Which Ute Should I Buy for Towing?


I'm thinking of purchasing a new Toyota Hilux SR5 to tow a car trailer. Should I get the tow pack thrown into the deal and then go to a suspension place like Pedders and have the suspension upgraded or should I go to Pedders for the lot? Thanks, Chris.


No guarantees you're going to like this answer, Chris.

The HiLux remains popular but is frankly under-done and out-gunned in today's 4x4 ute market. This is mainly because it's getting on in years (on fundamentals) and newer entrants have come out since then, with superior technology/features. Doubtless the next HiLux will raise the bar when it launches, but until then, it's no longer up there on fundamentals.

Toyota HiLux SR5 diesel auto

Ford Ranger XLT diesel auto

Holden Colorado LTZ diesel auto

Basically, you get 17 per cent more power out of the Ford or the Holden. And - where it really counts - you get 37 per cent more peak torque from the Ford and 46 per cent more torque out of the Holden. 

Basically, if you took the torque curves for all three engines and overlaid them on top of one another, the Ranger and Colorado would eclipse the HiLux everywhere that matters.

You also get an extra gear in the gearbox, and the Ford and Holden are cheaper (only slightly cheaper).

The Ford and the Holden offer 1000kg extra tow capacity as well. So, if you're towing a heavy car (1800kg - like a Commodore) on a trailer that weighs (for argument's sake) 700kg, you're right at the HiLux's limit, but you're 1000kg under the Ranger's or Colorado's limit.

Bottom line: I don't think you need a suspension upgrade. I think you need a better ute in the first place. (You shouldn't have to buy a ute for nearly $60k and then replace the suspension just to tow something - just buy the right tool for the job in the first place.)

Apart from these differences they're identical - five stars for safety, same sort of economy, all made in Thailand, etc.

I'd certainly see about getting the tow pack thrown in, because there are advantages to getting the genuine tow installation if there's a problem down the track.

Let me know if there's anything else I can help you with. If you want I can put you in touch with a broker who can go on the hunt for the lowest possible price.

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