Car Review: 2016 Toyota HiLux SR-5

Car Review: 2016 Toyota HiLux SR-5

The wise guys at Toyota deliver with this HiLux…


With age comes wisdom… and weekends filled with a range of household chores, family duties and, if lucky, some leisure activities.

If only there was a vehicle that had all of those grown-up responsibilities covered. I’m pretty sure there would be a market for that type of machine.

Unsurprisingly, such vehicles do exist. Even less of a shock is that the market for them is booming.

You don’t have to spend long on our roads to get a sense of just how popular the dual-cab utility now is.

Once largely the domain of the tradie, the dual-cab has scrubbed up and entered the family car arena in impressive fashion. Makers have gone all out to glam up these utes while maintaining their main function and delivering enough class that mum and the kids are now keen to be seen in them.

And Toyota have done it pretty well with its already class-leading HiLux dual-cab. Toyota has over the past few months won favour with its ute offering with a much wider buyer than plumbers, carpenters and the off-road long haul adventurers. hiLux1

The Toyota HiLux SR5 proves a great mix for the family and for getting stuff done around the home.
The Toyota HiLux SR5 proves a great mix for the family and for getting stuff done around the home.

Once-upon-a-time  – a not so long long time ago – the stay at home mums and dads (we are progressive thinkers here at Glam Adelaide) might have been drawn to Toyota product for its resemblance to white goods. Sure they went pretty well and have proved to be very reliable in the toughest of elements, but Toyota has long been criticised for running out bland designs

No longer the case.

The new look Toyota HiLux, after 10 years of the same model run with only minor exterior design tweeks over that time, challenges that perception with its sharp and bold lines.

Throw in a new downsized 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine in place of the old 3.0-litre unit and six-speed auto transmission in the as tested flagship SR-5 and the HiLux is shaping up as a very good offering…. even in the white duco we sported around town.

Power and torque outputs are 130kW and 450Nm respectively and fuel economy was a reasonable 10.6 litres/100km on our test of only city and suburban driving.

Most noticeable to me – as a dual-cab utility driver – was how undual-cab ute the HiLux felt. I’m still unsure if I consider it right or wrong for a car in this sector to drive like the HiLux did. But it was impressive even if unexpected.

It also got the job – or jobs – done. From hauling home our Honda postie bike to ferrying around Central Australian footy blokes and their luggage over a weekend of sport at Port Adelaide and a catch up with friends at Grange, the HiLux had pretty much every situation covered.

With age comes wisdom, and Toyota is clearly wise to the changing ways of families in this fast-paced world. Hence the new look HiLux

Priced at $55,990 (plus on-road costs) for the as tested Toyota HiLux SR-5 auto.

Where we went

Adelaide Shores Resort – The rather comfortable digs for the Central Australian Football Club Redtails that weekend. I had to take our prized Honda Postie bike out of the back of the versatile HiLux in order to load it with footy bags and supplies from the Adelaide Airport team pick-up.

303 by the Sea – Cruisy little, and relatively new, cafe at Henley Beach. It didn’t hurt that someone among the management or ownership appears to like their cars and the cafe stocks some motoring literature.

Grange Hotel – Here the shared tasting plate featured as much diversity as the HiLux, and some pretty consistent quality across the range too.

Grange Jetty Cafe – Because ice cream makes everything even better.

Alberton Oval and The Port Club – Even in defeat – yes my Redtails boys toppled the mighty Magpies – Port Adelaide knows how to turn on the hospitality.

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