The last time we saw Toyota apply a TRD badge was in 2008; yet it is now 2017. So what has changed since then? A whole lot has changed! The Hilux is all grown up and ready to challenge its new rivals.
Although everyone is calling this the TRD Hilux, Toyota likes to refer to it as the TRD equipped Hilux, or the Toyota HiLux with TRD accessories. Unfortunately this means you will not be setting any 0-100 records any time soon but at least it looks like it would go fast!
There is a massive gap in the market for a fast ute as Holden and Ford are no longer able to produce cars in Australia; and they were the one stop shop for go fast utes. So is the market completely changing to prefer styling over performance? Or is it really too expensive to produce a true performance version of the Hilux.
I’m not sure but it is great to see the TRD brand back again in whatever form it takes. When Toyota decided to create a modified version of the Hilux they looked towards their best selling model of the Hilux. Based on the Toyota Hilux SR5 dual-cab diesel 2.8 4×4 the TRD equipped Hilux features all the best bits of the SR5 and a little bit more.
Toyota has made sure that the TRD equipped Hilux looks the part with its bright red bash plate, black wheels, and fancy front grill. The subtle yet aggressive styling makes the TRD equipped Hilux stand out whilst not screaming look at me. But lets face it you do not buy a brand new TRD Hilux to not be noticed and I think the bright red bash plate is just the right amount of kit to make onlookers realize this is not your standard Hilux.
Toyota has dominated the 4×4 ute sector for the last ten years or more. Now with threatening competition from the Ford Ranger, Holden Colorado, VW Amorok and the Nissan Nirvara it’s time for Toyota to step up their game.
The Hilux is an Australian icon and you will see one in nearly every major town across Australia. It really is one of the most capable 4×4 utes ever made.
You can’t stay on top of the market forever though and Toyota recognises this. In retaliation to models like the Ford Wildtrak and Holden Colorado Z71 they have released the all new TRD equipped Hilux SR5. In a bold move Toyota is only offering the TRD equipped Hilux in black or white making the decision much easier for punters.
Passenger-friendly, mid-sized utes, are starting to explode as a category. Just like we saw with the introduction of the SUV, at first there are a few in the market and now its starting to hit the saturation point. Yet the mid sized 4×4 ute is in the early to mid stages of the epic boom that is predicted for the next ten years.
When brands like Mercedes are just about to jump in the ring you know there is money to be made in the segment. So why are family style 4×4 utes growing so much as a category? My opinion is that cashed up millennials and centennials are looking for adventure.
Realizing that playing the game, as an adult, in a world that worships capitalism isn’t the most rewarding pursuit when even billionaires are seen as unhappy. Evidence shows that the likelihood of being addicted to a whole swag of pharmaceuticals is the case for the majority of the super successful capitalists.
So what do millennials desire? Apart from social media fame! “Experience” is the new currency for millennials. Adventure and life experience are what millennials really value! So the best way to achieve this is with a go anywhere vehicle that can carry the family and tow all your adventure gear.
The Hilux is the ultimate vehicle for adventure as it’s tough, sturdy and full of Toyota’s famous reliability. The Hilux is one of the markets top selling vehicles and currently it is dominating the light commercial sector closely followed by the Ford Ranger.
According to statistics 4×4 utes are one of the fastest growing segments in the world so it seems Toyota picked the right time to release the TRD sports pack.
The only things I would like Toyota to add to the TRD Hilux is some extra detailing inside the cabin apart from just floor mats. It would be great if they could have some small hints of red inside the cabin or some TRD stitched seats just to make it feel a bit more special.
The TRD gear knob is a bit dainty for the size of the Hilux. It really needs a big, chunky, manly TRD gear knob! One you can comfortably rest your hand on whilst driving.
After cruising around in the Hilux as a daily I eventually stumbled across the 3 power modes; when initially I thought it only had eco and power mode. Yet strangely there is a mode in between eco / power. This mode I would suppose would be called the normal mode? So why did I let the Hilux default to eco for so long… because I wanted to feel like Captain Planet!
Yes that’s right. I wanted to see if it was possible to save the environment while navigating Melbourne’s traffic and not getting into an accident. I’m sad to say I had to gather the Planeteers and “let our powers combine” and by pushing the power button I was able to get across roundabouts while chanting “go planet”! Power is not a dirty word. I’m glad the Hilux has a good amount of up and go when you need it!
I’m normally not a fan of electric seat controls but the one in the Hilux is amazing and you will find yourself adjusting your setting as you drive just because you can. If the seat came with an extra lumbar support button and a captains chair armrest it would be the perfect seat!
If you want the best 4×4 in its class than the TRD equipped SR5 Hilux is the only choice. Also the Hilux special models tend to hold their value quite well. Although it may look like Toyota has just slapped some accessories on the Hilux it feels like a lot more than that! No wonder the Hilux is respected and loved around the world.
Thanks to Toyota Australia for giving us the opportunity to test and review the new Hilux SR5 equiped with the TRD sports pack.
Thanks for reading,