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BabyDrive Verdict

With two Utes, the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger, being the best selling cars across Australia in 2016 and 2017, we were VERY keen to see what all the fuss is about and whether we would rate the HiLux as a Best BabyDrive!

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The Toyota HiLux’s best feature for me was its basic-ness and lack of beeps and alarms! Finally some old school peace and quiet!! The HiLux has good passive safety features going on in the background but none of the modern alarms or beeps that wake sleeping babies and drive this tired mummy mad!!
Toyota left the baby waking to the road and engine noise and abrupt suspension on the motorways!!

Although there is no Apple Car Play in the HiLux, they have a system where the home screen is split 50/50 with navigation and audio information. It took me a good few weeks and a few Toyotas to get used to it but I liked being able to multitask and easily switch from one to the other by selecting which ever half of the screen I wanted at the time.

The sat-nav voice volume could be altered on a scale of 1-7 and I could put it on 1 for most of the journey and increase it when I got to the stage when I needed to hear it clearly.

Above the usual glove box, the HiLux has a cooler box in the dashboard, which I think is a great BabyDrive feature for storing milk and lunches going to play dates when it’s hot.

The tray of the HiLux will hold any amount of shopping bags, prams, strollers or dogs but I found it quite unusable with child in tow and only the top-spec version comes with tie-down points in the tray.

Instead, I found I used the footwells in the back of the cab to carry things. The flip-down hooks in the front seat backs were perfectly positioned to hold bags still too!

The HiLux offered disappointing in-cab leg space, in fact, it had less than the much smaller Hyundai i30! The front seats were scalloped, making it impossible to wear a ponytail and meant the seat backs stuck out further, which allowed less room for a rear-facing child seat behind them, meaning less legroom in the front.

The lack of room in the cab did mean however I could reach back and pass Bub a continuous supply of toys and snacks throughout the journey!

If you need a portable playpen and to be able to carry the world around with you in the back tray then the HiLux is needed. But if you are a family of three who just needs to carry themselves and a pram around then the HiLux is really unnecessary!

There was ISO fix for the two outer back seats and surprisingly you can only install child seats in the two outer seats too, even though there is a central top tether point. In the outer seats, you feed the top tether straps between the headrest pins and through a webbing loop and then across to the central top tether anchor point. I initially thought you could fit three child seats but Toyota has confirmed you can only install child seats in the two outer rear seat positions. This does leave ample room in between them for a passenger to sit.

For me, the HiLux sat between the Colorado and the D-Max. It's not as comfortable, practical or nice to drive as an everyday car around town as the Colorado. In the HiLux’s favour, the doors and windows closed properly unlike those of the Colorado.
The D-Max felt like a workhorse, not for a family to do their weekly shop in! The HiLux feels like it has been designed to do both, as they have added some hooks and comfort to the cab.

BabyDrive Indepth

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