i bought my 2020 SR5 hilux last year late october.
I used to have holden sedan based utes, always missed the tray capacity. my lst car was commodore vf sv6 which was a great car, but had to move it on due to higher kms &
wanted a ute as moved to 1.5 acre property in regional vic. firewood trips, garden supplies, trailor towing for wood and trips to tip, lugging product for my small manufacturing business, maybe some light off roading and weekends away to coast with family
I researched every popular dual cab on the market thoroughly, probably too much.
i read everything on this site, all other sites, spoke to lots of ute owners,mechanics etc about their likes and dislikes of various dual cabs
(though i am well aware of post purchase confirmation, most people would probably say they are happy with their car unless they got a dud, right?
nobody wants to feel like an idiot who made a poor decision on a big purchase)
on paper the ranger looked better equipped than hilux, and i may have gone with ranger if the hilux update didnt come around
i really wanted to love the hilux and it was where my heart was at, but it didnt add up on paper, especially since i am a tech / gadget guy.
but the hilux facelift added a few things i felt was lacking against ranger, ie some power, apple car play, adaptive cruise, towing capacity, and i really like the new front grille and tail light design - lets be honest looks are important consideration for many of us.
they have addressed the dpf issue but it isnt an issue for me as i do long highways runs every day, it does its burn every 600 or 700 kms and i barely notice.
with a 1 hour commute each way every day, its not as cushy unladed as the old aussie made commodore, but its a different beast with different pros and cons, overall much more capable and more suited to my current needs.
im averaging around 8L/100km which is fine, i probably do 80-90% highway kms
the kids love riding high, 2 kids under 5, they can see everything out the window,
they love riding in 'dads ute', however the rear leg room isnt great, and hopefully will be less of an issue once kids out of car seats.
(it is pretty easy to hand them stuff, for the mrs riding shotgum, since they are closer to us than in the commodore, take that as a silver lining if you will)
I love the higher seating position as i am 6'3" with the usual lower back issues of a 40 year old tall guy, and the more open hip angle, for 40,000+ km per year seems to reduce the load on the back according to an osteo mate.
not to mention the better visibility especially compared to my low riding commodore, its a huge difference.
the ute has ample power, i tend to leave the drive mode in normal, eco is a bit weak, and power mode seems overkill for most of my driving needs, handy for overtaking though. havent done any heavy towing, we dont have a boat or caravan, but im planning on throwing a couple tonne of firewood in a trailer on my next big wood cutting trip.
i test drove the bi turbo ranger XLT, which was nice, felt huge inside, steering was very (too) light, seemed to hunt for gears, and the interior just felt a bit cheap/plasticy especially for a car in that price range.
i eliminated most of the other main contenders during online research phase for lacking in either power, safety, bad reviews, on road driving dynamics and personal preference for exterior design.
also heard some horror stories about rangers with high kms having engine and trans issues.
also the resale on hilux is handy as i will clock up a lot of kms
have only done a bit of light off roading aroudn the macedon ranges, jsut getting my feet wet (muddy?), the family enjoyed it, so will probably put on some A/T and add some basic recovery gear like a tow bar redcovery point and some tracks, inflator, the car handled the tracks easily, though i wasnt pushing it really. keen to head out again with more gear and try some harder tracks.
have done over 25,000 kms since november, and not a single issue, which is to be expected for a brand new car.
everything has performaed as expected, controls are simple and intuitive. ergos are good, i reallyenjoy being in this car and just taking the fam for a drive around the ranges exploring on the weekends. feels like we can go anywhere, but im sensible enough to realise its limits in stock form.
my only negatives so far are that they jacked up the pricing on the update, but they did add a lot of value too, and a couple minor annoying things like how the system doesnt remember your preferences for adaptive cruise distance, cruise control standby, lack of rear usb, and rear leg room, steering at low speed can feel heavy for parking.
i do miss the remote start from the commodore, an amazing handy feature especially for those frosty sib zero mornings, tempted to add after market but dont want to mess with the electrics
so far have been super happy with the ute, and felt like i owed it to this site to write a review since it was the best resource i found during my research, and also becasue it seems at least in VIc there arent many of this model around yet due to supply issues so thought it might be appreciated, even though its only a mid life update.