Most reliable light truck

The 2020 Hino 300 Series two-wheel-drive truck range has been given an update with added safety features and a revised hybrid option for car licence holders needing a light-duty truck.

It is one of a number of light duty trucks that can be driven on a car licence, competing with the likes of the Isuzu N Series and Fuso Canter, and is designed to appeal to tradies who may have outgrown their ute.

New safety equipment includes a pre-collision warning system, autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and lane departure warning – adding to stability control and four-wheel disc brakes already found on the 300.

This makes the 2020 Hino 300 Series only the second truck in its category with autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning; the Fuso Canter gained this technology in Australia in mid 2018.

The 300 Series provides 3.5-tonne towing capacity with standard or wide cabs, and a revised, lighter hybrid powertrain, or the option of either a 4.0-litre or 5.0-litre diesel engine.

Much of the Hino 300 Series range can be optioned with a GVM of 4495 kilograms, allowing the models to be driven on a standard car licence.

"It only requires diesel fuel, so there are no special refuelling or operating restrictions – [the] operation is basically the same as a conventional diesel truck, only with reduced operating costs".

While Hino currently sells only about 50 Hybrid models annually, it's expecting the electrified powertrain to gain in popularity as more companies and individuals embrace greater fuel efficiency and lower emissions.

Although no details have been released at this stage, Hino says a fully-electric model could be on sale as soon as August.