The Toyota Hilux has been around since 1967 and has pretty much dominated the sector in Australia, Africa and the Middle East during its reign. Although it has grown ever-more sophisticated – particularly in terms of cab comfort – it still uses a true chassis and, at the rear at least, a beam axle. These simple technologies have endeared it to operators who truly work out in the field far away from workshop support. The BBC’s TopGear team tried, and failed, to destroy a Hilux by subjecting it to a number of ‘tests’ the last of which consisted of exploding the block of flats upon which the Hilux stood. Pointless perhaps, but Toyota immediately used ‘Invincible’ badging on UK models, bolstering the legend still further. However, is any of this relevant to Hilux-buying the UK tradesman?

The Toyota Hilux, underwent major revisions in 2010. The 2.5 litre D-4D engine was improved to produce more power and torque than its same-capacity forebear. Maximum output was increased from 118 to 142bhp, and torque upped by 18Nm to a maximum 343Nm at 2,000rpm.

The higher-output turbocharger and new fuel injectors to improved accelerator response. Toyota claims just 12.5 seconds is needed from 0-60 mph, but of more use is  that increased torque when loaded or trailer towing.

The 2.5 D-4D engine is matched to a five-speed manual transmission and available in all three Hilux body styles: Single Cab, Extra Cab and Double Cab. The 3.0 litre D-4D engine was then reserved only for the Invincible Double Cab.

Increases in Hilux’s gross vehicle weights yielded small improvements in payload for Double Cab models where capacity has increased by 35kg on the HL2 Double Cab and 25kg on the HL3 Double Cab. Only the two-wheel drive models have a sub-one tonne payload and the 4X4 variants only differ by 30 Kg depending upon cab type, all carry over 1000 Kg. The Hilux 3.0 D-4D Invincible Double Cab, carries a lot of standard kit too. Whilst leather upholstery and satellite navigation with Bluetooth were popular options on the Invincible. The Urban Pack was a worthwhile addition too with  front guard, scuff plates and front and rear parking sensors and was available for both the HL3 and Invincible trim levels on Double Cabs.

The reliability reputation would seem well-founded. VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) list one, repeated recall for the Hilux, described as ‘Bedliner may detach from deck’. It covers models from 2007 to 2011, but as this is an accessory not part of the standard specification it will not affect all models and would appear to relate to the fittings of the liner. Otherwise a possible question over the longevity of injector seals causing mis-fuelling and rough running seems to be entirely aimed at pre-2009 model year vehicles, not the 2.5D-4D described above with revised injectors. With such a hard-working vehicle service history is a must.


Second-hand buys

Used values are strong on the Hilux, cheap might not mean cheerful here. The used van locator found a 2010 HL2 trim 4X4 with  102,000 miles behind it at £10,150, with a 2011 Double Cab 2WD HL2 with only 59,000 miles on for £10,250. For £10,495 we spotted a luxurious 2010 Double Cab HL3 with 90,000 miles on the clock and 2012 Double Cab HL2 with only 30,000 miles elapsed commanding a £12,500 asking price. High mileage 2010 Single cabs drop through the £10K barrier but look carefully.