The 2023 Toyota Hilux Rogue is a beasty-looking five-seater dual cab ute, that attracted a lot of attention and admiring looks. We know once kids come along we can’t pick our cars on looks alone, we need them to function for our family. So let’s take a look at how it gets on with our BabyDrive testing…
Like most dual-cab utes installing child seats in the back of the 2023 Toyota Hilux Ute is no easy feat.
There are ISOFix in the two outer rear seats. They are not within plastic guides but are nice and easy to attach to.
The top tether anchorages for the two outer rear seats are particularly difficult to use in the Toyota Hilux.
Unlike top tether anchorages you will find in your car, in the Toyota Hilux they consist of a woven loop behind the outer headrests and a metal loop behind the central headrest. A lot of new utes have moved to these fabric loops for top tether anchorages, situated behind the rear headrests which are not as easy and questionably robust in the long term. You can read more about this here. The Mitsubishi Triton and Ford Ranger are two of the remaining dual cab utes with metal top tether anchorages and easier child seat installation but the new Triton is moving to a fabric loop for the new generation out next year. Others with metal anchors include the GWM Cannon and Jeep Gladiator.
You thread the top tether strap through the woven loop and across to clip onto the metal loop. Unfortunately this is particularly difficult to do with most child seats.
Because of the top tether anchorages you can only install two child seats in the back seats of the Toyota Hilux. Hardly and dual-cab utes have three anchorages now, since the Holden Colorado was discontinued and the new VW Amarok (now based on the Ranger rather than uniquely Volkswagen) was released.
I installed the Infasecure Adapt More Infant Capsule. This is the best Infant capsule for utes because the base and top tether anchorage stay fixed into the vehicle due to its patented design. Because the top tether anchorages are so difficult to attach in most dual-cab utes, the Infasecure Adapt More bypasses this problem because once you have installed it you don’t have to adjust the top tether anchor it every you take Bub in and out of the vehicle (a big advantage over all other infant capsules in Australia)!
In the other outer seat, I installed a forward-facing Infasecure Attain More 0-4 child seat which fits really nicely.
You can’t put a tethered child seat in the central seat but you can put an Infasecure Versatile Folding Booster seat because its lightweight design means doesn’t require a top tether strap.
Storage throughout the 2023 Toyota Hilux dual-cab ute is good; there are two cup holders in the back will hold a reusable or disposable coffee cup.
Door bins in the back will hold a large refillable water bottle and an iPad…
… and map pockets in both the front seat backs will hold an iPad and have hooks above them which are good for holding school bags or shopping so they don't roll around the footwell.
In the front, the door bins are larger and will hold an iPad lying down in them too.
The 2023 Toyota Hilux Rogue has my favourite features… dashboard cup holders at either end of the main dashboard. YAY!
The Hilux has two generous glove boxes. The lower one is large and will hold a wallet and iPad with the manual and the top one is large enough for a wallet and phone.
The central console box has a regular household plug socket so you can plug in a powered Eskys and other devices while travelling.
Two cup holders and a phone charging tray in front of the gear lever make the front of the cabin an enjoyable place for passengers.
There are rear aircon vents in the back of the central console box so parents can keep rear passengers at a comfortable temperature all year round while driving.
The tray of the 2023 Toyota Hilux Rogue dual-cab ute is ample in size and will fit 29 shopping bags from empty. This is comparable to the Jeep Gladiator which holds 27, the Mitsubishi Triton with 28, GWM Cannon which holds 29 and the 2023 Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50 and Isuzu D-Max all hold 30 shopping bags.
The model I tested previously had a tray cover that lifted, the current model I am testing has an electronically retractable tray cover that makes using the tray with my family much more practical and easy. The tray is also carpeted which prevents prams etc getting scratched when taking them in and out and is more comfortable for dogs and nappy changes!
You can carry as many prams, shopping, bikes and dogs as your family need and it's great for a family camping trip. The tailgate is heavy and it's just at child height so you need to watch they don't walk into it!
A twin, side-by-side pram fits in the tray of the 2023 Toyota Hilux dual-cab ute with eighteen shopping bags around it.
A single pram fits in the tray of the Hilux Rogue with twenty shopping bags.
The 2023 Toyota Hilux Rogue dual-cab ute is a beast of a ute to drive. Visibility is good because you sit so high up and rear passengers get a good view out too. With two child seats installed in the back, the visibility out of the rear is great too.
The media system in the 2023 Toyota Hilux Rogue is quite basic still, the media screen is small and it does have built-in sat-nav.
The 2023 Toyota Hilux does have Apple CarPlay so you can access your phone's listening, navigation and communication apps while driving which is great.
The reversing camera image is quite small and a little blurry…
…you can choose full-screen view as well.
The Hilux does have a camera you can turn on while driving which is great for increased visibility…
…and it has side views too.
The 2023 Toyota Hilux Rogue shares a five-star ANCAP safety rating with the rest of the HiLux range and has seven airbags as standard; dual frontal, side chest-protecting and side head-protecting curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag.