Toyota is set to expand the appeal of HiLux for families, tradespeople and fleet buyers by adding eight new automatic variants in a comprehensive revamp of Australia's best-selling vehicle range.
In the first significant revitalisation of the HiLux range since the launch of the current generation, the wide-ranging update also includes:
- Three new SR extra cab-chassis variants (six-speed manual and auto) with the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine.
- Three additional automatic Hi-Rider pick-ups - a WorkMate double-cab, SR extra cab and SR5 double cab.
- Introduction of a WorkMate grade (auto) for the 4x4 double cab-chassis.
Toyota's sweeping changes offer the ability for 4x4 SR double-cab pick-up buyers to specify the in-demand features of satellite navigation and alloy wheels for $2,000 - without the need to step up to the top-of-the-line SR5.
Overall, Toyota has unveiled 10 new variants which effectively replace 10 slower-selling variants, including V6-powered vehicles that account for fewer than half of one per cent of total HiLux sales.
The moves are significant as HiLux continues to set new sales records with consumer demand up 13.7 per cent to the end of August. It is well placed to become Australia's best-selling vehicle for the second year in a row and is the only vehicle of its type to have taken the title.
Toyota Australia's executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the realignment will further strengthen the sales potential of HiLux, which has topped the market in each of the past six months and has broken monthly sales records on four occasions this year.
"We are determined to ensure a strong final quarter in 2017; but these moves are not about short-term gains, they are the result of detailed analysis of buyer trends and feedback from dealers over the past two years," Mr Cramb said.
"It is clear that HiLux buyers increasingly want the convenience of an automatic transmission, so we now offer 17 self-shifters compared with 12 previously," he said.
"Last year - for the first time - automatics accounted for more than half of all HiLux sales and this year the proportion has risen to almost 60 per cent and we expect it to increase further.
"We are also experiencing greater-than-expected demand for the two-wheel-drive Hi-Rider, so we have expanded our competitively priced offerings from three to five.
"The Hi-Rider appeals to buyers who do not require serious off-road capability, but appreciate the same rugged looks and imposing ground clearance as a 4x4 HiLux.
"All the new variants have been introduced for specific reasons; for example, SR buyers have told us they would prefer the durability and convenience of a PVC floor covering rather than carpet.
"We have reintroduced a 4x4 WorkMate double cab-chassis for those who want a value-for-money vehicle that gives them the flexibility to add a purpose-built tray that suits their needs.
"For similar reasons, we have brought back the SR extra cab-chassis in manual guise, which was available with the previous generation, and - for the first time - added an automatic version."
The updated HiLux line-up goes on sale officially from October 6; in the meantime, Toyota has improved capability, convenience and durability of its existing SR and SR5 range with minimal price changes.
SR 4x4 double cabs have increased by $70# with the inclusion of downhill assist control, PVC flooring and black door handles; other SR models have been reduced by $80# (PVC flooring). SR5 prices have risen $50# with the addition of LED foglamps. In addition, SR extra cab pick-ups and SR5 variants now have a tailgate lock.
The number of HiLux variants remains at 31 with 23 being genuine one-tonners - all 4x2 variants and all 4x4 single and extra cabs. SR5 is the highest-selling grade and accounts for more than half of all HiLux 4x4 sales.
HiLux offers the torque, driveability and fuel economy of two four-cylinder turbo-diesel engines displacing 2.4 and 2.8 litres. In 4x4 and Hi-Rider variants, the 2.8 delivers maximum power of 130kW at 3400rpm and peak torque of 450Nm at 1600-2400rpm (auto) or 420Nm (manual).
The volume-selling SR5 4x4 double cab is rated at 7.6 litres/100km* for the manual and 8.5 litres/100km for the auto.
The 2.4 turbo-diesel engine is offered on WorkMate models, delivering 110kW @ 3400rpm. Torque is 343Nm @ 1400-2800rpm for manual 4x2 single and double cabs. For the 4x2 WorkMate double cab automatic and all 4x4 variants, it offers 400Nm from 1600-2000rpm.
Fuel economy varies from as low as 7.1 litres to 7.7 litres/100km* in manual guise and from 8.3 to 8.5 litres/100km* with the six-speed automatic. Emissions are as low as 186 grams/km* for the 4x2 WorkMate double cab.
HiLux is also available with a 2.7-litre four-cylinder petrol engine on 4x2 WorkMate single and double cabs. It delivers 122kW @ 5200rpm and 245Nm @ 4000rpm with fuel economy as low as 10.4 litres/100km*.
HiLux is in its 20th year in a row as Australia's best-selling commercial vehicle and has been Australia's top-selling four-wheel drive for the past 12 years. In 2018, the HiLux nameplate will mark its 50th anniversary in this country.
The new range is covered by Toyota Service Advantage capped-price servicing at $180 per service (petrol) and $240 per service (diesel).