Toyota Hilux review (2021)

Tough, versatile and comfortable - and now available with 204hp

Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

PROS

  • Very tough and durable
  • Quiet, refined and now with up to 204hp
  • Five-year warranty
  • Comfortable ride for leaf spring suspension
  • 3.5t towing capacity (on some models)

CONS

  • Original engine lacks power
  • Rivals are more fuel efficient
  • Expensive to buy
  • Alarm not standard on any model
  • Max torque limited to the auto
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Summary

The Toyota Hilux is one of the world's best known pickup trucks. Dating all the way back to 1968, it quickly established an outstanding reputation as a durable workhorse and capable off-roader. This 2021 Toyota Hilux review covers the eighth-generation model, which was launched in 2016 and received a major facelift in late 2020.

This Hilux brings a substantial increase in safety equipment, improved comfort and even better off-road characteristics - with the 2020 update adding a new look, engineering changes that further improve the driving experience and a brand new 2.8-litre engine with a socking-great 204hp and 500Nm of torque.

What's new for the 2021 Toyota Hilux?

Capitalising on the demise of the big V6-engined Volkswagen Amarok and Mercedes-Benz X-Class, and Ford's decision to discontinue the 3.2-litre Ranger, the introduction of the 2.8-litre Hilux is proving to be a big draw to Toyota showrooms in 2021.

With 204hp and 500Nm of torque, this new engine instantly resolves any complaints about the 2.4-litre model's lacklustre performance, and has clearly been an answer to the prayers of many Hilux customers.

Toyota Hilux review, 2020 facelift, front view, big splash through muddy water, bronze

On sale from November 2020, this engine is just one part of a major Hilux facelift that also saw improvements to the suspension and the overall look of the vehicle. The changes make the Hilux better to drive on- and off-road.

What's good about the Toyota Hilux?

The Hilux offers better-than-average comfort for a pickup, something that has been achieved despite the continued use of leaf-spring rear suspension, which is supposed to be less compliant than the more sophisticated coil springs used by some rival models.

The interior is neat and modern, with a prominent tablet-style panel in the centre for the infotainment, which takes the form of a touchscreen on all but the most basic trim level.

Toyota Hilux review, 2020 facelift, front view, Invincible, blue

But the main reason for buying a Hiilux has got to be that legendary toughness and reliability, something that's typically evidenced by owner satisfaction surveys.

There's a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty for added peace of mind.

What's bad about the Toyota Hilux?

Bad is a strong word, but until the 2.8-litre engine arrived, this Hilux was decidedly disappointing under the bonnet.

Prior to late 2020, UK and western European buyers were limited to just one engine choice - a 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel with 150hp and 400Nm. This remains the only choice for buyers who don't opt for the top spec Hilux Invincible and Invincible X models.

The 2.4 doesn't deliver a lot of power. And while this Hilux can tow up to 3,500kg (3.5 tonnes), it is also undeniably slow, taking up 13.2 seconds to go 0-62mph.

Toyota Hilux review - front view, driving, red, Invincible

In less serious concerns, opinions tend to be split over the look of the original front end (above), which some operators feel is rather 'beaky'. The range-topping Invincible X model redressed this issue when it was launched in 2018 by coming with an alternative front bumper.

Now every model gets an improved look, thanks to the mid-life facelift - the Invincible X once again taking things further with a bespoke appearance that includes a number of unique exterior add-ons.

Toyota Hilux body variants and trim levels

The Hilux is one of only a few pickups on sale in the UK that offers Single Cab, Extra Cab and Double Cab body styles:

  • Single Cab = two doors and two seats
  • Extra Cab = full-size front doors, half-width rear doors, occasional-use rear seats
  • Double Cab = full-size doors front and rear, five proper seats (though rear middle won't be comfortable for adult humans for long)

Most lifestyle buyers will be best served by the Double Cab, but the smaller the cab, the larger the load area - which may be more important to operators after a working truck.

Toyota Hilux review - single cab, silver, 2020

The entry-level Active trim is the only one offered in all three body styles, and this still includes important creature comforts such as air-conditioning, seven airbags, heated electric mirrors and rear differential lock as standard. The bumpers are unpainted black plastic on this model, making it easy to identify.

The remaining three trim levels - Icon, Invincible and Invincible X - are all Double Cab only, feature a touchscreen infotainment system, DAB digital radio and a reversing camera, among many other additional items.

