The facelifted Toyota Hilux has been officially revealed, with the popular bakkie sporting a fresh look and more grunt from its 2,8-litre turbodiesel heart.
Unveiled in Thailand alongside the refreshed Fortuner, it’s worth pointing out the images here show the bakkie built for that market. The version eventually offered in South Africa (Toyota SA Motors says the local introduction is "still some months away") will likely sport a handful of spec differences.
According to the Japanese firm, the 2,8 GD-6 oil-burning engine boasts “multiple new components and enhanced cooling”. As a result, maximum power has been increased from 130 kW to 150 kW, while peak torque on automatic models has been hiked from 450 N.m to 500 N.m (but remains at 420 N.m for manual variants).
Toyota furthermore claims fuel consumption has been improved by “up to 11,1 percent”, while “tuned accelerator response delivers greater driver control”. From what we understand, the 2,4-litre turbodiesel motor and naturally aspirated 2,7-litre petrol engine solider on unchanged. No word yet on whether the 4,0-litre V6 petrol unit will carry over to the facelifted range.
Meanwhile, suspension upgrades include revised shock-absorber tuning, new bushings and an “improved” leaf-spring design. Toyota says the result is a “more comfortable ride, particularly over rough roads and with low loads”.
So, what about exterior design changes? Well, the biggest change is the adoption of a large trapezoidal grille incorporating more pronounced horizontal elements (interestingly, the grille surrounds differ by grade). There are also newly designed, smaller headlamps, while the taillamps have been revised, too. Expect fresh wheel designs as well.
Inside, the Hilux has been upgraded to an eight-inch touchscreen with “enhanced voice recognition” as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
The Hilux, of course, is also produced at Toyota South Africa Motors’ Prospecton plant in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, and holds the title of the country’s best-selling vehicle (and best-selling double-cab). An upgraded version of the bakkie hit the local market in May 2018 in the form of the limited-edition Dakar, before the updated face was rolled out to other derivatives.