TOYOTA has announced the launch of its tougher, better looking and more powerful HiLux, grabbing far-reaching changes that significantly advance the performance, handling and emotional appeal of one of Australia’s best-selling vehicles.
Toyota Australia’s design studio and engineers even had a hand in its development, with designers working on the wide-body 4×2 Hi-Rider and 4×4 extra and double cabs, while engineers helped add power to the 2.8-litre turbo diesel.
A raft of changes have been implemented to lift maximum power to 150kW and peak torque on automatic models to 500Nm, while improving fuel consumption by as much as 11.1 per cent.
The local vehicle evaluation and development team assisted in re-tuning the HiLux chassis, achieving a significant improvement in ride quality when driving without a load, along with more responsive handling and even greater stability when towing.
The steering has been revised for turbo diesel variants to make parking easier and to produce a more connected and confident feel at any speed.
As a result of the technical changes, braked towing capacity is now 3500kg for all 4×4 variants while 4×2 diesel variants are rated at 2800kg, an increase of up to 300kg. There are 27 HiLux variants with a payload of at least one tonne, and 33 in total.
Equipment levels have also been expanded, including an 8-inch display with control knobs rather than touch screen operation for easier use. The multimedia system has enhanced voice recognition and adopts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
New-look instrument dials sit either side of the 4.2 inch multi-information display, which incorporates a digital speed readout, among other new functions.
Until the launch of the new Rogue and Rugged X, the SR and SR5 4×4 represent the most popular offerings in the range. Both have options packages to further enhance their offerings over the standard HiLux range.
For the 4×4 SR double-cab, a $2,000 add on package includes 17-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation and DAB+ digital radio. A $2,500 option for the 4×4 SR5 double cab adds leather-accented seats and door trim.
Front seats are also heated, with 8-way power adjustment for the driver and 4-way manual adjustment for the passenger.
Overall though, the new HiLux has a stronger, more powerful on-road presence, achieved by a large trapezoidal grille that dominates the front design and incorporates more pronounced horizontal elements to deliver a wider, more planted look.
Grille surrounds are black for Workmate, grey for the SR and chrome for the SR5. Newly designed headlights are smaller for a ‘meaner’ appearance. Halogen lamps on Workmate and SR use a new four-bulb structure.
The SR5 gains newly designed LED headlamps with a bright chrome surround. All headlamps feature auto on/off with manual levelling for Workmate and SR, and automatic levelling for SR5.
The interior design theme for the face lifted HiLux amplifies the balance between the durability and functionality required for work use and the refinement of an SUV.
Workmate has black fabric seat and vinyl floor coverings, providing the toughness and durability required for daily commercial use. SR and SR5 feature a high-grade, embossed black seats.
The SR retains its vinyl flooring while SR and SR5 double cabs have a 60/40 split base for the rear seat and a stowable armrest. In addition, SR5 is fitted with a premium shift knob and steering wheel and chrome door handles. All grades receive all-weather floor mats.
The HiLux retains its rigid, impact-absorbing structure, full range of electronic braking and traction-control technologies, emergency stop signal (hazard lights), reversing camera (pick-ups), seven airbags, and seatbelt reminders for all seats.
On double-cab variants, the rear seats have two top tether anchors and two ISOFIX points. Downhill assist control is standard on all 4×4 SR5 variants and 4×4 automatic SR double cabs (including cab-chassis).
Toyota Safety Sense technologies in the HiLux include a pre-collision system that can also detect pedestrians (day & night) and cyclists (daytime), high-speed active cruise control and lane-departure alert that offers steering assist (via the brakes).
Road-sign assist can now recognise speed advisory signs.
HiLux models, from WorkMate to SR5 grades, will go on sale from 27 August. Pricing starts from $23,590 (plus on roads). The SR5 comes it at $62,420 (plus on roads).
Design features, technical details and pricing for the HiLux Rogue and HiLux Rugged X will be announced later.