The Toyota Hilux is Australia’s best-selling car for 2022, with over 64000 cars greeting new customers. The car comes in a range of cab designs to suit different buyers, grunty diesel and petrol engine variants, rear or 4-wheel drivetrains, and quite a few interesting trim levels. The latest Hilux has seen some revisions to the suspension, added torque and power under the hood, and a few nice tech additions, such as phone mirroring.
Buyers are also offered a huge selection of either OEM or aftermarket Toyota Hilux parts and accessories to get the best out of an already-rounded vehicle. And there’s a lot to choose from. Off-roading enthusiasts will be happy with the hundreds of goodies to improve off-roading capability, families and tradesmen will look for added space and towing necessities, and anyone in need of a bit more push is well served with a few performance add-ons. Throw in a couple of comfy extras inside to keep the cabin looking good as new, and you’ve just about kitted your Hilux for any conceivable task.
What Do You Want Off-road?
Uprated Rogue and Rugged variants sit higher up, with the bigger wheels and beefier suspension setup offering better ground clearance and departure angles, so undeniably better performance off-road. You do have to pay quite a bit though. Standard SR trim can be fitted with longer travel suspension, swapping out coils up front and leaf springs at the back. Add a pair of upper control arms for better handling. Even the base 4×2 Workmate will benefit from better traction with an air suspension lift kit keeping the rear axle level with the front.
A few protection accessories also go a long way in the red soils. There are dozens of bull bar designs to choose from, some incorporating off-roading essentials such as winch cradles and included recovery points, and bases to add off-roading lights and antennas. Also, look for bash or skid plates and side brush, and rear bars to protect the Hilux from all sides. Minor add-ons like window weather shields and mudguards keep your ute clean.
Performance-wise, bigger off-roading wheels look good under a bespoke set of wheel flares, and these keep debris and rocks from doing harm to engine and suspension parts. Snorkels up the Hilux’s 700mm wadding depth, while also allowing for cleansed air for better push where and when it matters. Additions like diff-breathers keep the 4×4 transmission cool and protected from mud and water, and prevent accompanying overheating or corrosion issues. Fuel-filtering kits keep the diesel (or petrol) clean and aid with better combustion.
More Space for Any Extra Stuff
The different cab designs allow for different roof racks. Here you have the option between platforms intended for longer and bulkier items, or roof baskets that are good for smaller items like camping accessories. Hybrid tradesman racks have side rails, so longer gear and equipment can be fitted, but they can also be used in mounting awnings or rooftop tents. Consider roof lengths and carrying capacity for any gear you throw on top. Generally, you’ll be looking at lighter aluminium racks with the appropriate mounting hardware.
Racks are good when you want to free up space on the tray or tub. Dual-cab Hiluxes are most often seen with a factory tub. Here you can get tub liners to minimise damage to the floor and sidewalls. And add things like tonneau covers to keep equipment protected and dry. Or you can get custom-designed trays with all the additions you can think of. These will cost quite a bit, but nothing offers more functionality. Trays are also the basis when fitting a full-blown ute canopy.
How About Performance?
No Hilux engine can boast about top speeds or acceleration times. Both the diesel and petrol engines are tuned for low-down pull and longevity. But if you want a better pick-up of speed, a throttle controller can help by nulling inherent throttle lag. This will get the Hilux up and running faster, help on inclines and when towing, and add a little push with the ute fully loaded. Some modes can also cut down on fuel use. These are some of the most inexpensive and simple-to-install devices and are worth every cent.
With more speed, you’ll also need better braking power. Uprated brake kits provide safety in a range of driving conditions, but are especially useful for work purposes, with a trailer at the back, and when hitting the bush.
Improve Cabin Comfort
This is one area that doesn’t get the needed attention. If you’re rough on your ute, like most of us are, then look for seat covers tailored to the contours of seats in different Hilux cab and trim variants. Bundled kits will keep consoles and headrests protected as well and are offered in clean designs and hardwearing materials. Neoprene seat covers are popular options, being waterproof, stain and dirt resistant, and with added foam backing for comfier rides. They’re also easy to clean. Covers made of canvas are the tradie’s or off-roader’s choice, as they’re resistant to tearing and will generally last longer with harsh use. Both materials also fare well in hot conditions, being breathable and won’t fade in direct sunlight. There are different designs and colour schemes to choose from.
Matching floor mats complete the look and protect the carpet underneath. If you want less noise coming into the cabin, then consider soundproofing. Kits consisting of layered materials will drone out engine, transmission, tyre and road noise and vibrations, keep temperatures in the cabin cool, and protect the ute floor from unsuspecting stains that can lead to rust or damaged wiring.
Diesel 4×4 Hilux models have the highest towing capacity, at 3500 kilos braked. But even here there are a few Toyota Hilux parts accessories that make the experience safer. Look for towing mirrors to get a better view out the back when negotiating tighter turns and bends, parking your caravan, or docking boats. Of course, you’ll need the right towbar and hitch setup for anything that you intend to tow, and an electronic brake controller for safer braking in different road and weather conditions.
What to Look for?
All parts need to meet ADR compliance. This means they’re intended for the vehicle (badge and series), and won’t impede basic safety systems, such as airbags and cameras. And they’re quality tested before hitting shelves. Parts also need to be compatible with the engine and trim variant. Go aftermarket if you’re after quality, performance, and better prices, or if you’ve got a bit of cash to burn, shop at Toyota dealerships.