (up from 27) – opening with the four-cylinder Work Mate single-cab/chassis and closing with the flagship turbo-diesel dual-cab SR5.
Offering a wider choice of body, powertrain and equipment grade combinations, the new range again includes the choice of 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains and either single, "Xtra" and double-cab body options – each with cab/chassis or style-side pick-up tray options.
The entry-level Work Mate equipment grade (4x2 only) also continues alongside the SR and range-topping SR5 variant, but is now available in dual-cab guise as well.
Also available for the first time are a six-cylinder 4x2 and the option of an automatic transmission in turbo-diesel 4x4 models.
All Gen-7 HiLux variants come with twin front airbags and front seatbelt pretensioners, but while anti-lock brakes are standard in the top-shelf SR5 and optional in SR, ABS remains unavailable on lesser HiLux variants.
Air-conditioning is standard only on SR5 versions.
A wider footprint and new double wishbone front coil suspension improve stability, handling, ride quality and active safety, while the new body and chassis design and new safety equipment improve passive safety.
Claimed to be some 50 per cent stiffer than before, the substantially larger new HiLux is 345mm longer, 60mm wider, 75mm higher, offers a 155mm-longer tray (165mm longer on dual-cabs), a 235mm-longer wheelbase and now accommodates a 190cm driver in comfort partly thanks to 240mm of fore-aft seat travel.
Exclusive to single/double-cab Work Mate 4x2 manual variants is a new entry-level 2.7-litre DOHC four-cylinder petrol engine producing 118kW at 5200rpm 241Nm of torque at 3800rpm.
Available in single, Xtra and double-cab 4x2 and 4x4 variants is a new 4.0-litre quad-cam VVT-i petrol V6 lifted from Toyota’s Prado SUV exclusively for Australia and producing 175kW at 5200rpm and a big 376Nm of torque from 3800rpm in auto guise - or 343Nm between 2400 and 4800rpm in manual form.
Completing the quantum leap in performance is a new 3.0-litre DOHC inline four-cylinder intercooled turbo-diesel with common rail direct injection and twin balance shafts.
Available only in single-cab/chassis and double-cab pick-up SR trim (4x2) and in single, Xtra and double-cab 4x4 guises, the new oil-burner produces 120kW at 3400rpm and 343Nm of torque from just 1400rpm – significantly up on both versions of the current HiLux diesel.
All models offer a shift-on-the-move two-speed transfer case and both V6 and turbo-diesel engines can be mated to a new five-speed automatic transmission.
In 2008, Toyota released the supercharged TRD HiLux in Australia after previewing it at the 2007 Melbourne motor show, soon after the company had been forced to slash the price of the TRD Aurion to boost sales.
The TRD HiLux was launched with two model variants, the sporty 4000S priced at $59,990 – almost $10,000 more than the SR5 Dual Cab on which it is based – and the more luxurious 4000SL, priced from $64,990.
Both are powered by the same forced induction 4.0-litre V6 engine with a water-to-air intercooler, which develops 225kW of power and 453Nm of torque running on premium unleaded petrol, and come with a standard five-speed automatic transmission.
They ride on 17-inch alloy wheels with 265/65 R17 all-terrain tyres and employ a modified and lowered suspension with retuned springs and high-performance Bilstein monotube shock absorbers with stone shields to protect them off-road.
Braking is provided by bigger front discs and calipers sourced from the Prado – 338mmx28mm rotors with four-piston calipers versus 294x25 discs and two-piston calipers on the standard HiLux – while ABS is standard.
13th of April 2006
Toyota 2005 Hilux SR5 d/cab tdi 4x4 utilityCan the flagship of Toyota's big new HiLux range match the hype that surrounds it?
When it was new