The ride is something of a bugbear, as the Hilux makes much too much of ruts and ridges for our liking, and feels quite agricultural, particularly at low speed. Happily, things smooth out once you get a bit of speed through the wheels; and that, combined with reasonable refinement and an engine that’s strong in the mid-range, means that you can tackle long-distance, high-speed drives without any fear; and without the need for ear-defenders.
However, in other respects, the Hilux is a perfectly easy thing to drive. Thanks to the light steering, you don’t need to work too hard to manoeuvre the car (space permitting), while it sits securely on the road. Naturally, there’s a lot of body roll around corners in an unladen Hilux, but the movements are well controlled, and only a swift succession of fast, tight corners will have your passengers reaching for the sea-sick pills.
To cap it all, that reasonable on-road performance is backed up by excellent ability away from Tarmac. We drove a standard road car (i.e. without all-terrain tyres) and were very impressed with the way it coped with rutted tracks, slippery climbs, fords and wet grass.