Every trim level gained additional items of equipment during the mid-life facelift in 2020.

Toyota Hilux AT35

When Toyota introduced the Hilux Invincible X to the UK at the 2018 CV Show it almost stole its own thunder - by showing an AT35 version of the Hilux at the same time.

The AT35 is an extreme off-road variant, with hardware and body modification by Icelandic legends, Arctic Trucks. And as of the CV Show 2018, you can order one direct from your local Toyota Hilux dealer.

Toyota Hilux review - Hilux Bruiser AT35 show car

Want to know what the Hilux AT35 is like to drive? Then check out our review of the Hilux Bruiser show car, which is fitted with all the AT35 kit.

Toyota Hilux rivals

The Ford Ranger is the UK's bestselling pickup, offering a wide range of models and lots of adaptability for different uses, with keen pricing. The latest models are very impressive indeed.

Toyota's traditional pickup rivals, however, are the Nissan Navara and the Mitsubishi L200 - which also offer five-year warranties. Good news for Toyota, then, that both of these are set to leave the UK market by the end of 2021.

This leaves the Isuzu D-Max and the SsangYong Musso as the only other remaining rivals to the Hilux. The latest D-Max has class-leading safety levels and is particularly impressive, worth considering - especially if you primarily need a working vehicle. The Musso has enormous payload and towing capability. Both have five-year warranties, too.

Given the pricing, the Hilux buyer would also have done well to consider the Volkswagen Amarok and the Mercedes-Benz X-Class. But these were both discontinued in 2020.


Toyota Hilux verdict

If reliability is your primary pickup concern, the Toyota Hilux is an excellent starting point. That it's also comfortable, very capable off-road and able to tow up to 3,500kg means it's a versatile all-rounder as well.

The 2.4-litre engine is a severe limitation, as it's the least powerful offered in any UK pickup. Fortunately, the arrival of the 2.8-litre motor has solved this problem extremely convincingly - adding all the performance most pickup buyers will ever need while offering almost identical fuel economy.

All of which means it's now one of the very best pickups you can buy in the UK.

Keep reading for the full Toyota Hilux review on Parkers Vans and Pickups, see our dedicated Toyota Hilux dimensions page for load area info.


Toyota Hilux driving experience

4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • Quiet, with good ride despite leaf springs
  • 150hp engine is not very fast; 204hp engine certainly is
  • Extremely accomplished off-road

Compared with the previous model, this eighth-generation Toyota Hilux has significantly improved driving characteristics both on- and off-road. This makes it one of the most accomplished pickups currently on sale – with a slight proviso about the 2.4-litre engine.

Fortunately, Toyota has understood this problem and thoroughly redressed it with the introduction of the 2.8-litre engine with the 2020 facelift.

How much difference has the new 2.8-litre engine made?

The 2.8D - as the new engine is known - is a large four-cylinder motor that provides 204bhp and up to 500Nm of torque. Compared with the 2.4D engine, which musters 150hp and 400Nm, that's a huge increase.

This makes a big difference to the Hilux driving experience, shaving nearly three seconds from the 0-62mph time, bringing it down to as little as 10.1 seconds.

Toyota Hilux review, 2020 facelift, Invincible X, driving round corner, front view, bronze

It's not breathtakingly fast in the manner of the V6 versions of the Amarok and X-Class, which could both do 0-62mph in around seven seconds. But where you would previously have been nervous on shorter slip roads or overtaking slower traffic on country lanes, the 2.8D Hilux now has performance to spare. So much so you start to wonder if it couldn't do with slightly better brakes...

The introduction of the 2.8D has also cemented the six-speed automatic as the Hilux gearbox as choice. The two make an excellent pairing, and we rarely found ourselves wishing for the extra ratios provided by some rival automatic transmissions (even if these would perhaps boost the fuel economy).

What's more, versions of the Hilux 2.8D fitted with the six-speed manual gearbox are limited to 420Nm of torque - underlining that the 2.8D auto is really the uliimate Hilux now.

Is the Toyota Hilux comfortable?

Comfort is another area that's been further improved with the mid-life revisions that come along with the 2.8-litre engine.

Despite sticking with leaf-spring rear suspension – which is typically more tough than it is tuneable and refined – Toyota has managed to deliver a vehicle that does a better than average job of cushioning the blows from bumpy terrain.

