Home Car Reviews 2023 Toyota Hilux Review: Features, Performance And Price

2023 Toyota Hilux Review: Features, Performance And Price

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The Toyota Hilux has been a long-standing favorite among fans. Famously called “The Invincible,” the Hilux is reliable, rugged, and comfortable. It is a versatile truck that excels both on-road and off-road. Carrying on the legacy, the 2023 Hilux introduces a GR Sport trim with some great appearance and performance upgrades. Since news broke about the 2023 Toyota Hilux, enthusiasts have eagerly anticipated the latest features, prompting us to test drive and write a 2023 Toyota Hilux review. 

This 2023 Hilux Review dives into the truck’s exterior and interior appearance, as well as its engine performance figures, features, and pricing. This review aims to assist Malawian buyers in picking the perfect 2023 Toyota Hilux trim.

Overview Of The 2023 Toyota Hilux

In 2022, Toyota made lots of updates to the famous Hilux. These updates included a revised suspension system, new 18-inch alloy wheels, smart entry and push-button start, and the latest infotainment system. It also received a new design featuring parking sensors, LED lights, and a powerful body styling package for the X trim. Before this update, the last time the Hilux had a major facelift was in 2020, after its 2016 launch. For the 2023 model year, the Toyota Hilux lineup welcomes updates to the new GR Sport performance variant, with appearance options and performance figures.

There’s been quite the buzz around the 2023 Hilux. For starters, the Toyota raised the prices for the 2023 Toyota Hilux. According to the Japanese brand, the price increment was due to “…increased costs and inflationary pressures outside of our control such as more expensive raw materials, labor, tooling and packaging which are feeding into higher manufacturing costs”

Upon updating the Hilux pricing ranges for 2023 in several global markets, Toyota also admitted that the Hilux could lose its sales crown to the  Ford Ranger arch-rival in 2023. But, the brand went on to express that it’s not worried about the inevitable sales overtake. And it did happen. The Ford Ranger topped the sales for November 2023. From the chart, it seems the Ranger will outsell the Hilux in December as well. We’ll update you. We also got future intel on the 2025 Toyota Hilux, which comes with a fantastic redesign. Check that out too.

What’s New On The 2023 Toyota Hilux?

Each trim receives updates as follows:

The new GR Sport Variant

The 2023 Toyota Hilux introduces a notable upgrade in power, boasting a 10% increase in performance for its turbocharged 2.8L 4-cylinder engine in the GR Sport. 

Designed with adventure in mind, the Hilux GR Sport comes loaded with top-grade features, ensuring you and your gear are well-equipped for journeys to your preferred destinations. Whether you’re tackling rugged terrains or cruising on city roads, the 2023 Toyota Hilux GR Sport combines power and functionality to elevate your driving experience.

Hilux Rogue updates

To accommodate the expanded track in the HiLux Rogue, Toyota’s engineers implemented significant improvements to the suspension system. These enhancements involved extending the front suspension arm and increasing the length of the front stabilizer bar. Additionally, adjustments were made to the shock absorber angle, enhancing its efficiency. This meticulous fine-tuning of the suspension contributes to improved handling, stability, and overall performance, ensuring a smoother and more controlled driving experience for the HiLux Rogue.

Hilux SR And SR5 updates

Introduced in the previous year, the SR extra-cab and dual-cab models have undergone notable enhancements. The new 17-inch black alloy wheels replace the existing 17-inch steel wheels, providing a more stylish and modern appearance. Additionally, body-colored door handles contribute to an upgraded aesthetic.

In the case of the SR5 dual-cab pick-up, significant improvements extend beyond aesthetics to include crucial active safety features. Notably, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are now standard, enhancing overall safety. The SR5 dual-cab pick-up also benefits from new additions such as a surround-view camera and puddle lamps. Heated side mirrors are no longer available in this 2023 update. These enhancements collectively elevate the safety, convenience, and visual appeal of the SR and SR5 models in the Hilux lineup.

2023 Toyota Hilux Review: Dimensions

Here are the dimensions and towing capacities for the 2023 Toyota Hilux:

  • Length: 5325mm (Workmate Double Cab: 5330mm, Rogue: 5320mm)
  • Width: 1855mm (Single Cab, Workmate 4×2 Double Cab: 1800mm, Rogue: 2020mm)
  • Wheelbase: 3085mm
  • Ground clearance: 216mm (4×2 models with the base petrol engine: 174mm)

For the GR Sport:

  • Height increase: 15mm
  • Front track width increase: 135mm
  • Rear track width increase: 155mm

Braked towing capacity:

  • Petrol models: 2500kg
  • 4×2 diesels: 2800kg
  • All 4×4 models: 3500kg

Interior Appearance

The interior of the Hilux range boasts a contemporary design, challenging the conventional perception of pickup trucks solely associated with rugged reliability and practicality. Despite its modern aesthetics, the cabin prioritizes user-friendly functionality with clear instruments, large buttons, and a generally intuitive control layout.

