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Read and compare reviews on the Toyota Hilux 2015 – 2019 model from top New Zealand automotive journalists on trusted websites.

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Kiwi classic: we rate the four-wheel drive Toyota Hilux SR5


The first time I saw my father cry was when I was 3 or 4. Mum cradling me in her arms, Dad teary eyed, and his fourth-gen Toyota Hilux pulling out of our driveway for the final time — a happy new owner behind the wheel.

Forget the Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon, and faithful Corolla; the Hilux is the closest thing New Zealand has to a national car.

They’re an irrefutable part of our cultural fabric, whether it’s Barry Crump bouncing through the woods, Sir Peter Blake riding down Queen St with the America’s Cup, or a dog submerged in mud saying “bugger”.

Only, nowadays the Toyota Hilux isn’t really the top dog. For the past 12 months or so, it’s been engaged in sales war with the Ford Ranger.

Some have accused the brand of being a bit complacent in the case of its hard-working Hilux. And that’s a worry in this current climate, with more competition from the usual suspects (Nissan, Mitsubishi, Holden) and the new-age pretenders (LDV, SsangYong, Foton) than before.

Toyota Hilux 2018 Car Review


Toyota’s Hilux had a bit of an update heading into Fieldays, and we sampled the double-cab auto PreRunner SR5, a relatively billy-basics wellside two-wheel-drive variant.

Toyota says the changes – notably more versions with 2WD, more with an auto transmission available, a 3.5-ton tow rating for all PreRunner and 4WD variants and a diff lock for PreRunner – were all introduced after market feedback, though a cynic might instead cite a better ability to combat the popularity of Ford’s Ranger.

Compare PreRunner to its immediate predecessors and there are small visual cues to the update, including black outside door handles on this version, and the easy-to-clean PVC vinyl floor covering instead of carpet – here masked by rubber mats, thrown in for free as part of Toyota’s new Drive Happy project. And when it rains, you’ll appreciate the variable intermittent setting on those wipers. But it’s when you have it working hard that the difference to this rear-drive double cab is most obvious, thanks to that boost to the tow rating, and the diff lock you can access if the going gets slippery, more useful than you might think given all PreRunners get the same ride height as 4WD Hiluxes do, and a 700mm wading depth.

Toyota Hilux 2WD Double Cab PreRunner Review

Toyota Hilux 2018 Review by DriveLine


Call me old-fashioned, but a lot of the time, alright most of the time, when I’m asked which model of vehicle I wish to review, I opt for the top of the line version.

You see, just as the brands like to show off their fully-loaded edition, I enjoy pushing buttons and discovering … However, when Toyota called and asked which version of their new Hilux Ute I wanted to try out, no-one was more surprised I chose the 2WD Double Cab PreRunner option, than me. For some reason I wanted to reset my ‘luxury barometer’ and when it comes to the Hilux, I’m glad I did.

There was a time when Utes were simply workhorses and not show ponies. They were functional and unglamorous, there to do a hard day’s graft and nothing else. But somewhere along the way, (probably because they’ve become incredibly popular and have been compartmentalised to the nth degree), Ute’s have become domesticated – even seen doing school runs!

Of course, Toyota are well aware of this and have an accessories cupboard that would bling up the most fastidious of rappers plus they have a range of Ute’s to suit virtually all manner of lifestyles – 21 in the current range!

Toyota Hilux PreRunner: The 2WD story behind the name

Toyota Hilux 2016 Review by Stuff


That’s a pretty standard-looking 4WD Toyota Hilux in the photographs accompanying this review.

Ha! Gotcha! It’s not a 4WD at all. It’s a Hilux SR5 PreRunner, which is a two-wheel drive version of the four-wheel drive SR5. From the outside this double-cab ute is almost identical to the 4WD model, even down to its high-riding stance via a raised ground clearance of 286mm. So we can understand how you thought it was a 4WD model.

The only minor exterior difference is PreRunner decaling on the outside of the ute’s wellside. The prerunner term was first used in the United States more than 20 years ago to signify a vehicle that pre-ran an off-road race course to check things out – and these vehicles usually didn’t need to be anything more than 2WD, and only needed to have a jacked-up ground clearance.

And that’s exactly what the Hilux PreRunner is – a 2WD ute with a raised ground clearance. There are five of them in the Hilux fleet, all double-cab and powered by the same 2.8-litre diesel engine.

Toyota New Zealand says the PreRunner models are for those buyers who want the ride height and design aesthetics of a 4WD for its better visibility and ground clearance, but don’t need 4WD capabilty.

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