Toyota Hilux review, 2020 facelift, Invincible X, driving, rear view, bronze

For the facelift, Toyota has changed the front and rear shock absorbers as well as further re-worked the rear leaf springs and modified some of the bushes. But the big difference this time around is that it did this work to optimise the suspension while the load bed was empty.

Previously, Toyota has always tuned the Hilux's suspension when it was fully loaded - but the rise of lifestyle buyers and the realilty that most owners rarely drive with the truck loaded to the max has seen the firm change this approach to make the Hilux more comfortable more of the time.

It can still feel quite firm around town at low speeds. But things get noticeably better as you go faster, with only very sharp intrusion or sudden potholes really jarring the cabin.

There is still a bit of judder occasionally, but the Hilux can now compete with the best rivals in this area now - though the latest Ford Ranger still has a slight edge, and the 2021-onwards Isuzu D-Max has made massive improvements in this area as well.

What’s the Toyota Hilux like to drive?

The Toyota has never been terrible in the turns, but its steering has been decidedly slower than the most agile rivals. Things have got better with the facelift, thanks to the introduction of a 'variable flow control' power-steering pump, which manages to make the front of the Hilux feel more reassuring both on and off the road.

Toyota Hilux review, 2020 facelift, front view, rolling round corner, Invincible X, bronze

Body roll is well controlled, too, though you're unlikely to be encouraged to go too quickly in one of these, which probably helps.

If you do want to press on, the facelift has also brought in an automatic limited slip differential - standard on all but the entry-level Icon grade - which helps the rear wheels find traction on slippery surfaces. This is actually more use on the road than off it.

Excellent refinement for a pickup truck

Pickups are not typically very relaxing vehicles to drive. While their use of a separate ladder-frame chassis below the body is good for strength, it can lead to all kinds of squeaks and rattles.

Toyota Hilux review - rear view, driving, Invincible X, orange

Toyota’s engineers have worked to combat this in the Hilux by installing a so-called ‘dash silencer’, alongside additional sound-proofing in the engine bay to minimise noise and vibrations. This largely seems to work very well, and there have been further refinements as part of the mid-life makeover.

While you’ll certainly hear the diesel engines when starting from cold or under hard acceleration, you very rarely feel any tremors from inside the cabin – and engine noise at a constant cruise is limited to a quiet hush.

Immense off-road capability

While the revised looks of the facelift model see the approach angle reduced from 31 degrees to 29 degrees, the Hilux is otherwise even better off road than it was before.

It's almost impossible to stress how impressive this thing is. For a pickup, the 2020-onwards version has truly remarkable rear axle articulation to help it deal with off-set bumps, while a 700mm wading depth and exceptionally competent electronics mean it will take you places you didn't think a standard road vehicle could go, even without engaging the locking differentials that are available.

Toyota Hilux review, 2020 facelift, Invincible, bow wave in muddy water, black

We've tested every element of this capability, and on the standard road tyres the Hilux dispatched a challenging extended off-road run without breaking sweat. Certainly there was no sign of it losing its footing anywhere - not even on slippery downhill sections, where the hill descent control acts quickly and decisively with little fuss beyond an efficient, robotic-sounding electronic buzz. 

The extra power and torque from the 2.8D engine are as welcome off the road as they are on the road, but what's more, Toyota has lowered the idle speed and changed the accelerator response in the low-range L4 off-road mode, in order to increase the facelifted version's level of control.

Toyota Hilux review, 2020 facelift, Invincible, black, traversing off-set bumps, rear view, axle articulation

L4 is the most extreme of the 4x4 settings, which also include H2 and H4 - H2 being the usual rear-wheel drive mode you use on the road, H4 the equivalent four-wheel drive setting for less challenging off-road work.

Each of these is accessed via a simple rotary controller, and an electronically controlled centre differential.

To complete the off-road stats, Single Cab models have a 25 degree departure angle, while the Extra and Double Cab are rated at 26 degrees; Toyota doesn't quote a breakover angle, but minimum ground clearance post-facelift is 277mm for the Single Cab, 289mm for the Extra Cab and 310mm for the Double Cab.

Toyota Hilux cabin & interior

4 out of 5 4.0
  • Modern, car-like cab interior that's well made
  • Sensible control layout, tablet-style touchscreen
  • Not a massive amount of in-cab storage

The Hilux has a strikingly modern interior, something you may not necessarily expect of a pickup truck so traditionally associated with hard-working reliability and practicality.

