The Toyota Hilux is one of the few models that can genuinely claim to hold iconic status in the light commercial vehicle sector, but in recent years it has found itself jostling for prominence in an increasingly competitive pick-up market.
As well as introducing a limited-run 50th anniversary edition plus the snow-faring Hilux AT35 conversion by Arctic Trucks, Toyota last year moved to keep its truck in the spotlight with the unveiling of a new flagship, the Invincible X, at the CV Show in May prior to its arrival in showrooms during the third quarter of 2018.
The model features a new front end including a grille with gloss black inserts and a chrome frame plus a new-look front bumper, fog lights and silver under-run. The rear gets a new step and a silver under-run beneath the licence plate while 18in alloys and rear privacy glass reinforce the top trim feel, as does the cabin, which is finished in black and chrome.
These upgrades succeed in making the Hilux X a handsome and tough-looking customer on the outside while the interior is classy and businesslike.
The instrument binnacle has features new to the range, such as white dials and a central multi-information display, and to further indulge the customers’ craving for exclusivity, the Invincible X comes with a dedicated start-up animation that activates each time the ignition is switched on. Even the key is X model-specific, featuring a silhouette sketch of the new frontal design.
Otherwise, equipment features are pretty much in line with existing Hilux Invincible specifications and include Toyota Safety Sense, with pre-collision system lane-departure warning and road sign assist, plus cruise control (although this is not adaptive so does not brake automatically if you get too close to the vehicle in front), Toyota Touch 2 with the Go multimedia system including navigation and six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, rear-view camera, automatic air-conditioning and leather upholstery.
The Invincible X is powered by a 150hp 2.4-litre diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. It’s a good combination that delivers power smoothly and is especially welcome when taking the strain out of piloting the big vehicle in tight and congested urban streets, although it also delivers impressive performance when eating up miles on the motorway where exterior noise is well suppressed to make for a quiet and stress-free ride.
Despite the addition of fancy kit, the Invincible X is still a Hilux, so it goes without saying it’s competent off-road and boasts serious workhorse credentials. A towing capacity of 3.5t is joint class-leading alongside the Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, Mercedes X-Class and Isuzu D-Max, and a payload of just over 1.1t is also one of the meatiest on the market.
While not quite as slick as the automatic gearboxes offered by VW in its Amarok, or Mercedes in its X-Class, the Toyota’s price tag will make the Invincible X a more realistic option for most operators looking for a luxury pick-up. Once VAT is removed, the X costs £29,756, compared to £32,580 for the Amarok Aventura Auto double-cab and £34,700 for the X-Class 250d Power double-cab.
Toyota claims combined fuel consumption of 36.2mpg for the Invincible X, which compares to 32.1mpg for the Ford Ranger 3.2 Limited double-cab Auto and is a match for the Isuzu D-Max 1.9 Blade double-cab Auto.
Toyota’s warranty of five years/100,000 miles is also competitive, but does not match Isuzu’s five years/125,000 miles for the D-Max or Ssangyong’s remarkable seven years/150,000 miles offering for its Musso.
Hilux Invincible X 2.4 Auto 3.5t
Price (ex VAT) £29,756
Price range (ex VAT) £19,417-£29,756
Insurance group 40 (est)
Service intervals 10,000mls
Load length 1,525mm
Load width (min/max) 1,230/1,645mm
Gross payload 1,115kg
Engine size/power 2,393cc/148hp
Combined fuel economy 36.2mpg
The Invincible X is a worthy flagship for the Hilux line-up. It is sophisticated and competitive across all the crucial performance criteria.