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[NEWS] Toyota Hilux

Toyota Hilux

01 Toyota Hilux GR Sport RT 2023 Hero cornering
Well-established workhorse receives an on-trend pseudo-sporting makeover

Plenty of car makers have abandoned Europe’s light pick-up truck market, having made their doomed experiments. But for two market institutions in particular – namely Ford and Toyota – the battle to be top dog in Europe’s pick-up showrooms rumbles on, and as it does so, it’s letting off some interesting fireworks.The second-generation of the Ford Ranger is now in production, and it will present some stiff competition to this week’s road test subject. But the Blue Oval’s offering needs to get some years in yet to make it to its eighth model generation or its sixth decade on sale, as the Toyota Hilux has already managed.For the past half-decade, the Ford Ranger (2015-2022) and Hilux have duked it out to be Europe’s biggest-selling pick-up, just as they have in Australia and elsewhere. Ford already has the newly turbo V6-powered Ford Ranger Raptor to grab our attention for its flatbed. So now we turn to Toyota’s riposte for that workhorse-with-racing-tackle: the Dakar Rally-inspired Toyota Hilux GR Sport.With a four-cylinder diesel engine, this Hilux may be considered closer in concept to the first-gen Ranger Raptor diesel than the second-generation V6. Rather than trading carrying capacity for a high-end suspension makeover as the Ford did, however, the Toyota retains its leaf-sprung rear axle, its one-tonne load-bay rating and its intended role as a working vehicle.But will that decision grant it a dynamic selling point alongside any other Hilux model in the range, other than simply a cosmetic one?Range at a glanceThe foot of the Hilux model range is where anything other than a double cab body is found; there’s also a chassis body for special vehicle conversions. The range for customers buying with their own money opens with Icon spec and goes upwards through Invincible and Invincible X.VersionPower2.4 D-4D Single Cab148bhp2.4 D-4D Extra Cab148bhpToyota Hilux 2.4 D-4D Double Cab148bhpToyota Hilux 2.8 D-4D GR Invincible Double Cab201bhp2.8 D-4D GR Sport Double Cab*201bhp2.8 D-4D Invincible X AT35 Double Cab201bhp*As testedTRANSMISSIONS6-spd manual             6-spd automatic (standard on GR Sport and AT35, otherwise a £1500 option)

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