By Patrick James on 2018-11-24 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Invincible X 2.4
THE Toyota HiLux has featured in TV series taking on the frozen wastes of the Arctic and the searing heat on an active volcano.
It has become as much a legend for its off-road capability as the Land Rover.
With global sales of more than 18 million it Europe's best-selling pick-up, but like its competitors, the HiLux is much more than just a workhorse, becoming the lifestyle choice for many who will never see a farm or go off road anywhere, let alone the jungle.
But it's ideal for builders or contractors, who still want to be able to use it for family trips.
Now the rugged Toyota pick-up has got even better, with a new engine, increased size and off-road capability, capable of towing up to 3.5 tonnes and for the first time with Toyota's five year warranty.
There is choice of body styles: single cab, four-seat extra cab and the five-seat double cab
As ever with the these types of vehicle, styling is now almost as important as off-road capability with people choosing them as lifestyle options.
It's easy to see why. This range topping Invincible offers all the creature comforts of a family saloon, well, nearly all, as well the the legendary off-road expertise of the Japanese firm.
It is definitely eye-catching, gone are the huge barges of yesteryears to be replaced with smart looking stylish vehicles, the only real giveaway as to the vehicle's off-road capability is the high ground clearance and clearance between wheel and wheel arch, not to mention the open payload area this model.
It looks dynamic with a colour matched front bumper and chrome grille and door handles, black integrated side steps, scuff plates and 18-inch wheels.
The interior standard equipment list includes automatic climate control, cruise control, rear parking sensors and camera.
The centrepiece of the dash is the Toyota Touch 2 media system with six speakers which controls navigation, infotainment and Bluetooth connectivity a host of other bits and pieces such as premium cloth upholstery, lockable, cooled glovebox, leather finished steering wheel and powered windows.
It is a light and airy place to be with large glass areas and a commanding view both on and off road.
On and offroad it has impressive characteristics. Powered by a 2.4-litre 148bhp turbocharged diesel which offers plenty of pace when required and bags of torque, this models is mated with a six-speed automatic gearbox.
On the road it is capable of reaching 60mph in 12.8 seconds and feels comfortable and stable with responsive steering with an excellent turning circle, while engine noise is pretty muted. There is however, noticeable road and wind noise. Despite this you would be hard pressed to think you were driving what is essentially a commercial vehicle.
Off-road there are four different driving modes. It switches from two-wheel drive mode, ideal for fuel-saving, to all-wheel drive, with auto disconnecting differential and rear differential lock for the rough stuff off road.
The system also offers the option of low-range gears for the most extreme terrains. Economy also looks impressive with a claimed 37.7mpg.
The open bed to the rear can accommodate all sorts of shapes including a full-sized pallet, accessed by the rear drop tailgate. Various lashing points mean cargo can be strapped in securely.
Safety features are also impressive with seven airbags and Toyota Safety Sense, equipping it with a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection function,lanedeparture warning and road sign assist. Its braking and control systems include ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, vehicle stability control and trailer sway control.
In addition there is active traction control, downhill assist control and hill-start assist aontrol as well as the usual airbag array.
Toyota HiLux Invincible X 2.4
Mechanical: 148bhp, 2,393cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 112mph
0-62mph: 11.8 seconds
Combined MPG: 36.3
C02 emissions: 204g/km
Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles
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