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2014 Hilux is here

New Zealand just can’t get enough of the Toyota Hilux. A new edition of Toyota’s legendary ute was to be sold from February – but phenomenal sales in 2013 mean Toyota New Zealand is rolling out the upgraded Hilux now.

The fleet, now totaling 12 variants of 2WD and 4WD, includes a petrol V6 engine option and enhanced safety features introduced to gain a 5 star New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) safety rating across the 4WD range. The single cab and extra cab 4WDs are already officially 5 star rated, with the double cab expected to receive 5 stars in January.

Increased specification and options in SR5 models include standard satellite navigation and reversing camera. An upgraded 5 speed automatic transmission in the diesel engine models will make its debut, along with a re-introduction of powerful new 4.0-litre petrol V6 automatic transmission option for both 2WD and 4WD double cab SR5. The 2014 Hilux is one of the most powerful petrol utes in NZ market and the V6 has an advantage in higher power output yet reduced registration costs and lower servicing costs.

To date, there are more than 100,000 Hiluxes in use around New Zealand. The rugged, reliable, go-anywhere trucks are seen on the urban streets, motorways, forestry tracks and paddocks; testament to the model’s endless popularity and rugged practicality.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales Steve Prangnell says the Hilux is a cornerstone of the story of Toyota in New Zealand.

“Few nameplates can match it in terms of enduring appeal. Although in terms of standard equipment, today’s Hilux is far removed from that of 30 years ago.

“It’s a reflection on the fact that these days Hilux is used as much for family adventuring and recreation as it is for industry, that our expanded line-up mixes all the comfort, convenience and technology of a modern vehicle with that indelible, rugged Hilux heritage. It remains a truck people aspire to own.”

And now the comprehensive 2014 Hilux range – which mixes two and four-wheel drive capability in Single Cab-Chassis, Extra Cab and Double Cab configurations – has been enhanced by the return of the 4.0 litre V6 petrol SR5, available in either 2WD or 4WD.

The new 4.0 litre V6 engine boasts 175kW – the highest output of any 4WD ute in the NZ market - peak power at 5200rpm, 376Nm of torque at 3800rpm and gives SR5 fans the flexibility to choose between petrol and diesel at the top of the range, depending on a variety of considerations for fleets or private users and what the truck will be tasked with.

Paired with the five speed Electronically Controlled Automatic Transmission (ECT), the Hilux SR5 4.0 litre V6 Double Cab attains combined average fuel economy of 11.8 (2WD) and 13.0 (4WD) litres/100km.

The newly introduced 5 speed automatic transmission (AT) is available for the 3.0 litre turbo diesel 4WD Double Cab range and features a Lock-Up Torque Converter, as well as AI (Artificial Intelligence) SHIFT Control, which provides for a more comfortable, predictable driving experience by modifying gear shift patterns according to the road conditions and driver interaction. The change from 4AT to 5AT has resulted in a fuel consumption reduction for AT model only from 9.3 to 8.7 l/100km and emissions from 245 to 230 g/km. Additionally, the five speed manual transmission remains available in eight different Hilux models across all three body styles.

Throughout the entire range, significant specification upgrades are present. Both two and four-wheel drive Single Cab-Chassis models now receive body coloured front bumpers and painted grilles with chrome surrounds, while 4WD Single Cab-Chassis and Extra Cab Hilux now leave the showroom with 17” steel wheels and Dunlop Grandtrek AT20 225/70R17 all-terrain tyres fitted. The 2WD range remains a great option for those seeking ease of loading, with its lower profile.

Similarly Single Cab Chassis and Extra Cab 4WD models are fitted with larger front brakes courtesy of newly introduced vehicle stability control and the Automatic Disconnecting Differential (ADD). The addition of ADD - which connects the front drive shaft to supply drive to the front wheels when 4WD is selected – means fuel economy is improved as 4WD is only engaged when required.

Inside the 2014 Hilux’s comfortable cab, the entire range benefits from a broadened suite of standard technology, including 6.1 inch touchscreen display audio systems for every single model and grade allowing customers to easily upgrade their Hilux with an accessory Reverse Camera available from Toyota authorised dealers. Every new Hilux features Bluetooth hands free capability and voice control software to access the audio and phone systems; essential tools for tradespeople and commercial operators who spend many hours behind the wheel of their Hilux, conducting business on the move. An integrated USB / AUX jack is now standard and the USB can handle a hub connection, allowing for 2 USB devices to be plugged in at any time.

What’s more, every Hilux in the range now has cruise control as standard fitment, as well as intuitive steering wheel controls for Multi-Information Display (MID) trip data and the audio and phone systems.

As well as MID all Hilux are fitted with a premium optitron meters, with illumination control.

For the first time in Hilux long history, SR5 models adopt satellite navigation with SUNA real time traffic updates as part of standard audio features. A handy tailgate mounted reversing camera with a display in the 6.1 inch audio display screen makes reversing and parking manoeuvres less stressful.

Bolstered by an advanced focus on safety, all 4WD Hilux variants have been designed to achieve a 5 star ANCAP safety rating, making it a truck with not only a solidly dependable reputation, but also one that features all the safety equipment owners and drivers have come to expect of a modern truck for all seasons.

Every Double Cab Hilux now features a full complement of three-point ELR seatbelts across the rear bench further enhancing rear occupant safety. For all 4WD Hilux variants, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Active Traction Control (A-TRC) are now also standard. The A-TRC system utilises the ABS braking system to brake wheels that are spinning and redirect power to the wheels which are in contact with the road, enabling a quicker mechanical reaction to a loss of traction on wet and slippery roads or tracks. The Hilux 4WD ABS system also includes brake assist (BA) and electronic brake force distribution (EBD).

Mr Prangnell says this is the best ever Hilux.

“There’s a fantastic mix of technology and safety underlined with that unbeatable go-anywhere reputation on offer.

“It has the quality, the reliability, the strong residual value. The Hilux is also now safer, it’s more fuel efficient and it’s more flexible to individuals needs with the most comprehensive range of accessories and customisation options.

“We didn’t plan to sell this truck until February – but the 4585 buyers so far in 2013 – and more than 100,000 buyers over the past 32 years while Hilux has been New Zealand’s favourite truck – can’t be wrong.”

The upgraded and expanded Hilux range, with recommended selling prices starting at $40,090 for 2WD and $49,890 for 4WD, is on sale at Toyota dealers.