New Toyota Hilux Shows Rugged Side Down Under

The new Toyota Hilux might be some months from arriving in the UK, but the Australians have revealed what might be coming, from different body types to a new rugged range-topping model.

Grabbing all of the attention is the Rugged X variant, a beefed-up Hilux that looks designed to take on heavily styled lifestyle rivals such as the Ford Ranger Wildtrak and Isuzu D-Max XTR. That said, raised suspension, underbody protection plates, a sharp bumper with integrated light bar, and a snorkel suggest that there’s rather more to the Rugged X than a few simple cosmetic accoutrements.

Hilux extra cab joins the Rugged X in Australia

Arguably of more use is the first look at the extra cab model, with its rear suicide doors and extended load bed. Unlikely to differ too much from UK models, this comes with steel wheels and matt black horizontal elements on the trapezoidal grille, identifying it as a more utilitarian commercial specification. Inside, there’s black fabric seating and vinyl floor coverings, providing toughness and durability. For many professional users, this is likely to be the Hilux of choice.

Confirmation that a chassis cab is available will please a number of specialist users, with tipper and dropside bodies available through Toyota’s authorised converter, TGS.

Hilux chassis cab joins the Rugged X in Australia

Every variant of the new Hilux will benefit from the new 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine, codenamed 1GD-FTV, that produces a helpful 201hp and an impressive 500Nm of torque. With maximum torque now available across a wider range of 1,600-2,800rpm, overtaking and towing will be significantly easier. As well as more power, the new Hilux promises improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.

'Aggressive' Isuzu D-Max Is a Five-Star Safety Choice

Improved safety is also on offer, with the Hilux equipped with a pre-collision system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert and assist, and road sign recognition. Families will be pleased to find two Isofix points in the rear of the double cab, while those venturing onto more testing terrain will welcome hill descent control.

The UK range is expected to follow much the same pattern as the current model does, starting with an entry-level Active model, and rising through Icon to Invincible and Invincible X.