Toyota HiLux goes Rogue

Rogue and Rugged X variants complete Toyota’s 2020 HiLux 4x4 Ute revamp.

Toyota has completed the refresh of its 2020 HiLux range by unveiling its new-look recreationally oriented Rogue and Rugged X models, with the only bad news for consumers being that the updates come at a significant price premium over the outgoing models. 

Toyota described the new HiLux Rogue (pictured below) and Rugged X (pictured bottom) models as “the most aggressive, most advanced and most Australian hero versions of the nation's best-selling vehicle,” but the new variants also arrive with some pretty aggressive price hikes. 

Both models are based on the HiLux SR5 double cab, which with its revamped 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine and electronically controlled six-speed automatic transmission now costs $59,920. 

The new HiLux Rogue, meanwhile, is priced from $68,990, a price hike of $6500 over its predecessor; while the off-road-equipped Rugged X is priced from $69,990, a $7500 increase over its equivalent model in the previous range. 

The news follows the trend established by the launch of the rest of the HiLux range several weeks ago, which ushered in price hikes on most key models. 

The recreationally oriented HiLux Rogue and off-road oriented HiLux Rugged X were introduced during the model run of the just-superseded HiLux as Toyota’s rival for the wildly popular Ford Ranger Wildtrack and proved an instant hit with buyers, who were attracted to their modified body styling and additional features over the standard HiLux range. 

2020 Toyota HiLux Rogue

But both variants were left out of the mix when Toyota released details of a comprehensive mid-life update to the HiLux in mid-August this year, presumably to keep some marketing powder in reserve for the highly specified range-toppers. 

Despite the belated release of pricing and specification details for the new variants, they aren’t expected in dealerships until the second half of November, with Toyota stating the final timing for deliveries will be determined by the level of COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne where the vehicles undergo final assembly. 

As with the rest of the HiLux range, both the Rogue and Rugged X benefit from substantially higher performance, thanks to changes to the 2.8-litre four-cylinder 1GD. 

The engine now develops 150kW/500Nm (up from130kW/450Nm) when mated to the recalibrated six-speed automatic transmission. 

Changes to the turbo-diesel models’ six-speed automatic transmission include recalibration of the software to allow earlier lockup for improved acceleration and cooling performance, especially while towing. The maximum braked towing capacity of both models has also been uprated, as per the rest of the HiLux 4x4 range, by 300kg to 3500kg. 

Other mechanical changes mirror those announced earlier with the HiLux 4x4 range, including revisions to the rear suspension to improve unladen ride comfort, plus a new variable flow-control power-steering pump which offers greater assistance for low-speed manoeuvres such as parking.

2020 Toyota HiLux Rogue

The big news with these kitted-out models are design and detail changes have been led by Toyota's local design team, working in conjunction with colleagues in Japan and Thailand. The pair dial up an extra layer of sporty aggressiveness over the other HiLux models to justify their premium price and positioning.

Toyota says its local conversions and accessories division led the engineering, development and testing for new components on both utes, including a motorised roller cover for the Rogue and aggressive new grille design for the Rugged X.

Locally designed and developed components such as the rock rails and hoopless bull bar on the Rugged X are fully integrated and engineered into the vehicles and covered by Toyota’s standard five-year factory warranty.

A statement from Toyota said the company’s Melbourne design studio contributed to ensuring the HiLux Rogue was redesigned as a global vehicle to be sold in markets around the world.

Versus the rest of the HiLux range the Rogue is distinguished by its dark grille, 18-inch wheels and tailgate, a prominent lower bumper and under-guard combo, unique wheel-arch mouldings, all-new resin “sailplane” sports bar, chrome Toyota tailgate badge and new decals on the tailgate and sports bar.

The Rogue’s locally developed and tested motorised roller cover is equipped with remote-power-operated opening and closing linked to the central-locking system.

2020 Toyota HiLux Rugged X

The cargo cover comes equipped with an anti-jam function, integrated lighting, anti-theft design and high levels of weatherproofing and dust protection, according to Toyota. 

The Rogue’s tub also features upgraded marine-grade carpet tub liner, designed to look better and give more complete coverage of the tray.

The Rugged X, meanwhile, boasts a more serious off-road look courtesy of a wider, stronger-looking grille with 3D-mesh insert, dark headlamps above body-colour infill panels, lower bash plate, more pronounced over-fender flares, jet-black 17-inch wheels, and signature decals on the bonnet and rear quarter panel. 

It has the ability to back up its looks, too, courtesy of a heavy-duty hoopless steel front bull bar with integrated LED light bar, heavy-duty front springs, a snorkel with reversible head, red-painted front and rear recovery points, bash plate with black Toyota branding, heavy-duty rock rails, functional black sports bar with multiple tie-down points, moulded tub tray with tailgate protection, and a heavy-duty rear bumper with integrated step.

"The expertise of our local teams has ensured these two fully fledged models offer more power and torque, more relaxed towing and overtaking in all conditions, sharper steering and handling, and suspension refinements that deliver excellent ride quality in all conditions," Toyota Australia's Vice-President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said.

"They also incorporate an in-demand array of locally designed, developed and tested components that enhance capability and style: premium features on the 'work and play' HiLux Rogue and serious off-road protection and recovery for Rugged X."

2020 Toyota HiLux Rugged X

Other standard features for both models include illumination for the exterior mirrors, plus a towbar, tongue and tow ball, with fully installed seven-pin flat trailer wiring harness, which Toyota says has proven popular with owners wanting to tow a boat, off-road trailer or caravan.

Comfort and convenience features include a larger 8.0-inch display screen, upgraded multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice-activated sat nav, and a premium JBL 9-speaker sound system. 

The restyled instrument pod now incorporates a digital speed readout and a pictogram showing the angle of the front wheels, while the seats are clad in black perforated leather-and feature eight-way power adjustment for the driver. 

A comprehensive safety fitout includes seven airbags and a reversing camera as well as Toyota Safety Sense, a pre-collision system with autonomous emergency braking and the ability to detect pedestrians around the clock and cyclists during the day. 
Other features include adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist, vehicle stability and traction control, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, trailer sway control, and downhill assist control.

HiLux Rogue & Rugged X

Mechanical

  • Upgraded 150kW, 500Nm 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.
  • Recalibrated six-speed automatic transmission.
  • Revised rear suspension.
  • New variable flow control power-steering pump.
  • 3,500kg braked towing capacity.

Exterior

  • Three new paint colours: Feverish red, Saturn blue, Oxide bronze.
  • Satin black door handles, mirror scalps (from gloss black).
  • Chrome HiLux tailgate badge (was dark grey).
  • LED headlamps with dark internal accents.
  • Black tailgate handle and garnish.
  • Courtesy illumination for exterior mirrors.
  • Towbar, towball and tongue.
  • 7-pin flat trailer wiring harness.

Interior

  • 8-inch display screen (1-inch bigger).
  • Physical controls. 
  • Upgraded multimedia system.
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, myToyota app suite.
  •  Enhanced voice recognition.
  • JBL premium nine-speaker sound system.
  • Blue illumination for door trim and instrument dials.
  • Electro-chromatic rear-view mirror.
  • Restyled instruments: blue pointers, blue illumination.
  • New features for multi-information display: digital speedo, front-wheel angle.
  • Satellite navigation.
  • AM, FM, digital (DAB) radio, Bluetooth, 1 x USB, 2 x AC220V accessory sockets.
  • Black perforated leather-accented seats.
  • Heated front seats.
  • 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat.
  • Front and rear mats.