What is it: 

This is the luxury flagship of the Toyota HiLux range, with a carpet-lined cargo area, motorised roller shutter cover, heated leather seats, JBL audio, four-wheel disc brakes, re-engineered suspension, and a wider track.

Price: 

The RRP is $71,530 plus on-road costs, which translates to $77,500 drive-away in NSW on Toyota’s website. Registration and stamp duty fees vary in each state so check drive-away prices for your postcode on Toyota’s website.

Engine:

The example tested was equipped with the standard 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine (150kW/500Nm), not the new 48V version rolling into showrooms soon.

By way of background, the updated 48V version is not a hybrid.

While the motoring media are calling it a “mild hybrid” system (to indicate there is some form of electrification added to the motor), Toyota is at pains to make it clear this is not a hybrid as we know it.

While Toyota’s hybrid system – available on the Toyota Corolla, RAV4, Camry and Kluger, among other models in the line-up – can move the vehicle from rest on electric power alone, before the petrol motors takes over at about 40km/h, the updated Toyota HiLux system is not able to perform the same feat.

Instead, Toyota’s “V-Active” technology (as the company describes it) adds a motor generator, 48-volt battery and DC/DC converter to the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine on models with a six-speed automatic transmission.

“V-Active” is Toyota-speak for stop-start technology in the HiLux.

Toyota estimates V-Active technology trims fuel consumption “by up to approximately 10 per cent” compared to the same engine without the system.

Toyota says: “The 48-volt system makes the stop-start system … smooth and seamless, with a significant reduction in vibrations when restarting the engine compared to an engine not fitted with V-Active technology.”

Transmission:

Six-speed automatic, two-wheel-drive or selectable four-wheel-drive with low- and high-range.

0 to 100km/h (as tested):

The Toyota HiLux Rogue 2.8-litre turbo diesel (non 48V version) did the 0 to 100km/h dash in 10.8 seconds, which is bang on average for four-cylinder diesel double cab utes.

Emergency braking from 100km/h (as tested): 

The Toyota HiLux Rogue on 265/60/18 Dunlop GrandTrek PT22 AT tyres pulled up in 42.4m, which is at the pointy end of the braking average for this type of vehicle (42 to 44 metres).

Good points:

With the wider-track Rogue, the Toyota HiLux has gone to finishing school.

It has a luxury feel compared to the SR5 and the previous narrow-track Rogue.

The updated Rogue’s wider stance and retuned suspension have improved comfort and road-holding – while improving the HiLux’s already impressive off-road clearance and articulation.

The motorised roller shutter is super convenient (though must be operated by pressing discreet buttons on each side of the vehicle near the tailgate, rather than via the remote as per the Ford Ranger Wildtrak).

The carpet lining in the ute tub helps stop cargo sliding around. 

The JBL premium audio is decent. All cabin controls are well placed and easy to use.

Comfortable, roomy cabin.

Best resale value in the business.

Bad points:

The infotainment screen and instrument cluster displays are low-resolution and smaller than those on newer rivals.

Fuel economy was below average: 10.0 to 10.5L/100km on test versus 8.0 to 9.0L/100km on similar rivals.

What the haters say:

The current generation Toyota HiLux is starting to show its age and is now one of the oldest utes in the segment. 

What the haters don’t understand:

Toyota invested heavily in upgrades to the Toyota HiLux Rogue (and the related GR Sport) with a wider track, four-wheel discs brakes, and moving the rear shock absorbers outboard of the chassis rails – to keep pace with the competition in the lead-up to the all-new HiLux due in 2025.

Translation: the changes to the Rogue go way beyond wider fender flares.

Toyota engineers have clearly used the opportunity to put a spanner on the suspension and deliver a better blend of comfort and off-road ability.

Should you buy one?

Absolutely. The Toyota HiLux Rogue genuinely is a ute that can double as a family car.

The GR Sport is also a good option, but the Rogue has more features for slightly less money.

Also consider:

Ford Ranger Wildtrak, Toyota HiLux GR Sport.