Toyota Hilux Review: More Than Just A Pickup?

Published On Apr 09, 2024 By Ansh for Toyota Hilux

Living with the Toyota Hilux comes with some expected challenges, but it does make you feel invincible

Toyota Hilux, a pickup truck that comes in the price range of Rs 30.40 lakh to Rs 37.90 lakh (ex-showroom), is one of the few pickup trucks private car owners can buy in the Indian market. The Hilux is not for your everyday use, and is more of a weekend getaway/lifestyle vehicle. In its road test review, we spend a day with the Hilux and try to find out whether its great road presence, off-road capabilities, and performance make up for its dull cabin, outdated feature list, and a bumpy ride quality.

Looks Menacing

Toyota Hilux

The Hilux is huge, 5,325 mm long to be exact, which makes it bigger than even the Mercedes-Benz GLS. And due to its length, it doesn’t fit easily into most regular parking spaces. The plan was to take the Hilux out in the morning, and drive till the evening to watch a beautiful sunset, but I first had to take my eyes off the car.

It has a dominating design, which catches attention wherever it goes. The massive front profile is in your face with a huge black grille, chunky bumper and skid plate, and an overall beefier fascia. 

Toyota Hilux Side

But on the side is where you can actually get an idea of its size. Apart from the length, the other things that catch your eye are the thick cladding on the door, big 18-inch alloy wheels, and massive wheel arches. These elements bring out the ruggedness of this pickup truck, and with all of this, you also get more ground clearance (220mm unladen) than most users would need for everyday use.

The Hilux truly has an eye-catching design that not only makes people turn around to take another look, but also makes you feel like the most important person on the road. And one more benefit of the Hilux is its popularity in the international market that unlocks a long list of accessories and modification/personalization potential.

Get A Boot Cover

Toyota Hilux Bed

The Hilux does not get a boot in the traditional sense, as it is more of a cargo bed. You can store your entire trip's luggage here easily and still may only use half of it.

Of course, the open storage bed might make you feel a little scared when keeping your luggage. What if someone steals my luggage? Or what if I go over a bump and my bag just falls off? While these things may not happen, it’s better to get a cover for this cargo bed as an accessory.

A Dull Cabin

Toyota Hilux Cabin

When you’ll sit inside the Hilux, the cabin design and materials used will not make you feel like you’re sitting in a car that costs around Rs 45 lakh on-road. It has an all-black cabin with a simple design and some rugged elements. The cabin mostly consists of hard plastics and there aren’t enough soft touch elements, which does make the interiors feel a little dull and outdated. Yes, this car is pretty expensive in India, but internationally, it is mostly used for utility purposes, so subsequently, this is the cabin you get. 

While driving, you’ll also notice that its seats have a stiff cushioning. While they are spacious and hold you in place, softer cushioning would have been better as they would keep you more comfortable.

Toyota Hilux Rear Seats

The rear seats are also very spacious, and can seat three passengers with ease. You get a good amount of headroom, leg room, and knee room, but the backrest does not recline and the seats are just as stiff as the front ones. 

Driving Through The City

The big proportions of the Hilux, which make it look dominating, also bring a big disadvantage. For a smaller, more compact car, navigating through the city traffic is not so difficult, but with the Hilux, you can find your patience being tested.

Toyota Hilux

For example, there are times when you are in a new city and driving on unfamiliar roads. In this situation, sometimes google maps will show you a narrow road which you’ll have to take, and if you’re in a Hilux, driving through that narrow patch, no matter how short, will keep you on your toes and you’ll have to be extra careful.

However, this size also comes with an advantage. When driving such a big car, other cars in the city tend to not get in your way or cut you off. The big proportions of the Hilux make you look like the bigger person on the road, and more often than not, other cars will make way for you.

Toyota Hilux

While driving inside the city, you will not feel any lack of power, and the quick acceleration makes overtakes seem easy. The drive is smooth, and the engine is responsive, so apart from navigating through traffic, nothing else will feel difficult. 

The ride, however, is typical of large pickups designed to carry heavy cargo. It will feel stiff, While bumps and potholes can be tackled easily, you will feel side-to-side tossing inside the cabin and it won’t feel as settled as an urban SUV of the same size. You will find the ride quality gets more comfortable with a full passenger or luggage load. 

Are The Features Enough?

Toyota Hilux Touchscreen

Yes. The Hilux gets an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system which is quite responsive, easy to use, and comes with a user interface that is easy to understand. It also gets wired Android Auto and Apple, dual-zone climate control, rear AC vents, and for safety it offers 7 airbags, hill hold assist, vehicle stability management, and brake assist. 

But there are some feature misses. For its price, a bigger touchscreen would have been more suitable inside the cabin, and there should have been more charging options. In the front, you do get two 12V sockets, USB charging port, and a 100W charger in the centre armrest, but there is no type-C charging port here. Also, while the front passengers still have enough charging options, the rear passengers do not get any

Practical For Your Long Drives

Toyota Hilux Centre Armrest Storage

All four doors have 1-litre bottle holders, there are two cupholders in the centre console, and two on either side of the dashboard. 

There is storage in the centre armrest, it gets two gloveboxes, the centre armrest has a tray to keep your phone or wallet, and the rear passengers also get two cupholders in the centre armrest.

Drive Through The Highway

Here is where the drive gets interesting. Beating the city traffic is hard, but when you have an open highway, you can truly see the performance of the Hilux, and it does not disappoint. It comes with a 2.8-litre diesel engine, (204 PS power and up to 500 Nm torque) which feels adequate even with the Hilux’s large size and heavy weight.

Toyota Hilux

Getting the Hilux to 80-100kmph does not take time, and it feels steady at those speeds too. I thought that the overtakes in the city were easy, but here, they were just effortless. There is a good amount of body roll while switching lanes and taking sharp turns, but that is a given for a pickup truck. 

I was getting closer to my destination, and the sun was about to set. To watch the sunset and reach the perfect spot, I had to first drive through the sharp turns of the ghats, and I really enjoyed doing so. The sharp left and right turns did not challenge the Hilux, and it cornered through them with little to no effort. But another challenge was awaiting this pickup truck.

Toyota Hilux

I was close to my destination, and the last part of my journey involved some off-roading. To do so, I put the Hilux in four-wheel-drive and pushed through. This seemed like a piece of cake for the Hilux, and it was in its element, ready to take on any form of challenge. While the ride wasn’t so comfortable, it did cross the off-road patch with ease.


After spending the entire day with the Hilux, going from the city to the highway, taking sharp turns on the ghats and finishing with some off-roading, here is my verdict for this pickup.

Toyota Hilux

This is a secondary car, for those who understand and accept the compromises that come with a pickup truck. The ride is not so comfortable and neither are the seats. The cabin is outdated, and the feature list is not so extensive. These compromises seemed a lot to me, especially if you are going to use it mostly inside the city, because these compromises will be a lot, especially for your family.

However, the reason to buy the Toyota Hilux is also very clear. This car is for three types of people: someone who wants a getaway or a lifestyle vehicles and understands that there will be compromises, someone who wants a pickup truck for its utility like transportation of goods for business purposes, or someone who wants a car with big proportions that will make them feel like the most important person on the road, as the Hilux has the capability to do that. If you are any one of these people, then the Hilux will be a perfect addition to your garage.

Toyota Hilux

Variants*Ex-Showroom Price New Delhi
STD (Diesel)Rs.30.40 Lakh*
High (Diesel)Rs.37.15 Lakh*
High AT (Diesel)Rs.37.90 Lakh*

Latest cars

Upcoming cars

Popular cars

We need your city to customize your experience