The Toyota Hilux has also seen incremental upgrades during the service life of each generation of vehicles - something that second-hand buyers should be aware of in order to find the truck that appropriately fulfils their needs. The sixth generation, in production from 1997 to 2005, initially came with three engine choices, from 2.4l to 3.4l, but this was quickly expanded the following year with two more offerings covering diesel and petrol. Both two- and four-wheel drive options were available.
The seventh generation was launched in 2005, increasing in size to become a medium pickup truck. The larger body allowed for greater load capacity and interior space and came in ‘single-cab’ two-door and ‘double-cab’ four-door variants. But again, within a year, a new form was presented to the UK - the ‘extra cab’ with two doors but four seats, as well as an extended loading bay vis-a-vis the double cab. Toyota has kept on top of regulatory issues too, upgrading the engines in 2007 to meet the Euro 4 emissions standards. Overall, Toyota has sold 16 million models of the Hilux since 1968, and the trend shows no sign of stopping here.
2010 Toyota Hilux Upgrades
The 2007 engine upgrade saw the Hilux receiving a 2.5l Euro 4 diesel engine and a substantial 3.0l D4D 170PS engine. 2010 saw further power boosts - the 2500cc diesel increased from a modest 118bhp to a more reasonable 143bhp. The 3.0l diesel engine uses a variable nozzle turbo to produce 169bhp, giving a maximum speed of 106mph with 34mpg.
This model was larger than previously, with a load length of 2,315mm for the single cab, 1,805mm for the extra cab and 1,520mm for the double cab. Towing capacity was somewhat limited at 2,250kg. Standard features include climate control, ABS, airbags for both front seats, electric windows and remote central locking, demonstrating Toyota’s stated commitment with the seventh-generation Hilux to strike a balance between tough performance and high levels of comfort and safety.
2012 Model Toyota Hilux
The Hilux was also graced with a facelift in 2012. Changes included a redesigned front end, with new bonnet, grille headlights and bumper. Buyers could now choose alloy wheels and side steps as add-ons, alongside additions such as the Urban Pack, which provides many useful features for city life such as parking sensors.
Another feature was the ‘Toyota Touch’ entertainment system - a 6.1” screen fitted into a revised dashboard. Touch comes as standard on the HL3 and Invincible trim grades, but not on the entry-level HL2 model. Engines remained the same but were upgraded to meet the new Euro 5 emissions standards.
2016 Toyota Hilux
The eighth-generation Hilux hits the streets in October 2016, sporting a sleeker front end with LED ‘daytime running lights’. The 2016 Hilux is bigger still than its predecessor - 90mm longer and 20mm wider, to be precise. Towing capacity has been boosted to a more impressive 3.2t, and under the hood there is a new 2.4l D4D engine with up to nine per cent lower fuel consumption than its previous incarnation. This engine can give drivers up to 39.8mpg when running on the combined cycle, producing emissions as low as 187g of CO2 per kilometre.
Other new engines include 2.4, 2.8 and 3.0l diesel engines with a choice of five or six gears in manual or automatic, although it’s important to note that the 3.0l is only available for the double cab with the highest ‘Invincible’ trim grade. Petrol engines are also available, ranging from 2.0 and 2.7 to a huge 4.0 litre engine, all featuring a Duel VVT-i (intelligent variable valve timing) to deliver greater power and torque.
Due to the open cargo bay, buyers may wish to install a hard load cover. The double-cab configuration naturally loses some of its cargo space to the back seats, but the loading deck is still 1,520mm in length with a width of 1,515mm. The single cab is the one to go for if you’ll be carrying large loads, as it boasts a vast loading deck of 2,315mm by 1,520mm.