April 4, 2011

Hilux SR5 gets more good stuff

This red Hilux might look much like any other, but it's one of the latest SR5 double cab 4WDs with 17-inch rims, stability control and traction control. They started arriving in the final quarter of last year, but 4wdNewz has only just had a spell with it. Stability control (VSC) and traction control (TRC) are no longer novelties in utes, so Toyota's catching up a bit here. These aids add to the Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and ABS that are already on the ute and are quite important additions. The VSC adjusts engine output and the braking to each wheel to help prevent oversteer or understeer and get the driver out of trouble on, say, loose unsealed roads – the very surface on which lots of Hiluxes spend much of their time. In low range off-road conditions, the TRC brakes a spinning wheel, so that power goes to the wheel or wheels with adequate grip. Unlike the on-road traction control program, engine power is not reduced. The electronics work better than a limited-slip differential, but not as well as a cross-axle locker – but then nothing does.

Seventeen-inch alloys wheels replace the SR5’s 15s, not for looks but to accommodate larger brakes. However, fitted with 265/65 tyres, they nicely fill-out the wheelwells and provide a useful improvement to the ute's abilities both on- and off the road. The test truck wore Bridgestone Duelers with a fairly mild tread pattern. This truck also has the four-speed automatic option that works well with the 3.0 litre turbodiesel. Despite "only" 343Nm of torque in a world where some rivals are well into the 400s, the auto Hilux has exceptional pickup for overtaking, even with more than 500kg in the tray. It's very impressive; but then for $60,390 (manual) and $62,890 (auto), it should be!

What to do with a new Hilux SR5. Note to Toyota NZ: See how well 4WDNewz looks after your ute's almost unmarked tray.


  1. Have you driven on loose slippery windy metals roads? I did and didn't like the experience at all. Toyota have made a bad vehicle worse for handling rural and back country roads. Had it in Hi-4WD and it kept killing the power and even braked as I tried to 'drive' the corners on me. The VSC couldn't be turned off while in in 4WD. Basically it was worse than the wife in telling me how to drive. Didn't help that some one at Toyota had pumped the tyres up to 45psi, no wonder the ride was aweful and handling atrocious.

  2. Further to the above, the stability and traction controls can be turned off with a switch held for three seconds or more when the vehicle is stopped. Alternatively, just the traction control can be turned off. However, in 2WD and 4WD high the traction control will turn itself back on at speeds over 50km/h. And when the vehicle is braking or sensors detect a large yaw rate, the stability control will operate even if turned "off"; however, it does not control engine output in this case. In low-range, stability control is automatically turned off and stays off. This information from Toyota's own technical data.

  3. The firm I work for has Hiluxes, some Navaras, a Ranger and some Tritons. I far prefer the Hilux and we have the fewest problems with them. The Toyota is very good overall although I like the Ranger's engine better.

  4. If you want a decent look at this Hilux, check the latest 4WD mag.