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Toyota Hilux GR Sport Double Cab (2020 - )

The latest generation Hilux has a more powerful road presence thanks to its new-look front end

Starting price:
£40,190 (excluding VAT)

Why we love it:
  • As capable as ever but with stronger styling
  • Packed with safety kit
  • Comfortable to drive and surprisingly refined
Where it could be better:
  • Some V6 rivals are more engaging to drive
  • The tailgate is deceptively heavy and it drops with some force
  • High-end models are quite pricey
Secure your test drive today
Request a Toyota Hilux test drive

Introduction

Toyota Hilux GR Sport Double Cab

With so many manufacturers withdrawing from the pick-up market, it’s encouraging to see the established favourites are still ploughing full steam ahead with model upgrades and even launching beefed-up versions.

We already have the Ford Ranger Raptor Special Edition, Isuzu D-Max Arctic Trucks AT35 and Toyota Hilux Invincible X AT35 models, and now Toyota has launched its Dakar Rally-inspired Hilux GR Sport into the mix.

Any Toyota carrying the ‘GR’ label has been given the Gazoo Racing treatment and while the Hilux GR has lots of extra visual enhancements, it is still clearly designed to put in a day’s shift in the yard. 

Hilux customers will be used to the 2.4-litre diesel engine powering their vehicles. But the range-topping GR Sport and Invincible versions now offer a more powerful 2.8-litre engine.

The Hilux GR Sport is only available as a Double Cab and with a six speed automatic gearbox, while alternative Hilux models feature the option of the lesser-powered engine, a choice of six-speed manual or auto boxes along with Single, Extra and Double Cab designs. All versions boast all-wheel drive as standard.

Toyota Hilux GR Sport Double Cab

The latest generation Hilux has a more powerful road presence thanks to its new-look front end featuring a large three-dimensional grille housing the ‘TOYOTA’ name. 

Additional strong styling elements on our test vehicle included black side steps, LED headlights and tail lights, scuff plates, rear privacy glass, a chunky black sport bar behind the cab, black door handles and mirrors, a front spoiler, 17-inch GR Sport alloy wheels and ‘GR’ badging.

The interior is a clever blend of hard-wearing surfaces and upmarket upholstery. The black GR Sports seats feature red contrast stitching as does the leather-wrapped steering wheel and there are striking red flashes in the dashboard. Of course, GR Sport emblems can also be found throughout the cabin.

The driver’s seat is power-adjustable and the front and rear seats can be heated for added comfort. There is a wealth of tech to explore, including the Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system with eight-inch touchscreen, a nine-speaker JBL sound system, sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, automatic air conditioning, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, a rear-view camera, panoramic view monitor, plus front and rear parking sensors. 

The vital driving data such as speed, fuel levels and other settings can be clearly viewed in the configurable 4.2-inch driver display monitor.

On The Road

Toyota Hilux GR Sport Double Cab

Handling & Performance

Powering the Toyota Hilux GR Sport Double Cab is a four-cylinder, 2.8-litre diesel engine matched to a six-speed automatic gearbox. It delivers 201bhp with 500Nm of torque and it can complete the 0-62mph sprint in a very respectable 10.7 seconds and has a top speed of 109mph. That’s not too shabby for a working pick-up that weighs in at more than two tonnes.

The acceleration through the auto transmission is smooth and there are steering wheel paddles for added driver engagement. You can also select from drive modes called Eco, which reduces power consumption, and Power which initiates sharper responses to throttle input.

The Hilux is not only a very capable off-road vehicle, but also delivers when put through its paces on the Tarmac. The road grip is confident and the vehicle is well grounded through sweeping bends. 

The ride impresses too and on-road comfort and driveability have been enhanced on the GR Sport version through changes to the suspension and power steering systems. It features monotube shock absorbers (painted red to denote GR status) to gain superior damping performance. The result is a well-balanced and nicely cushioned ride with all but the most severe bumps and dips absorbed along the way.

Compared to the standard Hilux, this upgraded model with stiffer front springs, delivers significant improvements in handling, including steering and straight-line performance. And it’s worth mentioning we were testing the vehicle without any payload. Generally the ride improves considerably with some extra weight in the back.

Toyota Hilux GR Sport Double Cab

Space & Practicality

The Toyota Hilux GR Sport is a four-door double cab model with seating for five occupants. The vehicle stretches 5,325mm in length, is 1855mm wide and 1,815mm tall so you will need a large parking bay at the supermarket. Space within the cab is impressive though and three occupants can sit comfortably in the back with ample leg, elbow and head space. Getting in and out is made easier thanks to side steps and grab handles. 

But watch out for the very heavy tailgate that drops down with quite a force. It can be locked for added security but, as the test model did not have any sort of cover to hide the load, it meant out-of-view storage options were quite limited. However, there were two fixed utility boxes in the back which could be padlocked for added security. 

In addition, there are a number of storage options inside the cab, including door bins with room for a bottle, a locking glovebox, a central cubby, front and rear cup holders, a sunglasses compartment, seat back pockets with hooks for carrier bags and some useful trays.

The Hilux GR Sport can certainly cover all the practicality bases when it comes to grafting with a payload capacity of just over a tonne, a towing limit of 3.5 tonnes and wading depth of 700mm. And, of course it features all the 4x4 settings expected from a ‘proper’ off-road vehicle.

Ownership

Toyota Hilux GR Sport Double Cab

Running Costs

The Toyota Hilux range starts from £33,085 (retail) or £27,628 (excluding VAT) for the entry-level Active Extra Cab Chassis Body version and rises to £69,383 (retail) or £57,877 (excl. VAT) for the invincible X AT35 Double Cab model.

Our test car was priced at £40,190 which was excluding VAT, although options did bump the price up a little. These included metallic paint (£608), a plastic bed liner under rail (375) and twin side utility boxes (£329) with prices not including VAT. For private buyers the price of this model would be £48,160. 

Under WLTP testing, the combined fuel efficiency figure is 29.7mpg and we saw very close to that mark during our week-long loan which included some motorway, town centre and open road driving.

The Hilux, as tested has a carbon emissions figure of 249g/km, but there is good news for owners as the pick-up is classed as a light commercial vehicle. This means the Vehicle Excise Duty or road tax fee is fixed at £290 rather than being based on CO2 emissions. The Hilux GR Sport sits in insurance group 43.

The model comes with Toyota’s standard three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, but this can be extended up to 10 years or 100,000 miles provided the vehicle is serviced regularly at an authorised Toyota workshop.

Verdict

Toyota Hilux GR Sport Double Cab

If there were ever any concerns about the ability of this pick-up then it’s worth mentioning that the Toyota Hilux won the gruelling Dakar Rally driven by Nasser Al-Attiyah last year. 

It is a 4x4 that is steeped in history having been introduced to the UK market in 1972 and it was the first car to be driven to the Magnetic North Pole by Jeremy Clarkson and James May for Top Gear.

The Hilux GR Sport is the latest incarnation of this multi award-winning 4x4 pick-up that seems to go from strength to strength. And it also features a very impressive range of safety systems and driver assistance aids that helped secure a maximum five stars when tested for its Euro NCAP rating.

Secure your test drive today
Request a Toyota Hilux test drive
By Maxine Ashford
Mar 20, 2023

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