Toyota Hilux Rugged X

The rugged X is one of the three hero models Toyota has recently added to the Hilux dual-cab 4WD family.

The Rugged X is one of the three hero models – Rogue, Rugged, and Rugged X – that Toyota has recently added to the Hilux dual-cab 4WD family. The more expensive Rugged X models provide off-road enhancements and tougher looks.

Its list price is $7250 higher than the SR5 on which it is based, but you’ll get a range of functional, protective and recovery features for the extra cash-splash.

Starting at the front, there’s an integrated frontal protection bar that’s winch-rated, black powder-coated, and compatible with the vehicles airbags and safety systems. It carries a centrally located LED light bar recessed away to prevent damage, plus spread beam LED driving lights. The bar is complemented by a 5mm thick alloy bash plate.
Protecting the side-sill areas are ruggedly-built steel rock-bars with integrated side steps that Toyota claim will support the fully laden vehicle. The steps are almost uselessly narrow though.18-HiLux-19hr

Rugged X is fitted with an engine air-intake snorkel, useful in dusty conditions or water crossings. Induction noise becomes a little more obvious though.

The tray has a protective floor liner, plus there’s a powder-coated four-piece steel sports bar mounted to the tray floor and rated for 75kg vertical load or to restrain loads up to 200kg. You won’t find a work light or auxiliary power outlet in the tray though.

A rear bumper-step and towbar are also standard fit. For the inevitable off-road recovery operations there’s solidly engineered and loading-rated recovery points (two front, two rear) made from 20mm thick steel plate.


Rear air vents will help keep occupants comfortable, but there’s no USB or 12V power outlets for their devices. Tilt and reach steering adjustments, when most competitors only provide tilt, gets our nod of approval. In this age of increased enforcement, a digital speedo display would have been nice and advanced driver assistance features such as AEB, lane departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert, standard on a few competitors such as the new Mitsubishi Triton, won’t be found.

The ‘extras’ on Rugged X add flab, 207kg to be exact, so Toyota have fitted heavier front springs to help compensate. Payload is reduced by an equivalent amount though, as GVM hasn’t increased. Off-road, the Rugged X takes challenging terrain in its stride, while on road it’s a solid enough performer and one of the better examples of the dual-cab genre.  

Key stats


$63,690 auto (plus on-road costs) 


2.8-litre, turbo-diesel 4-cyl

ANCAP Safety Rating:

5 stars

Tailpipe CO2 (g/km):



Off-road ability, extra equipment, tilt/reach adjustable steering.


Equipment omissions, no increase in engine outputs, payload reduction.