Toyota HiLux Problems

No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Toyota HiLux reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

Datsun 720 ute - Were they better than the HiLux?

Answered by CarsGuide 21 Apr 2021

If you find a good Datsun 720 ute, then go for it. Like most vehicles from the late '70s and '80s, they rust away.

Is it better than the contemporary HiLux? Probably not, judging from what Wheels magazine had to say in its August 1981 4x2 single-cab diesel comparison by esteemed road tester, Brian Woodward, featuring the HiLux against the Datsun 720, Ford Courier and Holden Rodeo:

"Datsun has radial tyres as standard but they don't do handling much good; ride is choppiest of the four. Bench seat makes best use of space but cabin is claustrophobic. Engine gives most power but is truck-like with plenty of diesel clatter. Column shift works well. Load space and access is good."

Of the HiLux: "Toyota feels most car-like, is quietest of four and has most practical gear ratios. But it doesn't set standards for suspension control. Cabin is light and airy. Engine gives HiLux best performance and economy. Dash controls are easy to use. Deck is as for others."

"None of the four is a worthwhile alternative to a car or a serious rival for the good old Aussie ute, but the Toyota comes close. It is the one we would choose..."

Wheels then went on to compare the same new 1981 HiLux against the Holden WB Kingswood 3300 ute, with the following conclusion:

"The Toyota has plenty of ground clearance, useful low gearing and fine economy – a very different picture to that of the Holden and one which gives the Japanese a clear advantage as a practical workhorse. But utes are not only workhorses – they may have to carry pigs in the back on Friday but on Saturday they are expected to be able to take the missus to the shops (this was 1981, remember, Ed.). And it's here that the Toyota falls down. It's too commercial."

That all said, we'd buy on condition. If you find a HiLux that's in better shape than the 720, we'd go for that. But as you said, the Datsun is a rarer thing, and a delightfully period piece of engineering in its own right.

We hope this contemporary perspective of the Datsun 720 and Toyota HiLux helps.

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Which 4x4 Dual Cab ute should I buy?

Answered by CarsGuide 26 Oct 2020

The very fact that you’re looking at two vehicles that fit into your budget but have travelled such vastly different distances should tell you all you need to know about the Nissan. Frankly, the Navara D22 and D40 don’t age well. In fact, many owners have found out the hard way that a Navara just can’t match the Toyota HiLux of this vintage for longevity and the ability to cop punishment over time.

I’m certainly not saying that the HiLux was perfect, but compared with the Navara’s litany of faults and problems that covered everything from rattling timing chains to coolant leaks and odd design elements such as the bottom of the radiator being lower than the lowest part of the chassis cross-member (not good for off-road work) the Toyota was much better. Granted the Navara you’re considering has very low mileage, so it should be okay for a while…just about till you hand it over to your son to break.

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Will Toyota make a 3.3 litre diesel V6 engine in the Fortuner?

Answered by CarsGuide 30 Sep 2020

As far as we know, the V6 turbo-diesel widely tipped to power the next LandCruiser (the 300 Series) is still just a maybe for the HiLux range. And even if it did make it into the HiLux, it would almost certainly be restricted to a sporty GR badged version as Toyota leverages its Dakar rally experience into a marketing role. With that in mind, the V6 would be an unlikely starter for the Fortuner which is aimed much more closely at families and, for whom, seating capacity and running costs are far more important than the ability to get to 100km/h in a hurry.

Even then, there’s plenty of historical evidence to suggest that a V6 turbo-diesel HiLux will remain just an idea (a nice one, though). Toyota has never really taken the opportunity to share engines between its HiLux and full sized (ie: Not the Prado) LandCruiser ranges. With a couple of notable exceptions (all of them petrol-powered) the HiLux has remained a four-cylinder vehicle throughout its life. And when Toyota did build a (petrol) supercharged V6 HiLux tagged the TRD back in 2008, it was a sales flop.

In any case, a hot-rod Fortuner is probably not on the cards despite the HiLux and Fortuner sharing a lot of engineering and componentry.

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When is the 2021 Toyota HiLux SR5+ being released?

Answered by CarsGuide 24 Sep 2020

The facelifted HiLux is in showrooms now, Jay, including the SR5+ model. The good news is that the suspension has been refined to improve ride and the engine has been given a once-over with a larger turbocharger to boost power to 150kW. Toyota also claims it has addressed the diesel particulate filter problems that were an issue for owners of the previous version. Prices start at around $60,000 and up for the model you’re interested in. The good news is that the Extra-Cab layout is available in SR5 trim and while it doesn’t offer the full interior space of a dual-cab, the two small occasional seats in the rear do bump its seating capacity to four.

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What is the fuel consumption for a 1999 Toyota Hilux?

