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Toyota updates HiLux with more power, kit & new face

Toyota turns the HiLux into a mini Tundra with new styling, more grunt and more kit

5 Jun 2020

TOYOTA Australia has at last revealed the updated version of its HiLux pick-up truck ahead of its August arrival Down Under with the new ute boasting more power, more features and new styling.

 

The HiLux has long held the mantle as Australia’s best-selling vehicle, battling it out for supremacy with the Ford Ranger which, up until now, had the upper hand in both power and torque.

 

That has all changed now though with Toyota engineers managing to extract an extra 20kW and 50Nm from the HiLux’s 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine – the most popular powerplant in the range – to lift outputs to a much more competitive 150kW and 500Nm in automatic guise.

 

As a result of the extra grunt, the automatic 2.8’s towing capacity has increased to 3500kg (up from 3200kg and now matching the manual) while fuel consumption is said to have been reduced by “up to 11.1 per cent” – 4x2 variants are now up to 2800kg (+300kg).

 

Engine-wise, the rest of the range remains unchanged with the 2.4-litre turbo-diesel and 2.7-litre four-cylinder petrol units continuing on as is, as does the availability of 4x2 and 4x4 configurations and the five existing trim levels – Workmate, SR, SR5, Rogue and Rugged X.

 

Under the skin, all models have been treated to suspension tweaks including a revised shock-absorber tune, new bushings and improved leaf-spring design to improve ride comfort, especially when unladen.

 

Toyota Australia vice president sales and marketing Sean Hanley said the HiLux would reach new heights in blending performance, toughness, comfort and quality.

 

“More than ever, Australia’s favourite ute will inspire go-anywhere confidence for customers who rely on it as a load-carrying and trailer-towing workhorse for doing their jobs,” he said.

 

“Equally, the latest changes will advance HiLux’s credentials among customers who demand the handling, ride comfort and convenience of an SUV,” he said.

 

In a bid to enhance versatility, Toyota has also expanded the hill descent control fitted to 4x4 grades to also function when in two-wheel-drive to increase “grip in muddy or grassy conditions on worksites”.

 

Style-wise, the new Hi-Lux looks to draw inspiration from the bigger Tundra truck, brandishing a similarly shaped grille to its bigger American counterpart, which near on dominates the front end, especially in its black and dark grey finish.

 

Also similar to the Tundra are the low-sunk headlights which combine with the new grille to make a more aggressive look overall, almost as if the car is snarling.

 

In the lower corners of the front bumper there appears to be deeply sculpted air ducts but on closer inspection they turn out to be darkly cladded foglights sunk deep into the bumper itself.

 

Inside the cabin, the infotainment screen on all models has been increased in size to 8.0 inches in diameter while tweaks have also been made to the voice recognition system.

 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all models while the SR variants and above also score satellite navigation and digital radio.

 

Behind the steering wheel in the instrument cluster lays a 4.2-inch ‘multi-information display’ which incorporates a digital speedo “among other new functions”.

 

Local pricing and further spec details of the updated HiLux will be revealed closer to its launch in late August.

 

Through the first five months of 2020, Toyota has notched up 12,465 4x4 HiLux sales, accounting for 22.8 per cent of the 4x4 pick-up market with the Ford Ranger chomping at its heels with a 22.5 per cent market share (12,314 sales).

 

Both vehicles are down more than 17 per cent compared to the same period last year.


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