Owner Review

2013 Toyota HiLux Workmate Review

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2013 Toyota Hilux TGN16R
2.7 Litre five speed manual transmission single cab chassis

August 18, 2016.
A three year old vehicle....

The Bad Bits,

I generously rate the (expletive deleted) manual gearbox with a score of 2/10 for overall performance. It is often hard / very hard to downshift, it is sticky and is very easy to grate, grind or crunch gears on normal upshifts or downshifts. The engine holds revs between gearshifts (for emission control reasons) and this helps to obstruct gear shifting. You have to wait a few seconds between gearshifts to shift up, and this is when some fast accelerating car nearly gets jammed under your tray on take off at traffic lights. You have to travel slower than normal or brake in order to downshift gears and downshifting from second to first gear at times can be very awkward and sometimes just wont happen until you stop.
If you choose to drive like an old granny or you're riding on your last demerit point it will be ok. The gearbox should have been a slick 6 speed manual and not a 1950’s Kamaz reproduction.

The engine should produce more torque for its size, an efficient 2.7 litre engine should produce about 265 Nm of torque. The engines computer or basic engine sensors seem slow as the engine cranks over for longer before starting than any other fuel injected engines I have owned or driven.

The dual mass flywheel sometimes shudders on initial take off on cold mornings, but it won't spill your coffee or other chosen beverage.

It is hard to believe the damn windscreen wipers do not have an intermittent wipe function. What genius thought of that?

The cheap matt black coloured paint finish on the chassis rails turns to a chalky finish and the ugly contrasting black gloss paint kinda wiped over the numerous chassis welds looks like one of the factory workers let their pet monkey suffering with Parkinson’s disease do the job.

The soft acrylic paint applied to the cab scratches easily and can conveniently oxidise badly around the time the warranty expires.

The “Heavy Duty” (lightweight) factory tray dents easily and by projecting out further than the width of the cab makes some very noticeable wind noise at 100 km/hr.

The plastic front bumper bar does not contain enough UV stabilisers and parts of it begin turning white about the time warranty expires.

The dash has two weird triangle shaped pockets that some may fine hard to store items in.

The factory fitted battery is getting a bit lazy after three years.

The dealer I purchased from did not conduct a proper pre-delivery check and the gearbox and differential oil levels were not checked before sale as the factory markings on the filler plugs were undisturbed. Hmmm…..

The good bits,

The cabin design, size, layout and access is very good.
The driver’s seat is good, but like many seats needs a lot better lower lumbar support.
The brake pedal feel and overall brake performance is very good, even when unladen.
The handling and steering feedback is good.
It has a very good open radiator grille design for very hot weather.
The headlamps are very good and the front turn signals (blinker lights) are very bright when operated.
The unladen ride is good.
The unpainted front plastic bumper is practical.
The manual window winders are great and not for lazy wingers or the spindly arm types.
Wet weather over steer correction is good.
The CD player / radio is quite good and of course The Charlie Daniels Band Blues Hat Album sounds great in it.

The other stuff,

My average unladen /lightly laden fuel economy in an approximate 50/50 highway and medium urban traffic is 11.3 L /100 km. This could easy to blow out to 12 to 13 L/ 100 km or far worse in heavy traffic. I would guesstimate north of 15L / 100 km in heavy traffic when fairly heavily laden.

Taking off uphill on wet greasy or slippery roads unladen or lightly laden can be very difficult. With no electronic traction control available this manoeuvre can be a real embarrassing struggle.

The warranty period is ordinary.

The oil filter is located in an awkward position and when screwed off conveniently dumps oil into the cross member below. The genuine oil filters should cost about 30 percent less. The oil change capacity is about 5.6 litres.