Automotive Reviews

Review: The New Toyota Hilux

I’ve had my Toyota FJ Cruiser for over 12 years which is why I recently started looking for a replacement. My requirements are really simple, a bit more comfort, something I can abuse and still survive 10 years with me, it has to be a 4×4, it has to have 4 doors, and finally, it has to have an automatic gearbox. I don’t like the way the 4-door Wrangler looks, the Ford Bronco is nice but being a Ford I’m not sure about the long-term reliability. The new Defender is great but impossible to get right now, costs over KD20,000, and it’s a Land Rover so can’t imagine it being very reliable. The new Land Cruiser is too big and expensive, the G-Class is crazy expensive, the Prado too boring, and the Jimny too small. I really wanted the Toyota LC76 and was so close to buying one last year but I really do need my main car to be automatic and they only come as manual.

I had kinda given up on finding a replacement until a couple of weeks ago when I spotted the new Toyota Hilux on the road. I had seen them when they first came out a few years ago, but last year they got a facelift and I hadn’t seen one until now. The new model looked pretty nice on the road and I couldn’t get it out of my head all day. So I got in touch with my contact at Toyota and managed to borrow the car for a few days to try out.

Two thoughts came into my head as I drove out of the Toyota dealership and headed to work. The first was my amazement at how comfortable and quiet the car was. The second thought was on how uncomfortable and noisy all my cars must be that I thought a Hilux pickup truck was quiet and comfortable. Seriously, it was very puzzling, I think it must be because the rear wheels are outside of the cabin which is how come it was very quiet. Whatever the reason, my first impression was great.

A lot of people might not know this but the Hilux is actually one of the most popular cars in the world. In Australia for example, it’s their #1 selling car and it’s also a best seller in a bunch of other countries. It’s a durable go-everywhere commercial vehicle and if my FJ could survive over 10 years with me, the Hilux should be able to survive even longer. My whole experience with the car over four days was very positive. Everything from the ride quality to the seating position impressed me. I’m going to start driving to Saudi once a month for work so I need a car that would be comfortable on long trips. That’s why I tried to spend as much time in the car over the weekend and at no point did I feel exhausted or tired. The Hilux ticked all the boxes for me, it pretty much has everything I’m looking for in a new car. Surprisingly the car didn’t feel that big. Since my FJ is wider the Hilux felt a bit more nimble and compact even though it’s a longer car.

It doesn’t have much tech so no features like lane change assist, autonomous emergency braking, or even digital gauges, but I don’t mind that. What I do wish it had was dynamic radar cruise control so it could slow down and speed up depending on traffic. That would be super helpful on my long road trips to Saudi but we don’t get it as an option in Kuwait. Another thing I wish it had was a better sound system, it has Apple CarPlay, but the speakers are pretty crap. In other countries, there is an option to upgrade to a better JBL system, but we don’t get that here either. But, it shouldn’t be too difficult to upgrade the sound system eventually since some manufacturers like FOCAL have made upgrade kits for it. One odd thing is the fact there is just a single USB port in the car and it’s the one I need to use to connect my iPhone so I can get CarPlay working. That means other passengers can’t charge their phones unless I get a USB adapter for the 12v socket. I guess I should be glad it at least has CarPlay.

The model I took out was the Hilux Adventure model which costs KD9,700 KD11,400. They also have cheaper models and a more expensive GR model. I think at this price point there really aren’t that many options and the fact it’s a Toyota is great. I’ve only had good experiences over the past 12 years with them and my FJ has been very reliable and the service costs very low. I actually think the price is a steal compared to the prices of other cars on the market. I was meant to drop off the car back to the dealer on Saturday but ended up keeping it for an extra day just because I really didn’t want to get back into my FJ. When I eventually did take it back I ended up putting my name down on the waiting list for the next shipment. I liked the car so much I’ve decided to get one.

The only issue is because I’m an expat I can’t own a pickup truck so I either need to put it under my friend’s name or the company I work for. They really need to update this law… If you want to find out more about the Hilux, there are a ton of videos on YouTube (I watched ALL of them) but here is a link to the Hilux page on the local Toyota website.

