Have you ever looked at your Toyota Hilux and thought “I wish it were wider”?

Me neither.

But that’s just what Toyota ordered for the top-of-the-range 4WD Hilux SR5 Cruiser. New models from the fourth quarter of 2022 will be enhanced with a wider track, upgraded suspension and better brakes.  

The 4WD SR5 Cruiser will gain an axle track increase of approximately 140mm in the front and rear, while ride height has also been increased by approximately 20mm.

To accommodate the increased track width, wider over fenders and mud flaps have been installed. The front body extensions have also been widened to integrate with the front bumper and fog lights.

Its wider stance isn’t merely for street cred.  According to Toyota New Zealand General Manager New Vehicles, Steve Prangnell, the “updated Hilux demonstrates Toyota’s dedication to offering ever-improved vehicles for customers”.

To accommodate the track increase, Toyota engineers have overhauled the Hilux’s suspension by extending the front suspension arm and front stabiliser bar length and adjusting the shock absorber angle for improved performance.

At the rear, axle length has been extended, dampers have been moved further out towards the wheels and, for the first time on Hilux, a rear stabiliser bar has been installed to enhance cornering stability and ride comfort.

According to Toyota, the suspension changes result in improved steering feel and a 20% increase in roll rigidity. Physics also tells us that Ute should perform better through the bends and have reduced understeer.   

Mr Prangnell added, “it provides not only improved off-road capability, but also, and importantly for New Zealand drivers, a more stable and comfortable driving experience on the open road with increased braking performance”. Stopping power has also been upgraded, with new rear ventilated disc brakes replacing the existing drum brakes. The front discs have also been upsized an inch to a 17-inch front disc.

Additional safety features are also equipped on the wider Hilux, including Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).

We’ll be keen to test-out these enhancements ourselves towards the end of the year. 

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A millennial who prefers driving cars to having avocado on toast.


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