For all its sharp design, however, the cabin still places ease of use front and centre. The instruments are clear, the buttons are large and the control layout is generally sensible.

Toyota Hilux review - cab interior, steering wheel, dashboard

All models come with air-conditioning, and you certainly won’t have any difficulty adjusting the temperature. Similarly, switching the four-wheel drive system between modes is easily done.

All versions bar the entry-level Active models get a central touchscreen infotainment system, and on the original 2016-onwards models (above) this is reasonably straightforward 7.0-inch model.

Toyota Hilux review, 2020 facelift, cab interior, driving position

For the facelift, the infotainment has been upgraded to a much newer 8.0-inch Toyota Touch 2 system, which brings significant improvements, however, especially to the sat-nav. It also has an increased number of physical buttons, to make it easier to use when driving, particularly over bumpy ground. We commend this approach.

Toyota Hilux cab interior build quality and visibility

The Hilux feels well made, and if the materials aren’t necessarily the most luxurious they do at least give the impression that they are built to last.

We’re not quite sure what to make of the fake stitching on the top of the dashboard (it’s moulded into the plastic for some reason), but good all-round visibility makes the Hilux easy to handle in most situations.

Toyota Hilux passenger space and in-cab storage

The front of the cab is spacious, and the seats are comfortable. The steering wheel tilts and telescopes for reach and rake adjustment, too, and although the reach adjustment could be greater, at least it has some - unlike some rivals we could mention. Still, finding your ideal driving position might involve a bit of compromise of the sort that you now very rarely have to make in a modern car.

Taller passengers won’t be keen to get in the back of the even the Double Cab variants, sadly, as knee room is a touch limited.

Toyota Hilux review - Double Cab rear seats and door opening

In-cab storage space is also slightly lacking, even if you do get two gloveboxes. Perhaps most buyers are happy to compromise in this area in exchange for the car-like dashboard design.

Toyota Hilux running costs & value

4 out of 5 4.0
  • Expensive to buy but tough and long-lasting
  • Five-year warranty, extendable up to 12 years
  • Plenty of standard equipment on all versions

The Hilux is one of the more expensive pickups on the market - but that isn't to  say it's bad value. You get a lot of standard equipment, and the upgrade to the 2.8-litre engine is surprisingly affordable.

It also holds its value extremely well, which means that monthly finance costs can be highly competitive. And while fuel economy isn't the best in the pickup truck sector, the Hilux should prove very reliable, saving you money that might be lost by unscheduled downtime and unexpected repairs.

>> Find a Toyota Hilux for sale near you via Parkers

Toyota Hilux mpg

According to the latest WLTP figures, the facelifted Toyota Hilux range should return between 27.1mpg and 33.2mpg, depending on model. There is little difference on paper between the 2.4D and the 2.8D. In theory the bigger engine should prove the more efficient, but that will probably depend on how you drive it.

All models come with stop-start technology now, while opting for the automatic transmission will cost you around 3mpg.

Toyota Hilux service intervals and warranty info

The Hilux comes with a five-year warranty that covers up to 100,000 miles of driving. Toyota also offers extended warranty coverage at extra cost for vehicles up to 12 years old.

Service intervals are every 10,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes sooner.

Toyota Hilux review, 2020 facelift, Invincible, black, traversing off-set bumps, front view, axle articulation

Toyota offers fixed-price servicing - so you should know exactly what you’ll have to pay ahead of time - as well as various servicing plans to help spread the cost, tailored for retail and business customers.

Better still, the Toyota Professional dealer network was launched in February 2020, a service that is (at the time of writing) available in 123 of Toyota's 168 UK dealer locations.

This not only helps fulfill the five-year warranty and five-year roadside assistance package, it also promises a prioritised level of service for commercial vehicle customers, as Toyota's recognition that these customers depend on their vehicles to do business.

As such, if you can't get an appointment within seven days of asking, you'll get the work done half price.

Toyota Hilux standard equipment

These are the standard equipment highlights of each Hilux trim level as of the introduction of the facelifted model in December 2020; for details of safety equipment see the Safety and Security section below.

Toyota Hilux Active standard equipment highlights:

  • 17-inch steel wheels
  • Automatic headlights
  • Heated, power-adjustable door mirrors
  • Reach and rake steering wheel adjustment
  • Steering wheel with telephone and infotainment controls
  • 4.2-inch TFT information screen in instrument cluster
  • Manual air-conditioning
  • Front cool box
  • Bluetooth
  • Rear differential lock
  • Adaptive cruise control

Toyota Hilux Icon standard equipment highlights (in addition to Active):

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Power-folding door mirrors
  • Headlight cleaners
  • LED front fog lights
  • Side steps
  • Silver interior trim highlights
  • Leather steering wheel, gear lever and handbrake trim
  • Toyota Touch 2 infotainment system with 8.0-inch display screen
  • Reversing camera
  • DAB digital radio
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Active limited slip differential

Toyota Hilux Invincible standard equipment highlights (in addition to Icon):

  • 18-inch alloy wheels (new design)
  • LED headlights
  • Black side bars with integrated steps
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Automatic air-conditioning
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Heated front seats
  • Windscreen wiper de-icer

Toyota Hilux Invincible X standard equipment highlights (in addition to Invincible):

  • Unique bodywork, including front bumper with skid plate, front grille, wheelarch over-fenders in black plastic, individual door handles, distinctive tailgate treatment
  • Perforated leather seat with power-adjustment for the driver
  • Toyota Touch 2 with Go infotainment system including sat-nav and voice control capability
  • Ambient lighting
  • Black and dark chrome trimmings
  • Invincible X instrument cluster
  • Invincible X key
  • Nine-speaker JBL sound system

Toyota Hilux special editions and optional extras

Like most pickup manufacturers, Toyota certainly isn’t shy of a special edition, with the Invincible 50 being a particularly notable example for this generation as it celebrated the model’s 50th anniversary of production in late 2018.

This included a full styling makeover and an Arctic Trucks AT32 conversion for greater off-road capability. You can read a review of it below.

Toyota Hilux review - Invincible 50 special edition, black, front view, spotlights on

As of mid-2018, this generation of Hilux also became the first available to order from Toyota dealers with a more extreme Arctic Trucks AT35 conversion. See our review of the earlier one-off Hilux Bruiser concept for info on what this is like to drive.

As for optional extras, Toyota offers a large selection of useful enhancements for the Hilux. Depending on trim level this ranges from towing packs to bedliners on the practical side, and styling packs to sport decks in terms of visual fluffing.

Toyota Hilux reliability, common problems & faults

4.5 out of 5 4.5

The Toyota Hilux is famed for its reliability and regularly features in the FN50 reliability survey as one of the most reliable light commercials on the road. Operators recognise this, and it’s why the Hilux has one of the highest residual value ratings in its class.

It’s also backed by a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty for added peace of mind.

Experienced problems with your Hilux? Drop us a line and let us help other readers avoid any pitfalls.

Toyota Hilux safety & security

4 out of 5 4.0
  • Seven airbags and ESC as standard on all models
  • Autonomous emergency braking standard on high-spec models
  • You have to pay extra for an alarm system

As with most modern pickups, the Hilux places an important emphasis on safety.

Not only do all models come with seven airbags and a comprehensive suite of electronic stability control systems as standard, the very structure of this version is said to be 15% better at absorbing crash impact energy than the previous model.

Toyota Hilux review, 2020 facelift, Invincible, blue, rear view

Other standard safety features include seat-belt reminders for the front and rear seats, Isofix mounting points for child seats (Double Cab models only), and front seats with an anti-whiplash design.

Toyota Safety Sense for the Hilux

Since the facelift in 2020, every version of the Hilux is now fitted with the Toyota Safety Sense package as standard.

Toyota Safety Sense is a package that includes autonomous emergency braking in the form of a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection plus Lane Departure AlertRoad Sign Assist and, since 2019, adaptive cruise control.

Toyota Hilux security

All versions of the Hilux come with a standard-fit immobiliser, but not even the top of the range Invincible X comes with an alarm included in the price.

Which Toyota Hilux is best for me?

Still trying to decide which Toyota Hilux to buy? Then maybe the following individual model reviews will help you decide:

And if you're in the market for a new pickup truck make sure you read our comprehensive pickup comparison page, where every model on the market is compared and rated.

