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Road tests

New Toyota Hilux 2022 review

Do latest tweaks make the Toyota Hilux pick-up a viable replacement for a family SUV?

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

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Verdict

It’s a pricey machine in Invincible X spec, but tweaks for 2022 have kept the Hilux at the sharp end of the pick-up truck market. It feels solid and dependable – and as we know, it now offers the performance required in 2.8-litre turbodiesel form. Practicality is a given, even if ride quality is not, but it’s worth remembering this is a working machine that acquits itself very well.

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Manufacturers making model-year improvements is nothing new. Given how far pick-ups have progressed over recent times, however, could Toyota’s enhancements for this MY22 Hilux make the truck a viable replacement for a family SUV that’s sometimes put to work – especially in top-spec Invincible X trim?

Looking at the extra equipment for 2022, the Hilux features some kit that SUV buyers would be envious of, so it seems good so far. The range is now available with a panoramic top-down camera monitor to help parking this 5.3-metre-plus pick-up, while there’s also dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, improved connectivity with remote fault diagnosis and service reminders (both handy on a working vehicle) and e-call safety tech.

The Invincible X gets lots of other kit, too, including Toyota’s Touch 2 with Go multimedia set-up – although Android Auto or Apple CarPlay might be a better bet, because the basic system isn’t as good as that found in Toyota’s latest passenger models. Part-electrically adjustable heated seats and 18-inch alloys are also included. But then, at £44,835 including VAT – or £37,420 if you can claim the VAT back – you’d expect the equipment list to be good.

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The material quality isn’t quite a match, though, because while there’s soft leather for the seats, the cabin plastics feel robust, betraying the pick-up’s origins. So although it’s more hi-tech than ever and boasts enough kit to match an SUV’s, when it comes to perceived quality the Hilux can’t quite cut it.

We would say the same on the move. While the chassis is soft, the rear axle in particular can judder over bumps, especially when the bed is unloaded. It does feel more settled with some weight on board, however – as we found out during a trip to the tip.

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The 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel is agricultural but characterful, and at least having 500Nm of torque means strong performance (for a pick-up), along with an impressive 3,500kg towing capability and a 1,025kg payload. Boasting a maximum 1.54 metres across the load bay and 1.53 metres from bulkhead to tailgate, the load space is a good, uniform shape, too.

This 2.8-litre pick-up addresses the lacklustre 2.4-litre model’s issues, because the 0-62mph sprint takes only 10.7 seconds. However, the shift on the automatic gearbox is sluggish, so it’s best to settle to a leisurely pace, keep the revs – and therefore noise – low and enjoy the high-set driving position; the Hilux’s slow steering means it’s not the most agile machine, either.

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So we know it can’t match an SUV dynamically, but despite claimed efficiency of 30mpg and 248g/km of CO2 emissions, running a pick-up compared with an SUV brings a running-costs loophole – but only if you’re a company car user-chooser.

Because the Hilux can carry more than 1,000kg, it attracts a flat rate of Benefit-in-Kind tax of a mere £3,150 for this tax year, which is a lot less than for many SUVs. It’s true that you will have to make some compromises for this, but in truth the Hilux hasn’t been designed as an SUV rival; its breadth of ability is simply so wide that it can actually operate as a family car on some occasions, although space in the rear isn’t exactly super-roomy.

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However, one compromise you won’t have to make is when it comes to off-road performance. With permanent four-wheel drive, the Toyota is incredibly capable away from the tarmac, boasting superb traction and impressive ground clearance to conquer most surfaces you’re willing to point it at. Hill-descent control and clever traction aids help progress, and on the rough stuff the Hilux feels robust and dependable.

With Toyota’s 10-year warranty scheme (as long as you meet the conditions surrounding servicing requirements and the like), the Hilux should be exactly that. The model has built a reputation for reliability, and the engineering underneath matches its robust looks and go-anywhere appeal.

Rivals such as the Ford Ranger offer better in-car tech and more refinement when it comes to ride and powertrain, while pick-ups such as SsangYong’s updated Musso are more affordable. As a package, however, this 2022 Hilux offers a strong mix of qualities that put it very near the top of its class – and the extra tech here will make it much easier to live and work with, too.

Model:Toyota Hilux Double Cab 2.8D Auto Invincible X
Price:£44,835
Engine:2.8-litre 4cyl turbodiesel
Power/torque:201bhp/500Nm
Transmission:Six-speed automatic, four-wheel drive 
0-62mph:10.7 seconds
Top speed:108mph
Economy/CO2:30.0mpg/248g/km
On sale:Now
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Sean’s been writing about cars since 2010, having worked for outlets as diverse as PistonHeads, MSN Cars, Which? Cars, Race Tech – a specialist motorsport publication – and most recently Auto Express and sister titles Carbuyer and DrivingElectric

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