The expansion of the double cab pickup truck’s repertoire from humble workhorse to being a plush and capable family hauler shows no sign of slowing.
It is a point not lost on Toyota, whose recently overhauled Hilux continues to be polished and honed to appeal to those who want to take a ‘jam and cream’ approach with dual-purpose vehicle choices.
But in this instance the extra polish has only been applied to the range-topping Invincible X trim level to mark it out as a top-shelf version. You could be forgiven for asking why?
A look at the price tag suggests more discerning pickup owners who are spending north of £30,000 would like something which puts a little more distance between it and the lesser models in the range.
So what does the Invincible X offer over and above the regular Invincible?
There is a new front-end, including a revised bumper and grille. Love it or loathe it, the Invincible X’s nose now looks similar to Toyota’s North American Tacoma pickup.
It does appear to offer less ground clearance for approaching slopes, and those who want to use their pickups for the purpose they were originally created could see this as a stumbling block. The rear of the pickup wears a less noticeable change, with a tweak to the bumper’s rear step design.
Inside the cabin, white dials can be found among the instruments, but the rest of the truck – to all intents and purposes – matches the regular Invincible, which is about £4,000 cheaper.
Standard spec includes sat nav, cruise control, rear-view camera, climate control and lashings of leather, with heating for the front seats.
On a more positive note, the Hilux does bring with it a 3,500kg towing capacity and away from the double cab body style, you can still choose your Hilux in single cab and extended cab formats, as long as you are prepared to accept the Active trim level.
Power remains unchanged at 148hp and added shove is an area where the Hilux could be improved, given the higher towing capacity now on offer. There is no sign of it arriving anytime soon.
If it does, we could probably expect fuel efficiency to shift away from the 31.2mpg achieved on a recent week-long road test.
Power delivery is smooth and the six-speed auto takes a lot of effort out of the driving experience. But with such a high sixth gear ratio, a prod of the pedal at motorway speeds does have the ‘box hunting between the top two ratios, rather than lugging.
Some might find the shallow seating position to be too legs outstretched, and the all-encompassing touch-screen display would benefit from a rotary volume control for added convenience.
NEED TO KNOW
Model: Toyota Hilux Invincible X
Price: £31,046 plus VAT (£31,046 as tested)
Engine: 2.4-litre turbo diesel, 148hp@3,400rpm, 400Nm@1,600-2,000rpm
Transmission: Six-speed auto, selectable four-wheel drive, low range and diff lock
Performance: 12.8 seconds 0-62mph, 106mph, 36.2mpg combined, 189/km CO2
Towing capacity: 3,500kg