>> Best pickups compared


Toyota Hilux Invincible 50 review

Tested March 2019 by CJ Hubbard

Toyota Hilux Invincible 50 review - front view, black, in the rain

  • Limited edition celebrates 50 years of Hilux
  • Arctic Trucks suspension and bodywork mods
  • Great looks – but how’s the performance?

Say whatever you like about the limited power output of the engine, Toyota can sure turn out a mean-looking version of the Hilux when it puts its mind to it.

The version we’re driving here is pretty special, however – a limited edition called the Invincible 50, it celebrates 50 years since the Hilux first went on sale, and has been put together in partnership with Arctic Trucks.

What’s special about the Hilux Invincible 50?

Just look at it. Finished exclusively in metallic black, the Invincible 50 is based on the regular Hilux Invincible double cab model, but festooned with unique additional detailing to make it stand out.

Toyota Hilux Invincible 50 review - spotlights

Most obvious are the four multi-LED spotlights mounted on the double-hoop sports bar behind the roof, but the 16-inch satin-black alloy wheels are bespoke to this model, too, as are the BF Goodrich all-terrain tyres.

Less immediately apparent from a distance are the enlarged wheel arches and raised suspension – both the work of Arctic Trucks, using Bilstein high-performance shock-absorbers – but once you get up close it’s clear this Hilux stands taller than regular models in the range.

Either way, it’s not hard to be certain it’s an Invincible 50 you’re looking at, as the thing is absolutely covered with Invincible 50 badging; from each of the spotlight surrounds to the alloy wheel centre caps to the numbered plaque on the centre console and the badges all over the exterior, the logo is everywhere.

Toyota Hilux Invincible 50 review - wheel detail showing Invincible 50 centre cap

Buyers also get a bed liner, Arctic Trucks mud flaps, rear parking sensors and – perhaps most important of all – retro-style Toyota tailgate lettering.

What kind of Arctic Trucks conversion is fitted to the Invincible 50?

In 2018, Toyota began selling Hilux AT35 Arctic Trucks conversions direct from its dealership (see our drive of the Hilux Bruiser show car for an example of what this is like) – but it turns out the Invincible 50 isn’t one of these.

Toyota Hilux Invincible 50 review - front suspension by Bilstein and Arctic Trucks

Instead, although Toyota doesn’t say so explicitly, it is in fact a slightly more subtle AT32 conversion, similar to the one available on the Nissan Navara.

This means the Invincible 50 features smaller wheels and a less extreme suspension lift, and requires only modest wheel arch extensions – though these still look good, and neatly feature a badge telling you the tyre pressures, which looks suitably bad ass even when parked outside a supermarket.

And although it isn’t as extreme as the AT35, the suspension is still raised 40mm at the front and 20mm at the rear, resulting in increased axle articulation and improved approach and departure angles.

Toyota Hilux Invincible 50 review - rear suspension by Bilstein and Arctic Trucks

Put this together with the Hilux’s standard-fit four-wheel drive system and you’ll be able to tackle some pretty challenging off-road obstacles without too much difficulty.

What’s the Invincible 50 like to drive?

As is often the case with pickups that have been given the Arctic Trucks treatment, it’s an improvement over the standard product in some respects but doesn’t help the Hilux’s weakest area.

Toyota Hilux Invincible 50 review - driving, side view, in the rain

The Bilstein dampers aren’t super squishy, so the 50 still feels a little firm – compared with a regular car – but does have less of the usual jittery you get from a pickup. It retains its composure in the corners and feels, well, invincible when faced with a bit of light green laning.

The increased ground clearance may be modest, but with all the other accessories it stands tall enough that other road users give you plenty of respect – if you’re after a pickup with an imposing appearance, you could do a lot worse than this one.

The only real issue for us is the lack of outright power. There’s enough torque – 400Nm 1,600-2,000rpm – to get the truck rolling, but acceleration is not impressive on the standard truck. The larger, heavier wheels of the Invincible 50 only make this worse.

Toyota Hilux Invincible 50 review - numbered plaque on the centre console

Still, you do get the six-speed automatic transmission as part of the package, so at least you don’t have to stir the manual gearbox to encourage this Hilux to get up and go.

Any changes on the inside?

Aside from the numbered plaque it’s standard Hilux Invincible inside. Full details of standard kit are listed in the main review above.

How much does the Toyota Hilux Invincible 50 cost and should I buy one?