Update: Just a correction with the price. The Adventure model costs 11,400 a different model costs 9,700. I just found out while putting a deposit down on the car 😅

52 replies on “Review: The New Toyota Hilux”

Hi Mark,

Do we then have to put the red and white reflective stickers on the rear of the pickup since its the law for pickups to have them if are registered under a company.

Also check if they will put the number of passengers and weight capacity on the side if it is registered under a company.

Was in a very similar position as you earlier this year… ended up getting a Prado.
I don’t think it’s boring car but it does seem like that because of how many are on the road. besides that it’s pretty much perfect.

Expats cant own a pickup truck. I mean atleast they can make some exceptions in vehicles like Rapror, F150, Silverado, Hilux etc

@Mark- Could you still drive the car to Saudi without it being registered under your name? Can you drive it out of Kuwait if its registered under your Kuwaiti friends name?

I’m curious to know how well did the car handle while driving. I remember when this generation hilux came out in 2016 it failed the moose test. Until toyota made modifications

Handled really well, a lot better than I expected. I read they also adjusted the rear suspension since most people like me won’t be carrying a lot of heavy things in the back so the ride is more comfortable.

1:16 ” Pants are just long sleeved shorts”, someone needs to make a tee out of that one XDXDXD had me gasping for air

Interesting! Although it would be a lot cooler if the dealer would be selling the 4runner. Especially considering they introduced few new models for the kuwait market. New 2023 sequoia too looks so stunning. I really hope the dealer gets them.

Right? I don’t know why we don’t get 4Runners here, they’re such great looking cars and most FJ guys end up moving to them when they eventually need a change or a 4 door.

This law dates back to the 80s and 90s when pickups used to be the main illegal vehicle to taxi people without having a taxi license.

My first car back in uni was my families 1990 Nissan Patrol so I’m a huge fan. I’ve been looking for one that was similar to ours (same color and stripes and interior) but none have popped up yet. The new Super Safari looks cool but not cheap for what you get.

That’s super cool. And yeah, the Patrols and Land cruisers now have gotten expensive. They could easily cross 20k with options.

Not bad, I was referring to the regular Patrol. But you could test drive the super safari A/T and see how it compares to the Hilux. With the SS, you get the benefit of a closed boot space but idk if that’s worth another 8k lol

Nissan Patrol the classical looking one comes in automatic and will last for a long time. Only downside is that it is expensive. Just went to see it.

Did the Ranger get a facelift? I had my eye on the Ranger Wildtrak but last I checked they were out of stock and next shipment arriving in September or something.

does anybody have a valid reason that why pickups cannot be owned by expat? because I love pickups my Kuwaiti friend (he is a Cop) gave me his Ford Raptor to drive and that beast was so powerful. Earlier the most iconic for Kuwaitis were Silverado and now its Raptor.

You mentioned about Jimny that its too small. Its also have tiny engine 1.5 which in highway the rev will be high when you driving at 120km. but It have good torque.

It will be nice if you can review the Jimny and give us your opinion.

alsalam alaykom

why not check out the Toyota 4Runner .. there is a TRD pro in the UAE used with a good price .. check out dubizzle or dubaicars

Went to pay deposit on the car tonight and found out the Adventure is 11,400. I think I mixed up between the price of the Hilux and the Isuzu Dmax since the Isuzu is 9,700. Was also considering it but they only get it in diesel which I didn’t want to deal with.

I love the Adventure and GR models but I can’t get over the price. For a little more you can get a full-size V8 truck like a crew cab F150 XLT and it will be better in almost every way.

Well two things, you can always add a bit more and get something else but also I can afford a V8 F150 or a Raptor but doesn’t mean I want one. I liked the Hilux cuz of the size, I like the Raptor but it’s HUGE. It wouldn’t even fit into my neighborhood and don’t think it would fit into my underground parking since the max limit is 2m and the Raptor is like 1.99m.

Never understood this law! There are no laws in other countries where expats cannot buy a pickup truck!! Unless other gulf countries do the same. Can someone explain to me why?!

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