Toyota Hilux - 8 top selling utes 2018

By: Fraser Stronach

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The Hilux is back as Australia most popular 4WD after its 12-year run at the top 4WD sales charts was broken last year by the Ford Ranger

More than 19,237 Toyota Hilux sales as of June 30
Half year Hilux sales are up 12.2% on 2017
4x4s for sale

The Hilux is so popular it’s not just the best-selling 4WD, ute or otherwise, it’s Australia’s best-selling new ‘car’ overall, the only ute to achieve that distinction. Up to mid-year’s end Hilux 4WD models alone outsold Australia’s most passenger car the Toyota Corolla. For every three Hilux 4WDs it sells, Toyota also sells one Hilux 2WD, which puts the Hilux even further out front in the overall sales race.

Last year, however, the Hilux was deposed as Australia’s best-selling 4WD ute by the Ford Ranger. Toyota responded by fleshing out the Hilux model range by fitting alloys and sat-nav to the work-spec SR to create the SR+, and adding heated seats to the SR5+ to match top-spec rivals. Then came a range of accessorised models, first the TRD and then more recently the Rogue, Rugged and Rugged X.

The Toyota Hilux interior

Compared with the first six months of 2017 Hilux 4WD sales are up 12.2 per cent, sufficient to see it squeeze back in front of Ranger by a mere 21 units, despite Hilux buyers no longer having the option of the petrol V6. Dual-cabs make up 86 per cent of Hilux 4WD sales with single and extended cabs evenly spit in the remaining 14 per cent.

Somewhat controversially, Toyota decided to downsize from a three-litre diesel four to a 2.8-litre four in this latest-generation Hilux, which puts it at a disadvantage against the notably bigger 3.2-litre five-cylinder engine in the Ranger in a market where big engines are seen to not have to work as hard as smaller engines to do the same job.

While the 2.8 is well short of the Ranger in performance, let alone the Amarok V6, it is a quiet, refined and nicely flexible engine. Three-quarters of all Hilux 4WD buyers opt for the six-speed automatic despite its tendency to shuffle between fifth and sixth gears at legal highway speeds on undulating roads, which makes the manual the better choice for country driving.

There’s no doubting the Hilux off-road ability however, which is as good as it gets in its class. Build quality, day-to-day ownership practicality and after-market support are also second to none but Hilux loses to most rivals in cabin size and maximum tow and load capability.



2018 sales (to June 30th): 19,237

2017 sales (to June 30th): 17,140

Change: Up 12.2%


Report Card*

Engine and gearbox: C

Handing and ride: C

Cabin and equipment: C

Load and tow: C

Off-road: A

Comment: Back on top but needs more to keep it competitive.

*Scored against class competitors. A = Excellent; B = Very Good; C = Good; D = Fair; E = Poor; F = Fail.


Toyota Hilux SR5 Double-Cab:

Engine                                               2.8-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel

Max Power/Torque                           130kW/450Nm

Gearbox                                             six-speed automatic

4X4 System                                        dual-range part-time

Kerb Weight                                       2,075kg

Towing capacity                                 3,200kg

GCM                                                    5,650kg

Fuel tank capacity                             80 litres

ADR fuel claim                                   8.5 litres/100km

2018 mega ute shootout results

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