Stepping into the GR Sport trim elevates the interior experience. This variant features a pair of front sports seats adorned in black leather and synthetic suede, accented with red details and stitching. The infusion of GR Sport logos is evident on the seatbacks, floor mats, starter buttons, and information displays. To add a touch of sophistication, the interior incorporates subtle carbon-fiber style detailing and a red line stretching across the cabin’s width. The overall effect is a nuanced enhancement rather than overt performance aesthetics.

Engine And Transmission

The 2023 Toyota Hilux offers a range of engine options to cater to various preferences. The most powerful engine is a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel, delivering 150kW of power and 500Nm of torque with a six-speed automatic transmission. Manual variants produce 420Nm of torque.

For the GR Sport model, power is boosted to 165kW and torque to 550Nm, available exclusively with an automatic transmission.

Lower-grade models feature a 2.4-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel generating 110kW/400Nm, while entry-level versions come with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder petrol engine producing 122kW/245Nm.

The smaller diesel reaches peak power and torque at 3400rpm and 1600-2000rpm, respectively, while the petrol engine achieves this at 5200rpm and 4000rpm.

Both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations are offered, with manual and automatic transmissions available for all powertrains. Petrol models come standard with a five-speed manual transmission, while diesel options come with a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic transmission, depending on the variant.

2023 Toyota Hilux Driving Impressions: Performance And Handling

The Hilux has never been lackluster in turns, but its steering, compared to more agile rivals, previously leaned towards the slower side. The facelift brings a notable improvement, introducing a ‘variable flow control’ power-steering pump. This enhancement imparts a more reassuring feel to the front of the Hilux, enhancing its on-road and off-road performance.

Body roll is effectively managed, providing a controlled experience. Although speed enthusiasts might not find the Hilux encouraging for high-speed endeavors, this controlled aspect contributes positively.

For those inclined to push the limits, the facelift introduces an automatic limited-slip differential, standard on all but the entry-level Icon grade. This feature aids the rear wheels in finding traction on slippery surfaces, proving more beneficial on-road than off-road.

The standard panoramic view monitor, especially on the top trim, facilitates maneuvering the substantial Hilux into tight spaces. It offers a bird’s-eye view, avoiding any overhangs in confined spaces.

Addressing noise concerns, Toyota’s engineers have implemented a ‘dash silencer’ and additional soundproofing in the engine bay. These measures effectively minimize noise and vibrations, particularly noticeable during cold starts or hard acceleration. The refinement extends to engine noise, maintaining a quiet hush during constant cruising.

Despite a slight reduction in approach angle from 31 degrees to 29 degrees in the facelift model, the Hilux has improved off-road capabilities. Notably, the 2020-onwards version showcases remarkable rear axle articulation, adeptly handling off-set bumps. With a 700mm wading depth and sophisticated electronics, the Hilux takes on challenging terrains, even without engaging the available locking differentials—an impressive feat for a standard road vehicle.

How The 2023 Toyota Hilux Squares Up Against Its Competition

The Ford Ranger holds its position as one of Malawi’s top-selling pickups, known for its versatility and competitive pricing. The 2023 model marks a significant upgrade, sharing its platform with the new VW Amarok.

Toyota’s main rivals in the pickup market were the Nissan Navara and the Mitsubishi L200, both offering generous five-year warranties. However, both have been discontinued, leaving the Isuzu D-Max and the SsangYong Musso as the remaining contenders against the Hilux. The latest D-Max boasts leading safety features, making it a solid choice for those who need a reliable workhorse. The Musso, on the other hand, impresses with its substantial payload and towing capabilities, accompanied by an extended warranty. And those are pretty much the only options you get as far as trucks in this country. 

While the Mercedes-Benz X-Class was once an option, it was discontinued in 2020, further emphasizing the Hilux’s prominence in the pickup market.

Toyota Safety Sense for the Hilux

All variants of the HiLux come equipped with a comprehensive suite of Toyota Safety Sense technologies, ensuring enhanced safety standards. This includes standard features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection in both day and night conditions, cyclist detection during the day, high-speed adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning with steering assistance through brakes. The inclusion of traffic sign recognition further enhances the safety features across all models.

