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Updated Toyota Hilux revealed – The details

Toyota’s Australia division has revealed the updated Hilux which is expected to be the last iteration of the current-generation bakkie before the next generation is unveiled in 2025.

The Hilux in its present form has been on the market since 2015 and has subsequently seen numerous feature and design enhancements to keep it competitive in the cut-throat segment.

The facelifted bakkie is reaching Australian showrooms in the first quarter of 2024, coinciding with the release of the new mild-hybrid powertrain Down Under.

Interestingly, Toyota South Africa (TSAM) didn’t say anything about the reimagined Hilux at its annual State of the Motoring Industry (Somi) Address in January where it revealed several new vehicles coming to the country his year, however, it did confirm that the same electrified engine will make its local debut in March.

In the past, Australia has been one of the first markets to receive Toyota vehicles with South Africa usually only getting them a few months later – for example, the beefier Hilux GR-Sport – so it’s rather likely (but not yet confirmed) that the new-look Hilux will eventually land on our roads.

What’s new

The updated Hilux wears a revised front fascia underscored by a new octagonal grille, a redesigned front bumper with a trapezoidal lower section and bolder outer edge, dark-tinted LED headlamp clusters, and gloss-black fog lamp bezels, exterior mirrors, and door handles.

On the lower-end models, Toyota has applied a black honeycomb mesh grille “for a tough and sporty look” paired with a black lower and body-coloured side bumper finish.

The Australian versions of the bakkie also saw several standard feature enhancements – such as a wireless charger for the flagship versions and all-round parking sensors for the mid-range variants – though the specification levels of the Hilux vary tremendously between countries so there’s no guarantee that what was added there will also be added here.

Mild-hybrid Toyota Hilux displayed at Somi

Mild-hybrid Hilux on the way to South Africa

One thing that both the South African and Australian markets will receive in March is the new mild-hybrid architecture that will be equipped to either the Hilux or the Fortuner.

The powertrain combines the brand’s venerable 2.8-litre, turbo-diesel, GD-6 engine with a 48-volt battery and DC converter which reduces the idling speed to 600rpm, cuts average fuel consumption by about 5%, and improves noise, vibration, and harshness, according to the manufacturer.

The system also provides an “advanced” Start/Stop system, in addition to 12kW and 65Nm of boost when accelerating from a standstill.

Toyota promised that the semi-electric setup would do nothing to hamper the vehicles’ capabilities, either, so owners will still be able to make full use of the 4×4 systems and cargo-hauling potential.

Locally, these drive units will be available in the Hilux Raider and Legend 2.8GD-6, as well as in the Fortuner 2.8GD-6 trims.

The prototype mild-hybrid Hilux that TSAM displayed at Somi (shown above) had only one visual cue to distinguish it from the standard GD-6 models – this being small “48V” badging on the flanks.

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