By Samuel Smith
Last updated on: November 15, 2019 at 2:30 am
The perennially popular Toyota HiLux SR5 surprised judges this year with a narrow victory over its Ford Ranger XLT arch-rival.
Winner: Toyota HiLux SR5
Engine: 2.8 litre turbo-diesel
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
ANCAP Safety Rating: 5 stars
Second place went to the Ford Ranger XLT and the Mitsubishi Triton GLS placed third.
What sets it apart from the rest
The HiLux made up ground this year with its value for money compared to the now more expensive Ranger, which has seen a greater price increase.
HiLux owners fare best on service department costs too, and Toyota’s recent welcome move to a 5-year/unlimited kilometre warranty brings it in line with its adversaries.
Design and function-wise, the top 3 contenders traded blows evenly in most areas. However, the HiLux trumped its rivals for safety, carrying a 5-star ANCAP crash rating to the latest and more stringent 2019 test protocols.
- A refined 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine
- A 5-star ANCAP crash rating to the latest and more stringent 2019 test protocols
- Excellent value for money
- A well-appointed interior
- Exceptional service department costs
- Advanced driver assistance tech
What it’s like to drive
The HiLux performed well on the bitumen and second-class unsealed roads, whether unladen or lugging around 4 judges inside.
The 2.8-litre turbo-diesel offers a respectable, refined level of performance both on and off-road, though the Ford Ranger’s larger capacity engine does feel that bit stronger. The Toyota conquered our off-road test loop with ease, including some steep and badly rutted climbs.
There was praise, too, for the SR5’s steering reach adjustment, along with the usual tilt-only adjustability found in most utes.
How the finalists compared (scores for each category from 1-10)
|4x4 dual cab utes||Toyota HiLux SR5||Ford Ranger XLT||Mitsubishi Triton GLS|
|Cost of depreciation ($)||4||3||5|
|Running & repair costs||8||7||6|
|Warranty & dealer access||8||8||8|
|Build & finish quality||8||8||7|
|Smoothness & quietness||7||7||8|
|Eng, gearing & traction||8||8||8|
|Clearances & articulation||7||6||7|
Images: Mark Rogers, Magnum Photography Australia