Answered by CarsGuide 28 Aug 2020

An accurate comparison with contemporary competitors to the HiLux is very hard to find as these cars were built at a time when light commercial vehicles weren’t being officially tested for fuel economy as they are today. Suffice to say that fuel economy won’t be as good as a more modern vehicle with more modern engine technology and management electronics.

About the closest I can get you is a 2003 HiLux dual-cab with the 2.7-litre engine which has an official combined economy figure of 11.1 litres per 100km. But while there’s a handful of years between your car and the one I’ve just quoted, the comparison is actually relatively meaningful as the HiLux in either case is essentially the same vehicle with the same basic engine.

The thing to remember with all these official figures is that they really only stand up as a direct comparison to other vehicles of a similar type when tested against the same criteria. In the real world, you’ll really battle to get anything like the claimed fuel economy number and I’d expect a HiLux like the one you have to use at least 11 litres per 100km on the highway and closer to 14 litres or even more around the suburbs.

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What dual cab 4x4 ute should I buy?

Answered by CarsGuide 8 Feb 2020

The problem with all these vehicles, Darren, is that they seem to have covered huge distances (200,000km is a lot for a car that is just eight years old, no?). Also, some of them have covered those kilometres towing huge, heavy trailers and a full tray at the same time. So, the first piece of advice is to buy one that has a full service history and hasn’t been worked half to death. A Ranger with a huge bull-bar, suspension lift, winch and mud tyres, for instance, is a dead certainty to have been thrashed through the bush every weekend of its life. So be careful and take each vehicle on its merits and overall condition.

It seems you’ve heard of the Ranger’s engine troubles (overheating due to faulty EGR coolers and failed fuel injectors) but the Toyota three-litre turbo-diesel is not without its faults either. Cracked pistons between 100,000km and 150,000km are not unknown and, like any common-rail diesel, the Toyota’s engine can consume injectors at a frightening rate. The bottom line is that all these modern common-rail diesels are highly tuned and absolutely need their maintenance. Even then, they can fail, so it’s worth knowing.

For your purposes, Darren, I think the Ranger with its more powerful engine (147kW and 470Nm plays the Toyota’s 120kW and 343Nm) and much greater towing capacity (3500kg for the Ford, 2250kg for the Toyota) would be the smarter way to go.

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Can the Toyota HiLux be flat-towed?

Answered by CarsGuide 11 Jan 2020

Flat-towing – where the towed vehicle has all four wheels on the ground – is common in North America where it’s quite normal to see a motorhome flat-towing a Chevy Suburban or Ford SUV. The idea is that the motorhome is the mother-ship and the SUV becomes the grocery-getter once you’ve settled in somewhere with a nice view. They take their fun seriously, those Americans.

The practice is much less common here, but I’ve seen a few Suzuki Sierras and Vitaras and other small four-wheel-drives being flat-towed, so clearly it’s possible. As you’ve identified, a two-wheel-drive vehicle with a conventional manual gearbox shouldn’t suffer any dramas from being flat-towed. That said, I’d be careful with a four-wheel-drive, particularly a permanent all-wheel-drive example - because these are more complex drivelines and sometimes don’t appreciate being back-loaded.  It’s also worth remembering that a vehicle with a conventional automatic is a no-no for flat-towing as, unless the engine is running, the pump that lubricates the transmission isn’t working and the gearbox will be destroyed.

Unless the dealer can show you precisely why a particular year-model HiLux shouldn’t be flat-towed, I’d be a bit suspicious (especially when other dealers say yes) but the fact that nobody wants to offer you a warranty on a HiLux that’s being flat-towed also suggests to me that you could run into problems if there’s ever a claim.

It would also be worth checking what your insurance company says about flat-towing and don’t forget that different States and Territories have different rules and regulations. In Queensland, for instance, the law says that unless the unladen mass of the towing vehicle is at least three-and-a-half times the laden mass of the vehicle being flat-towed, you need to somehow make the towed vehicle’s brakes part of the package. On that basis, unless you’re towing your 1500kg HiLux with a vehicle that weighs at least 5250kg unladen, you’ve got yourself a problem that could involve the law and the insurance industry if something goes wrong.

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X-Trail or HiLux?

Answered by CarsGuide 22 Nov 2019

The Hilux 4WD would give you better offroad ability and more load carrying capacity, and shouldn’t suffer on the fuel consumption or power fronts, but your budget would dictate an earlier model in the region of 2014.

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Toyota HiLux: How do I check if the chassis is bent?

Answered by CarsGuide 25 Oct 2019

If it’s damaged you should be able to see it. But to be sure it needs to be put on a bedplate, so I would take it to a panel beater or a chassis aligner who should have the required equipment.

 

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Toyota HiLux: How do I check if the chassis is bent?

Answered by CarsGuide 25 Oct 2019

If it’s damaged you should be able to see it. But to be sure it needs to be put on a bedplate, so I would take it to a panel beater or a chassis aligner who should have the required equipment.

 

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