Toyota HiLux SR5 + Dual-Cab: Tow test

By: Philip Lord, Photography by: Matt Fehlberg

151213 Hilux TowTest 034
151213 Hilux TowTest 039
151213 Hilux TowTest 067
151213 Hilux TowTest 073
151213 Hilux TowTest 077
151213 Hilux TowTest 078
151213 Hilux TowTest 082

Get the job done with the Toyota HiLux SR5 + Dual-Cab.

Toyota usually does a body and chassis renewal every eight years or so and waits until the mid-life update to slot in new powertrains. There are exceptions, and the 2016 HiLux is one of them. Not only are the body and chassis new, but so are the 2.4L and 2.8L turbodiesel engines and six-speed auto and manual transmissions.


Standard gear highlights for the SR5 auto we tested include 18in alloy wheels, auto-levelling LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, stainless-steel sports bar, smart entry and start, chrome power-retractable exterior mirrors, privacy glass, chrome rear step, climate-control air-conditioning, auto up/down power windows, sat nav, DAB digital audio, and Downhill Assist Control. With its SR5+ option pack and metallic paint, the test vehicle was $58,540 (plus on-road costs and the costs of the towbar/brake controller).


It pays to read the fine print when choosing a HiLux because while they all have a big increase over the old model’s 2500kg maximum capacity, not all are the same.

The Workmate 2.4 manual is rated at 3200kg (auto: 3000kg), the SR and SR5 V6 auto is 3000kg and the SR and SR5 2.8 manual are 3500kg (auto: 3200kg). The SR5 auto we tested has a 3200kg towing capacity.

Toyota recommends the use of a WDH when towing heavy loads. The HiLux didn’t have much ball load to contend with (186kg) so we did not use a WDH. Yet, once on the move, ride quality was compromised. That came as a surprise, as you’d think that adding weight to the rear might improve ride quality in a ute designed to carry a load.

Performance with the van behind was acceptable, but it’s clear even with the torque improvement over the old engine that the HiLux is not one of the performance front runners in the ute class. It struggled to maintain speed up our test hill. The engine, while very quiet at cruising speed when unladen, became quite noisy when hauling a van. With the revs sitting around 2500rpm on occasions, the engine noise was intrusive.

With its reluctance to rev much beyond 3700rpm, the HiLux’s 2.8L felt like a traditional diesel engine. Engine braking was very good.


Weights and measures

  • Length 5330mm
  • Width 1855mm
  • Height 1815mm
  • Wheelbase 3085mm
  • Ground clearance 279mm
  • Kerb mass 2040kg
  • Gross Vehicle Mass 2965kg
  • Gross Combined Mass 5650kg
  • Towing capacity (unbraked/braked) 750kg/3200kg
  • Towball (max) 320kg


  • Engine Inline four-cylinder turbodiesel
  • Transmission Six-speed auto
  • Power 130kW at 3400rpm
  • Torque 450Nm at 1600-2400rpm
  • Gear ratios (:1)
  • 1 3.600
  • 2 2.090
  • 3 1.488
  • 4 1.000
  • 5 0.687
  • 6 0.580
  • Rev 3.732
  • Final drive 3.909
  • High/low range 1.000/2.566

Options fitted

  • SR5+ options pack with leather seats and power driver’s seat adjustment ($2000); metallic paint ($550)


  • Fuel capacity 80L
  • Suspension Independent, wishbones and coil springs (front); live axle, leaf springs (rear)
  • Brakes Ventilated discs (front); drums (rear)
  • Wheels 18in alloy
  • Warranty Three years/100,000km
  • Roof load 75kg
  • More information


  • $58,540 as tested (base price $55,990)

Click here to read more tow test reviews

Click here to compare specs of tow vehicles

Find used and new caravans for sale

Click here to read the full range review of the Mitsubishi Triton

The full test appears in Caravan World #547 March 2016. Subscribe today for the latest caravan reviews and news every month!