Limited to just 50 examples, the on-the-road VAT inclusive price is £39,995 – around £2,700 more than the next most expensive Hilux. Not a bad deal for the exclusivity and the extra kit.

Toyota Hilux Invincible 50 review - rear view, black, at night

The price excluding VAT is £33,329.

You could buy a V6-powered VW Amarok for similar cash and get a lot more performance. But it wouldn’t look this good…


Toyota Hilux Invincible X automatic review

Tested February 2019 by CJ Hubbard

Toyota Hilux Invincible X review - front view, orange

  • Range-topping Hilux with unique front bumper
  • Lots of standard kit including sat-nav and parking sensors
  • Same 150hp 2.4-litre diesel; automatic gearbox only

The Toyota Hilux Invincible X sits at the very top of the standard Hilux pickup range. We have to insert ‘standard’ as a qualifier, as you can buy an Arctic Trucks modified Hilux direct from a Toyota dealer these days as well; the Hilux AT35 is more expensive than the Invincible X, but also a much more specialised purchase, with full-on off-road tyres, suspension and bodywork modification.

Unless you need this stuff, the Invincible X is a better choice, with loads of standard kit and a less fretful driving experience – which is to say, it fits down most city centre streets without making you involuntarily breathe in...

Toyota Hilux Invincible X review - unique front bumper design

Besides, the Invincible X stands out in other ways. It’s the only Hilux to get this bluffer front bumper treatment for starters, somehow making the pickup look significantly more premium and bringing it further into line with the design of Toyota’s passenger cars.

Keeping this bumper just for the Invincible X, rather than facelifting the entire Hilux range, is a deliberate ploy to make the range-topper instantly identifiable. In other words: you’ve bought the best, and everyone will know it at a glance.

Aside from the bumper, what else is different about the Toyota Hilux Invincible X?

As the name suggests, the rest of the truck is largely based on the Hilux Invincible – but you do get a good amount of extra standard equipment.

For example, inside the cab – which is already among the most distinctive in the pickup sector, thanks to its tablet-style touchscreen – you get an all-singing, all-dancing sat-nav infotainment system, black leather upholstery and heated front seats complete with electric-adjustment on the driver’s side.

 

On the outside there are new chrome sidebars with integrated steps for front and rear passengers, a silver-coloured scuff plate up front, and parking sensors at the rear.

The Invincible X is also only available with the automatic gearbox; the regular Invincible can be bought with a manual transmission as well.

What’s the Hilux Invincible X like to drive?

There are no performance enhancements or suspension changes for the Invincible X, so this really is all about the looks.

As with every Hilux, the ride comfort is a pleasant surprise – like the VW Amarok, this is quietly remarkable given the use of leaf springs on the rear axle – and engine refinement is impressive. This is not a noisy truck.

Toyota Hilux Invincible X review - top view, driving, orange

However, also as with every Hilux, this is not a fast vehicle. With just 150hp from its 2.4-litre turbodiesel, the Toyota is one of the least powerful pickups on sale now – and though it will still tow 3.5-tonnes, acceleration even unladen is decidedly leisurely.

And that’s despite the X’s standard-fit automatic gearbox shaving half a second off the official 0-62mph time; 12.3 seconds still isn’t very fast in a pickup world where 258hp V6 versions of the Amarok and the Mercedes-Benz X-Class exist.

This probably won’t be the best Hilux choice if you need to do off-roading, incidentally, as both the side steps and that new front bumper will reduce the pickup’s ability to clear obstacles.

Is the Toyota Hilux Invincible X good value?

At the time of writing, the difference between the X and the regular Invincible automatic is over £3,200 (excluding VAT). You’re really going to have to want that front bumper for it to be worth it, we feel, as that’s the only element that can’t be added to the standard Invincible via the options list.

And no shame if you do. The Invincible X certainly looks a more premium machine precisely because of that front end change.

Should I buy a Toyota Hilux Invincible X?

Want the best Hilux available for mostly on-road driving?  Then the Invincible X is certainly it. We like the way it looks on the outside and in the cab, and certainly appreciate the quiet and comfortable way it drives.

As ever, the engine’s actual performance is a disappointment, however. Especially when you could get a 204hp Amarok V6 automatic (admittedly in a lower specification) and still have change from this Hilux’s £31,046 ex. VAT asking price.

All prices correct at time of writing.