The Toyota Hilux has become a global best-seller in pick-up trucks, rivalled only by America's top contenders. Despite its remarkable success, Toyota recognised the evolving demands in the European market, prompting a strategic reevaluation for the latest iteration.

In this review, we explore the changes made to the iconic Hilux and assess whether Toyota's adaptations align with the preferences of today's discerning drivers.

Market Dynamics: Shifting Tides

The European pick-up truck landscape has witnessed a remarkable surge in popularity, with sales doubling since 2012. However, the Hilux faced increased competition from lifestyle-oriented models like the Ford Ranger Wildtrack and VW Amarok. In 2021, Toyota sold 47,480 Hilux units in Europe, signalling a need for adaptation to maintain its dominance.

Toyota's Response: A Modern Upgrade

Toyota's response to the changing market dynamics involved carefully examining consumer preferences. Recognising the demand for high-spec, feature-rich pick-up trucks, Toyota introduced significant changes to the Hilux lineup.

Including a 2.8-litre engine on select trim levels and upgraded interiors with heated leather seats, an automatic gearbox, and advanced touchscreen technology catered to the evolving tastes of European buyers.

2022 Enhancements: A Closer Look

The 2022 Hilux brings many new features, including a panoramic view monitor, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and dual-zone air conditioning. Standard across all models are automatic service reminders, e-calls, and remote diagnostic functionality, reflecting Toyota's commitment to modern connectivity and safety standards.

Mechanical Evolution: Balancing Act

Traditionally, Toyota prioritised tuning the Hilux's suspension for carrying heavy loads, leading to a bouncy ride when unladen. However, recognising that many lifestyle truck users rarely utilise the full cargo capacity, the 2022 model has been fine-tuned for a smoother, more comfortable ride without compromising its legendary durability.

The Verdict: Striking a Balance

In our assessment of the top-spec models – the Hilux Invincible and Invincible X – the standout feature is introducing the 2.8-liter engine, addressing previous performance concerns.

While the cabin retains a utilitarian feel and the truck remains unwieldy on the road, these characteristics serve as a constant reminder of the Hilux's identity as a reliable workhorse rather than a flashy lifestyle vehicle.

Chad's Take: A Modern Icon

In its 2022 avatar, the Toyota Hilux manages to strike a delicate balance between tradition and adaptation. Despite shedding some of its unpretentious charm in the pursuit of modernisation, it remains a tool, a faithful workhorse, and a dependable business partner. The upgraded features and improved performance signal Toyota's commitment to meeting the evolving needs of the European market.