For SR5 4×4 models and automatic SR 4×4 double cabs (including cab chassis), hill descent control is a notable addition. Meanwhile, SR5 double- and extra-cab pick-ups now feature standard front and rear parking sensors.

In a significant safety upgrade for 2023, all SR5 models receive additional advanced safety features, including blind-spot monitoring, a surround-view camera, and rear cross-traffic alert. These enhancements underscore Toyota’s commitment to ensuring the utmost safety for HiLux occupants.

Fuel Economy 

The Toyota Hilux range achieves a fuel efficiency between 27.1mpg and 33.2mpg, varying by model. Notably, there’s minimal distinction on paper between the 2.4D and the 2.8D engines. While, in theory, the larger engine might be more efficient, the actual outcome will likely depend on individual driving habits.

All models are now equipped with stop-start technology, contributing to improved fuel economy. Opting for the automatic transmission may result in a slight decrease of around 3mpg.

Here are the fuel economy figures for the 2023 Toyota Hilux:

  • Petrol manual: 10.7-11.1 liters per 100km
  • Petrol auto: 10.4-10.9 liters per 100km
  • 2.4TD manual: 6.9-7.4 liters per 100km
  • 2.4TD auto: 7.5-8.0 liters per 100km
  • 2.8TD manual: 7.1-8.0 liters per 100km
  • 2.8TD auto: 7.5-8.1 liters per 100km

These figures provide an overview of the fuel efficiency across different engine and transmission options in the Hilux lineup.

2023 Toyota Hilux Pricing

Here is the pricing for the 2023 Toyota Hilux:

The 4×2 Single-Cab Chassis

  • Workmate 2.7 5MT: $26,475
  • Workmate 2.7 6AT: $27,375
  • 2023 Toyota Hilux Workmate Hi-Rider 2.4TD 6MT: $31,715 

4×2 Extra-Cab Pickup

  • 2023 Toyota Hilux SR Hi-Rider 2.8TD 6MT: $47,285 

4×2 Dual-Cab Pickup

  • Workmate 2.7 5MT: $35,545 
  • 2023 Workmate 2.7 6AT: $37,545 
  • Hilux Workmate Hi-Rider 2.4TD 6AT: $44,635
  • SR Hi-Rider 2.8TD 6AT: $48,305
  • SR5 Hi-Rider 2.8TD 6AT: $57,290

Four By Four 4×4 Single-Cab Chassis

  • 2023 Toyota Hilux Workmate 2.4TD 6MT: $40,965
  • 2023 Toyota Hilux SR 2.8TD 6MT: $44,035 
  • 2023 Toyota Hilux SR 2.8TD 6AT: $46,035

Four 4×4 Extra-Cab Chassis

  • Workmate 2.4TD 6AT: $46,665 (+$560)
  • SR 2.8TD 6MT: $48,695 (+$560)
  • SR 2.8TD 6AT: $50,695 

Hilux 4×4 Extra-Cab Pickup

  • 2023 Toyota Hilux SR5 2.8TD 6AT: $59,970

The 4×4 Dual-Cab Chassis

  • Workmate 2.4TD 6AT: $48,735
  • SR 2.8TD 6MT: $50,955
  • SR 2.8TD 6AT: $53,105
  • SR5 2.8TD 6AT: $59,990 

The 4×4 Dual-Cab Pickup

  • Toyota Hilux Workmate 2.4TD 6MT: $47,985
  • Hilux Workmate 2.4TD 6AT: $49,985
  • SR 2.8TD 6MT: $52,445
  • SR 2.8TD 6AT: $54,605
  • SR5 2.8TD 6MT: $60,490
  • SR5 2.8TD 6AT: $62,490
  • Rogue 2.8TD 6AT: $70,760
  • GR Sport 2.8TD 6AT: $73,990

Final Verdict: Is The 2023 Toyota Hilux Right For You?

For those prioritizing reliability in a pickup, the Toyota Hilux stands out as an exceptional choice. Its reliability, reasonable comfort, impressive off-road capabilities, and a towing capacity of up to 3,500 kg, position the Hilux as a versatile all-rounder.

Previously, the 2.4-liter engine posed a notable limitation, being the least powerful among Malawi pickups. Fortunately, the 2.8-liter motor provides a convincing solution to this constraint. The larger engine addresses the power deficiency convincingly, delivering the performance most pickup buyers seek while maintaining nearly identical fuel economy.

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