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Venerable Toyota HiLux is as rugged as ever, but safety shortcomings hurt its cause

7 Sep 2011

A FACELIFT for Toyota’s one-tonne king, the HiLux, addresses some of the shortcomings of Australia’s number one light truck, just in the nick of time before several rivals launch all-new challengers.

The fundamentals of the ‘unbreakable’ ute all remain unmolested, but Toyota has expanded its diesel offerings and added features such as ABS and Bluetooth on lower models and sat-nav on upper specs.

Best of all, Toyota has sharpened its pencil on value, especially on 4x4 variants, adding features and cutting prices on several of the 35 HiLux models.

It will be interesting to see if Toyota has done enough to repel boarders from Fortress HiLux, the most admired truck in the land with – until now – an almost impregnable sales position.

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Model release date: 1 September 2011 to 1 August 2015

Previous model

HiLux ute range

Released: April 2005
Ended: August 2011
Family Tree: Hilux

THE seventh-generation HiLux lifted the light-truck benchmark when it arrived in 2005, bigger than the previous generation and better than anything else on the market.

Offering more models (30) and a stiffer ladder-frame body, the HiLux introduced a body new styling in three body styles – Single Cab, Xtra Cab and Double Cab (each in cab-chassis or pick-up) – with all-new engines in 2.7-litre four-cylinder petrol, 3.0-litre turbo-diesel and 4.0-litre V6 choices.

The HiLux was more refined and more powerful than previous generations, and importantly offered greater value.

In 2008, Toyota introduced a 225kW super-charged V6 TRD HiLux that offered sports sedan performance in a ute body.

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