Toyota Hilux Invincible

29 Sep, 2004 1:05pm Craig Cheetham

It's one of the toughest vehicles on the planet, and Toyota is finally cashing in on its reputation. This is the new Hilux Invincible - the latest version of the virtually indestructible pick-up.

Verdict

The Hilux Invincible is certainly a tough cookie. But the price you pay for macho looks is a poor driving experience. While this Toyota is a great pick-up, as a car its appeal is purely cosmetic.
It's one of the toughest vehicles on the planet, and Toyota is finally cashing in on its reputation. This is the new Hilux Invincible - the latest version of the virtually indestructible pick-up.

The newcomer is the top model in the range, and is available only in four-wheel-drive guise with a four-seater double-cab. This makes it an attractive proposition for business users wanting commercial vehicle tax breaks and the practicality of a family car.

But more than that, the Invincible is a symbol for the Toyota line-up, flying the flag of durability. There's certainly no mistaking its toughness. The truck sits high on its 15-inch alloys, with a huge gap between the top of the tyres and the wheelarches, clearly showing the no-nonsense leaf springs and ladder-frame chassis. Yet any illusions about this vehicle being purely for work are dismissed by the excess of chrome. The brightwork includes the bumpers, mirrors, centre hubs and side steps.

And it's a similar story inside, with blue-grey leather and standard air-con, plus a six-CD autochanger unit. But this isn't a car for refinement. The ride is bone shaking, while performance from the 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine is limited by the Hilux's immense bulk.

On a long trip, the bouncy ride and droning engine are tiresome, as are the lifeless steering and heavy gearchange. But the pick-up is a good commercial vehicle. Its towing ability is remarkable, and it is undoubtedly solid. However, as a road car, the Hilux is severely limited.

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