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Toyota has launched the toughest and most refined Hilux yet.
There is a stronger chassis, stiffer body, a new high torque diesel engine, six-speed manual and automatic transmissions and strengthened suspension and brakes for greater off road ability.
The distinctive “Hilux look” demands more for 2016 with an integrated bumper, headlights and grille to reinforce the tough yet purposeful image with daytime running lights.
While the all new Hilux is all about its durability, it is also the quietest and most refined ever manufactured, with redesigned interior and more comfort and everyday convenience features than ever before.
The all new Hilux line-up has 21 models to choose from, nine more than the outgoing truck, with four different grades available. The S and SR grades are aimed at those who want a “working” truck, while the SR5 and SR5 Limited will appeal to buyers who see the Hilux filling a dual role as family transport, as well as a business vehicle.
Worldwide development of this eighth generation Hilux took into account people’s changing lifestyles and an increasing demand for recreational use more than ever before. All the while improving its rugged and tough abilities.
The all new Hilux offers SUV-like features including a more compliant ride, quieter cabin and higher levels of comfort and convenience. Standard features across the range include air conditioning, a tablet style touch screen display with Bluetooth and audio, cruise control, more supportive seats, power operated windows and wireless remote central locking.
The SR5 gains newly designed 6-spoke alloy wheels, auto levelling LED headlights, fog lamps, keyless smart entry and start, climate control air conditioning and satellite navigation. The SR5 Limited adds leather upholstery, 12-spoke alloy wheels, fog lamp garnish and a power driver’s seat.
A 2015, five star ANCAP safety rating has been achieved and there are reversing cameras on all models fitted with a wellside, seven air bags, vehicle stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution and trailer sway control.
“The all new Hilux is the complete package. It will hit the sweet spot for a wide range of customers,” said Spencer Morris, General Manager Product for Toyota New Zealand. “It’s the toughest yet most comfortable Hilux ever. It will take the unbreakable Hilux tag to a new height after six years of development.”
Two thirds of that product development took place in the Australian outback to engineer the Hilux for its toughest markets in Africa, the Middle East, Russia, South America and Australia.
“We are getting the benefit of that research and development,” said Mr Morris. “And the Toyota development team also came here to hear about and sample the needs of New Zealand customers all year round.”
Mr Morris said the Hilux inspires go anywhere confidence as a tough truck for the rural, forestry and civil engineering buyers, yet offers an enjoyable drive for everyday running about thanks to the improvements to its ride, handling, comfort and convenience.
The new Hilux range starts with a 2WD Single Cab chassis model for $36,990, with price points all the way through to the flagship 4WD SR5 Limited automatic at $70,490.
There are nine 2WD models, including five PreRunners which have the ground clearance of a 4WD, on a 2WD chassis.
“The PreRunner models are for buyers who want the high riding cab of a 4WD for its better visibility and purposeful looks. Some want the ground clearance but don’t need the 4WD capability,” said Steve Prangnell, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Sales.
The 12 4WD models include nine Double Cab variants.
The new 2.8-litre diesel engine, which has just been introduced in the 2016 Land Cruiser Prado, can produce up to 450Nm between 1600 and 2400rpm - a 25 percent increase on the previous 3.0-litre engine. It can deliver up to 80 percent of its maximum torque from as low as 1200rpm.
“The engine provides real world driveability, with peak torque at engine revs we drive at most of the time,” said Mr Morris. “High revs and peak power was not the main priority, as most drivers rarely use that area of a diesel’s rev range.”
Towing capacity is now up to 3.5 tonnes depending on the model.
Fuel efficiency has improved up to 10 percent depending on the model. With the new engine mated to the new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, combined fuel consumption can be achieved from as low as 7.3L/100kms depending on the model.
New leaf springs are longer and mounted wider apart for better towing and load carrying ability, while wheel articulation has been improved by up to 20 percent for greater off-road capability through the adoption of a rear differential lock on 4WD models. Ground clearance has increased up to 286mm, depending on the model, and hill start assist is standard across all variants to enable safer and easier starts on an incline.
A stronger and wider underbody protection now covers 30% more in area and has a 40% increase in thickness, designed to protect essential parts, deflect harmful objects and offer easier access for cleaning.
In the cabin there is driver seat height adjustment and a telescopic and height adjustable steering column for all models except the 2WD Single Cab variant, while rear seat occupants in Double Cab models gain more knee room and two ISOFIX child restraint anchors.
On the steering wheel there are multi-media and phone controls with Bluetooth capability for added convenience.
Wheel sizes vary between 16” and 17” for S and SR grades, and SR5 grades gain 17” alloy wheels and 18” alloy wheel designs come standard on SR5 Limited models.
Toyota has more than 200 genuine accessories available for the 2016 Hilux to complete customisation and maximise versatility or recreational capabilities.