Our Hilux has clocked up 11,000km in the past few months, with an average fuel economy of around 11.0L/100km, or 25.5mpg in the old money. That’s not too bad when you consider the accessories we’ve had fitted, the travel we’ve done around town and the highways we’ve driven with a stand-up paddleboard strapped to the ute’s rack.
The good thing about owning a Hilux is that you are never short of accessories to fit to it, no matter what brand of aftermarket product your heart desires.
We recently ordered a range of ARB gear, as we have had a great run with their product over the years, and then headed to Outback 4WD in Bayswater to get it all fitted.
We started with a colourcoded ARB Sahara bar with a polished centre tube. These not only look good but add frontal protection against wayward animals in the outback and cursed shopping trollies in the city.
To improve the ride and to give the truck a modicum of lift, we went for an OME suspension system, which includes sport shocks and leaf springs at the rear and coils and sport shocks for the independent front end.
With a bit more clearance under the ute, we went and fitted a set of 265/70 R17 Cooper ST Maxx tyres to make it look a bit more serious for off-road work and to provide a lot more traction than the standard OE rubber.
Off-road credibility was lifted even more when we fitted a Safari snorkel; one of the best and cheapest engine insurance products you can buy, I reckon. A snorkel not only helps feed clean air to the engine when you’re in dusty conditions, but it also ensures you keep water well away from the engine’s air inlet when wading through water. I’ve seen too many vehicles come to grief when crossing water.
For carry-on goodies we fitted a set of Rhino-Rack roof bars, an ARB ute liner and a Hayman Reese tow hitch. That should keep the tray in good nick, carry the canoe and tow a trailer without a problem.
We have given the Hilux a bit of a bush run since we fitted all this gear. It now looks more at home in the scrub and confidently handles the rougher tracks. We won’t do too much more to the rig at the moment, as we are more than happy with how it is and how it performs right now.