Toyota Hilux Invincible

SINCE the arrival of the 3.0-litre D-4D engine in the Hilux, Toyota’s double-cab truck has been left wanting for those who prefer the two-pedal driving approach.

All that has changed with the arrival of a proper five-speed auto to replace the tall gearing of the previous four-speeder.

The new ‘box means there’s more grunt too – torque is up from 343Nm to 360Nm and it’s available from 1,400-3,600rpm, though power remains unchanged at 169hp. While it is only available on the 3.0-litre engine – the 2.5 gets a five-speed manual.

With five self-shifting speeds, the Hilux is smoother, quieter and quicker too. But it is the way the transmission operates that really impresses.

Adaptive shifting

The auto ‘box uses adaptive gear shift patterns which are constantly tweaked to suit individual driving style and road conditions. It is Toyota’s own system and detects and reacts to up and downhill gradients, reducing the number of gearshifts and providing a useful level of engine braking.

It wants to move the Hilux quite positively from idle, without throttle. It shifts up promptly, keeping revs down and using the engine’s massive torque reserves to full effect.

Unlike other auto double-cab trucks, this one doesn’t zing into high rpm every time the throttle is pushed. The result is good progress, without all the noise and fuss.

Fuel economy is not bad. A week with the Hilux produced an average of almost 31mpg.

When not in four-wheel drive, there is a very useful limited slip differential in the rear axle to help put the power down.

With little weight in the back, the Hilux 3.0 auto could easily offer tail-out power slides, were it not for a highly effective traction control system and vehicle stability control, serving as a useful reminder that you are trying perhaps a little too hard.

Our leather-clad Invincible-spec test truck came with a clever touch-screen sat-nav system with integrated Bluetooth phone kit, which was easy to use, if not a little small for a colour screen.

It all helps to make the 3.0 Invincible auto perhaps one of the best self-shifting double cab pickup trucks we’ve tried.

Toyota Hilux 3.0 D-4D Invincible Auto

  • Price: £22,645 (as tested)
  • Engine: 2,982cc, four-cylinder common rail turbo diesel, 169hp @ 3,600rpm, 360Nm @ 1,400-3,400rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed auto with low range, selectable four-wheel drive, rear limited slip diff and auto disconnecting front diff
  • Performance: 11.6 sec 0-62mph, 109mph, 31.8mpg combined, 162g/km
  • Towing capacity: 2,250kg

Readers' comments (7)

  • Why towing capacity of just 2.2 ton? Think Ranger's capacity is 3 ton, if this would legally tow 3 ton i'd be interested, but 2.2 isn't enough with a load of cattle or for example 3 bulls to Carlisle in a tri axle trailer. It's silly because this would obviouslt tow as well as a Ford Ranger, who decides the max towing capacity? If its the manufacturers them selves they need to up the Hilux's capacity! I was told it's the manufacturers that put the capacity on them, and they keep it down because a Hilux on it's roof would be a bad advert! ...?

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  • The MK6 can legally tow 2.8T, but you'd need to check the VIN plate to be sure. 2.25T is what's in the brochure and handbook, but I understand that Toyota increased the capacity to make it more competitive in the UK market. They just didn't change the literature.

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  • I frequently pull a tri-axle trailer with a 3.3ton
    Ship,s engine as payload. Although my Invincible is a 200, with extra poke, I have a 6cwt steel block welded into the back which give great stability, and road holding especially in the wet.

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  • Did you know toyota have stopped
    puting a limited slip diff in its hilux invincible ???

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  • I very recently backed a tri-axle trailer with 2.9ton of ships spares up a ramp into a 40' container with my Invincible 200. This is the best truck on the road today, for people wanting a workhorse with the power when you need it, and the comfort and room to take my grandaughter to the Church on her Wedding day

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  • Pulled 19ton with ease until the clutch started smoking. impressed.

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  • Why am I seeing a red light warning of a seat with an airbag?

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