Like your Hilux to look loud? The Edge special-edition adds quite a bit of bling to the basic two-wheel drive model.
Base price: $39,995.
Powertrain and performance: 3.0-litre turbo diesel four, 126kW/343Nm, 5-speed manual, rear-drive, Combined economy 8.1 litres per 100km.
Vital statistics: 5255mm long, 1795mm high, wellside length 1805mm, fuel tank 76 litres, 17-inch alloy wheels on 225/55 tyres.
We like: Still an iconic name among utes, value for money, some nice touches in cabin.
We don’t like: Off the pace in powertrain and chassis refinement, Edge accessories are pretty garish.
How it rates: 6/10
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW? These are tough times for the iconic Toyota Hilux. It’s one of the oldest vehicles in the crucial one-tonne ute segment, yet it also must fulfill a role as hero model for Toyota New Zealand.
Hilux has been number one in its class for over 30 years, but now it’s under huge sales pressure from the highly accomplished Ford Ranger.
Ranger led Hilux for eight months of the year in 2013, although the Toyota eventually came out (just) on top. It’s looking just as tight this year.
The point being that Toyota has no intention of losing its light-commercial status and is pulling out all the stops to keep Hilux moving out of showrooms.
Case in point: the Hilux Edge, a special-edition of the 2WD model that adds a lot of dress-up goodies but still costs $4000 less than the standard model it’s based on. There’s a similar deal going on the 4WD models, but those wear TRD (Toyota Racing Development) decals and have a different look.
For $39,995 the Edge double cab adds exterior graphics, stainless-steel nudge bar and sill pipes, a unique alloy wheel and tyre package and special interior trim, with graphics embroidered on the headrests and floor mats. If you think the Edge name sounds familiar, you’re right. It’s been used on other special-edition Toyotas in the past, including the previous Hilux and Corolla.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? The Edge is really all about the look; the mechanical package is very familiar indeed. Under the bonnet is Toyota’s big 3.0-litre turbo-diesel four and the sole transmission choice for this model is a five-speed manual.
Hilux is certainly less truck-like in 2WD form: the manual gearbox has a reasonably light touch and the ride is quite settled (well, for a ute) in urban running. That’s arguably more relevant for this model than other Hiluxes, as the look-at-me Edge aspires to be a lifestyle machine more than a workhorse.
The turbo-diesel engine has plenty of grunt low-down and the manual gearbox keeps it chugging away nicely, but its peak outputs of 126kW/343Nm are now merely adequate for the segment.
The 2WD model is fitted with a mechanical limited-slip differential, which assists in doing great big skids. Oh, and also helps with traction on wet and/or loose surfaces.
A full stability control system is also standard on all Hilux models.
IS IT EASY TO LIVE WITH? The last facelift for the Hilux range made the cabin a more car-like affair, with a softer grade of plastic on the dashboard and more modern switchgear.
It looks a little half-hearted to be honest: the new softer-touch plastic is quite clearly just grafted on top of the previous architecture and is quite a different texture to that underneath and on the door trims.
Still, the Hilux has a few surprise-and-delight details. Fitted high up in the dashboard is Toyota’s touch-screen audio and Bluetooth head unit (no sat-nav for this model though), and there are neat touches like Toyota’s signature slide-out cupholders on either side of the dashboard.
The Edge logo is embroidered into the front-seat headrests and floor mats.
There are still plenty of reminders that this is based on an entry-level machine, though. Consider the tailgate: no fancy electronic release, just a pair of manual latches either side. Old school.
This is a package built down to a price, granted – but while we’re adding superfluous stripes and shiny stainless steel, a reversing camera (as fitted to SR5 Hilux models) wouldn’t have gone astray. It’s an important safety feature and would certainly assist in backing that long tray into tight spaces.
SHOULD I BUY ONE? The Edge accessory package will be a matter of personal taste: some of it is pretty garish, like the faux-carbon effect on the exterior decals and the crazy-looking typeface used for the Edge logo on the tailgate. It’s all the more obvious in the lurid red of our test vehicle, of course.
Hilux is no longer a front-runner among utes in terms of performance, handling or refinement. But it’s still an icon and a name people trust, hence its continuing place at the top of the sales charts.
So Hilux is what it is. But if you like yours with shiny bits and stripes, the Edge certainly presents a value package.
- Air conditioning: Manual
- Audio: CD, iPod compatible
- Automatic lights/wipers: No/no
- Blind spot warning: No
- Bluetooth: Yes
- Cruise control: Yes
- Driver footrest: Yes
- Head-up display: No
- Heated/ventilated seats: No
- Keyless entry/start: No
- Lane guidance: No
- Leather upholstery: No
- Parking radar: No
- Power boot or tailgate: No
- Power seat adjustment/memory: No
- Rear ventilation outlets: No
- Remote audio controls: Yes
- Satellite navigation: No
- Seat height adjustment: Yes
- Self-parking technology: No
- Split/folding rear seats: No
- Steering reach adjustment: No
- Stop-start: No
- Trip computer: Yes
Find a Toyota Hilux for sale HERE.