Toyota introduced the sixth generation Hilux at the end of 2005, but to general amazement all round it used the same underpowered 2.5-litre common rail diesel engine as its predecessor.
The situation has been rectified to a certain extent with the introduction of the 118hp Euro 4-compliant version which ups the peak torque to 325Nm at 2,000rpm. Toyota has also added a 3-litre version to the line-up which is capable of 169hp and 343Nm, but this is reserved for the top-spec lifestyle double cabs.
Toyota has also extended the range with a two door, four seat Extra Cab model which boasts a load bed length of 1,805mm which fits neatly between the 2,315mm of the Single Cab and 1,520mm of the Double Cab. Double wishbone front suspension has been employed, along with rear leaf springs and power assisted rack and pinion steering is standard; as is ABS.
The 4x2 Single Cab was dropped for 2009 so all Hiluxes are now four-wheel drive and come with a five-speed manual transmission, as well as a dual range transfer ’box which is operated manually using the lever next to the gearstick.
Gross payloads start at 945kg for the 4x4 Single Cab and peak at 1,170kg for the 4x2 derivative, with the Double Cab weighing in at 1,085kg. Extra Cab offer 1,045kg.
Hilux is available in three specifications — HL2, HL3 and Invincible (Double Cab) — but all versions feature remote central locking, electric windows, driver and passenger air bags as well as air conditioning. This latter item is a particularly impressive inclusion.
As with all Toyota light commercials, the Hilux comes with a three-year/60,000 mile mechanical warranty, but oil changes are disappointingly frequent at 10,000 miles.
Hilux was overshadowed somewhat in 2006 as all the competition soared ahead in the power stakes, but the addition of the uprated engines should redress the situation. The high standard specification is its ace card.