Toyota’s updated HiLux will arrive in Australian showrooms in March 2024, offering not only a previously announced 48-volt mild-hybrid turbo-diesel powertrain but also a refreshed look.

    One of the oldest vehicles in its segment, the HiLux has received yet another facelift. Toyota has only released a couple of images of the updated ute, which gets a revised grille and front bumper.

    WorkMate versions get a black honeycomb mesh grille paired with a black lower and body-coloured side bumper finish, with single-cab chassis and petrol dual-cab variants now having a black instead of dark grey finish on their front bumpers.

    SR models get a silver lower bumper finish, while the SR5 gets a black upper grille mould, darkened headlight clusters, and a gloss black finish for the fog light bezels, exterior mirrors and door handles.

    The 48V mild-hybrid version of Toyota’s 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel comes standard in SR5 auto and Rogue dual-cab utes, and is optional in 4×4 SR dual-cab models.

    Ticking the 48V option box with the SR models also brings dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, carpet floor mats, and auto up/down for the power windows.

    The 48V system consists of a motor-generator, a 48-volt battery, and a DC/DC converter. Models with this powertrain feature idle stop/start, plus standard Multi-Terrain Select with six selectable drive modes.

    Toyota says it should improve fuel economy by approximately 6-10 per cent, while also making the vehicle smoother to operate.

    For reference, HiLux models with the 2.8-litre engine and automatic transmission currently use between 7.5 and 8.1 litres per 100km on the combined cycle.

    However, as the absence of the word ‘hybrid’ in Toyota Australia’s branding suggests, this isn’t a full-hybrid system and the vehicle can’t operate purely on electric power.

    A full-hybrid system is available in the new Tacoma ute in the US, which suggests one could come in the next-generation HiLux.

    Toyota has detailed a handful of other changes for the HiLux range. WorkMate utes get a tailgate damper; dual-cab SR models get two front and four rear parking sensors; and SR5, Rogue and GR Sport variants get a wireless charging pad and two rear USB-C ports in dual-cab models.

    Last year, the newer, fresher Ford Ranger toppled the HiLux as Australia’s best-selling vehicle. It’s unclear when a new generation of HiLux will arrive.

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    MORE: Everything Toyota HiLux

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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