If you were to rank vehicles that do what they're told to do, the Toyota Hilux might be one of the top five greatest workhorses of all time. For 50 years, over eight generations, the Hilux has proved itself to be reliable, durable, yet modest about its achievements.
The Hilux was born in March 1968, as the replacement for two separate pickup model lines under Toyota's corporate umbrella. Beneath it was the Hino Briska, a sedan-derived delivery truck from the early 1960s, and the Hilux also replaced the older Toyota Stout model originally dating from the manufacturer's Toyopet days. Hino was bought out by Toyota right before the Hilux came to be, and from that point on it has only made trucks, including assembling Hiluxes.
We don't get the Toyota HiLux in America, but if there's one thing we know about it, it's that it's one tough truck. As it so happens, Toyota has now rolled out some even tougher-looking versions of it Down Under.
The updated range for Australia's best-selling vehicle includes the HiLux Rogue, HiLux Rugged, and HiLux Rugged X.
Though Toyota's midsize truck reputation in North America is built on the Tacoma, in the rest of the world, it comes from the Hilux. That truck has been roaming the world for decades, and Toyota will be unleashing some particularly aggressive-looking versions soon. The company's Australia division announced the introduction of the Rugged X, Rugged and Rogue versions.
The toughest of the bunch are the Rugged variants. The Rugged X, shown in orange, adds a black grille and a beefy off-road bumper up front with an integrated LED off-road light bar and room for a winch. Below that is a skid plate and rock rails for undercarriage protection. Up on top are a snorkel and a sports bar, not to mention graphics and badging. The regular Rugged, shown in white, has a different off-road bumper with brush guard hoops for additional protection from flora and fauna. Toyota also notes that the bumper doesn't affect crash protection or air bag activation either. The regular Rugged appears to do without the skid plates, but still has rock rails.
Toyota New Zealand will be offering a tougher-looking HiLux SR5 Cruiser, but there’s no indication the special model will be coming to Australia.
The new SR5 Cruiser, which looks very similar to the Thailand-bound HiLux Rocco, runs with a new grille and front bumper, complete with a neatly-integrated skid-plate at the front.