It was neck and neck between England and arch-rivals Australia for the first two legs of the race, but an injury to Jessica Learmonth as she dismounted her bike proved to be a crucial moment in the race.
Ashleigh Gentle came from behind to take Australia into a 39-second lead ahead of the final leg, and England's Alistair Brownlee could not close the gap as Australia took gold in front of the home crowd.
Jacob Birtwhistle never looked like surrendering his lead on the final leg as the individual silver medallist waved an Australian flag above his head on his way over the finishing line, joining Gentle, Matthew Hauser and Gillian Backhouse on the top of the podium.
England's quartet of Alistair Brownlee, Learmonth, Vicky Holland and Jonny Brownlee ultimately finished 52 seconds adrift of the gold medallists, but comfortably crossed the line in second place, one minute ahead of bronze medallists New Zealand.
The result sees the Brownlee brothers each pick up a third Commonwealth medal, while Holland adds the silver to the gold she won in the team event four years ago and Learmonth marks her Games debut with silver medals in the team and individual events.