The middle child is often overlooked, feeling unloved and ignored between its more interesting siblings, but maybe, just maybe, this middle child is the best of the breed. Sitting in the line-up between the top-spec 2.8 GD-6 and the basic commercial variants, the new 2.4 GD (Global Diesel) may well be the pick of the Hilux bunch.
Replacing the old 2.5 D-4D derivative, the new 2.4 GD takes massive leaps over its predecessor with a 46% improvement in power and huge 72% increase in torque, pushing out 110kW and 343Nm respectively. A high-output version is also available, with up to 400Nm, raising towing capacity to 2500kg for the single cab and 2750kg for raised body derivatives.
The 2.4 GD-6 4×4, with its six speed manual gearbox, will pull 3200kg across all body styles.
Under the hood, the all-new 2.4-litre mill uses a variable-nozzle turbo for a broader spread of torque and less lag. Compression ratios have been reduced by 16%, helping to greatly improve engine refinement over the clattery 2.5 that the 2.4 replaces.
Highway slogs are much more comfortable with ample power for overtaking and almost zero engine noise at cruising speed. The reduced compression ratio also reduces NOx emissions and improves thermal efficiency.
To suit the ‘mid-level’ engine, a ‘midlevel’ specification is provided for a better value proposition. To be honest, the interior in the SRX is just as good as its more expensive 2.8-litre sibling despite lacking climate control and touch sensitivity on the 7-inch infotainment screen.
Comparing the new 2.4 GD-6 interior with its predecessor is like comparing your neighbour’s arthritic grandmother to her cheerleader offspring – chalk and cheese. With central locking that thwarts jamming signals, power windows, a comprehensive trip computer, USB/Bluetooth audio playback and an adjustable steering wheel (extra-cab and double-cab only), the mid-level Hilux comes with all the bells and whistles.
Unfortunately, only steel 17-inch wheels are available to suit the narrow body (no fender flares) configuration. As yet, only the mine-spec ‘SR’ variant comes standard with traction control and stability control; strangely, the more luxurious ‘SRX’ gets no traction aids bar the rear diff-lock that’s standard across the range.