In-depth reviews

Toyota Hilux pickup - Engines, drive & performance

As long as you’re not expecting too much of a car-like experience, the Toyota Hilux is easy and enjoyable to drive

Carbuyer Rating

3.7 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.4 out of 5

Pickup trucks have improved in leaps and bounds over the past decade or so, and the Toyota Hilux is no exception. You sit upright and high up, so the view out over most other traffic is excellent, while the accurate steering instils confidence, which is welcome given the Hilux’s size. It’s also impressively comfortable over bumps and drain covers. A proper SUV would be smoother but the Hilux is a reasonably appealing prospect for long journeys and does a great job of insulating you from potholes and other road imperfections.

You won’t be seeking out a winding B-road, though – there’s too much body lean and not enough grip when cornering for the Toyota to be genuinely enjoyable – but, overall, it’s competent and reassuring to drive. We did find the back end jiggled about a little when the load bay was empty, though. This is a result of the suspension being set up to support a serious amount of weight and is a common characteristic of most pickup trucks.

Toyota Hilux diesel engine

The entry-level 2.4-litre diesel engine has 148bhp. That may not sound like much, but it actually has plenty of pulling power – enough to haul a 3,500kg load using the tow bar or carry up to 1,030kg in the load bed. The equivalent Nissan Navara has more power and is a little faster, but the Hilux will be swift enough for most. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 13.2 seconds with the manual gearbox and 12.7 seconds with the automatic. As mentioned earlier, we’d recommend saving around £1,500 by choosing the manual – it’s smooth and makes the Hilux more economical, too. The top speed for both is 105mph.

More reviews

As part of the late 2020 facelift, the 2.8-litre diesel engine was introduced to the Hilux lineup for the first time. It produces 201bhp, and provides a decent performance boost over the smaller engine, taking 10.1 seconds from 0-62mph with a manual gearbox and 10.7 seconds when equipped with an automatic.

On the road, the extra power of the larger 2.8-litre diesel engine is noticeable, with the added pulling power making for more relaxed acceleration. It still emits a decent amount of diesel clatter under acceleration if you rev it hard, but the extra power makes it far easier to get up to speed. This makes the the plusher versions of the Hilux more refined and comfortable at motorway speeds, with only a small amount of tyre roar and wind noise in the background.

While the facelifted Hilux is impressive on road, its off-road ability is equally good. It’s well prepared for off-road use, with hill descent control, a tweaked stability control system, improved throttle response, a lower engine speed and an easy to use low-range 4WD mode. Our test car was running on standard road tyres, which were sufficient to show the Hilux has more than enough mud-plugging ability for most owners. The car’s capable assistance systems help it traverse the rough stuff with relative ease.

Recommended

Toyota Hilux pickup review
Toyota Hilux
Toyota Hilux
12 Apr 2022

Toyota Hilux pickup review

Top 7 best pickup trucks 2022
Ford Ranger Wildtrak crossing a river
Best cars
14 Oct 2021

Top 7 best pickup trucks 2022

Most Popular

Nissan Ariya vs Volvo XC40 vs Volkswagen ID.4 - which is best?
Hero image
News
11 Aug 2022

Nissan Ariya vs Volvo XC40 vs Volkswagen ID.4 - which is best?

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N spotted testing
2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N
News
11 Aug 2022

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 5 N spotted testing

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
MG HS
Deals
12 Aug 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
20 Jun 2022

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
12 Jul 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
24 Jun 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022