More variants bring more choice to customers

The Toyota Hilux pickup receives several new trims for the 2018 model year. These include three new SR cab-chassis variants, a new WorkMate grade for the 4WD Double Cab-Chassis, and the Hi-Rider option on 2WD trucks is now offered on the WorkMate Double-Cab, SR Extra Cab, and the SR5 Double Cab. What’s more, the availability of an automatic transmission expands from 12 models to 17 models. In other words, there are now more choices for customers.

This is the first change Toyota has brought to the Hilux since the current generation’s introduction in 2016. It comes in part as a response to changing customer wants as the expectation for higher comfort levels increase, while the need for work-grade trims holds steady. In fact, Toyota saw more than 60 percent of new Hilux sales have automatic transmissions – a first for the rugged pickup.

Continue reading for more information.

Exterior

  • Three new SR Extra Cab-Chassis versions
  • Three more trims on Hi-Rider suspension option
  • Double Cab-Chassis now has WorkMate trim
2018 Toyota Hilux
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The truck is available in several cab and bed configurations

The 2018 Toyota Hilux remains unchanged on the outside. The design is only two years old, so it remains fresh. Add to that Toyota’s dominance in the pickup segment in Australia and other parts of the globe.

The truck is available in several cab and bed configurations. Popular with the boys Down Under is the cab-chassis. It is basically a bed delete package that has the truck delivered without the cargo bed or the added cost it would add. Australians love their aftermarket flat utility bed, also called a tray bed. The cab-chassis is offered with the regular, extended, and double cab variants.

Reintroduced for 2018 is the 4x4 WorkMate double cab-chassis. This version has the four-door double cab with the bed delete and work-grade interior that includes vinyl flooring. One trim level up, the SR, is also getting a cab-chassis version with the extended cab.

For those wanting a bit more pizzazz in their truck, Toyota offers several add-on accessories like side steps, brush guards, and bed-mounted roll bars.

Interior

  • SR trim now standard with vinyl flooring
  • Interior design and packaging remains unchanged since 2016
  • Toyota Entune Infotainment system
  • Available leather seating
  • Seating up to five in Double Cab
2018 Toyota Hilux
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The biggest differences include a wider availability of an automatic transmission and the vinyl flooring replacing the carpet in the SR trim

The interior of the 2018 Toyota Hilux doesn’t technically change, either. The biggest differences include a wider availability of an automatic transmission and the vinyl flooring replacing the carpet in the SR trim. Toyota says both changes are in direct response from customer feedback. Hilux sales with automatic transmissions are quickly growing and customers buying the value-oriented SR trim have asked for the easy-to-clean vinyl floors.

The Toyota Hilux’s dashboard remains unchanged. It looks similar to the Toyota Corolla’s dash and offers a handsome touchscreen infotainment system, and driver information screen inside the gauge cluster, dual-zone climate controls, redundant steering wheel controls, power windows and locks, electronically shifted 4WD, USB ports, and leather seats. Lower trim levels come with a smaller infotainment screen cloth seats, and the like.

Drivetrain

  • 2.7-liter gasoline I-4 is standard
  • 2.4-liter Turbodiesel is mid-range option
  • 2.8-liter Turbodiesel is premium option
  • Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions
  • RWD & 4WD drivetrain choices
  • 4.0-liter V-6 option dropped
2018 Toyota Hilux
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The 2018 Hilux comes with three engines, all with four cylinders

The 2018 Hilux comes with three engines, all with four cylinders. The base is a 2.7-liter, the mid-grade engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel, and the range-topping engine is a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel. Toyota has dropped the 4.0-liter gasoline V-6 options for 2018, saying it represented less than half of one percent of all Hilux sales.

The base 2.7-liter gasoline four-cylinder is found on WorkMate singe- and double-cab trucks. It makes 164 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 181 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm.

The mid-grade 2.4-liter turbodiesel is available in the WorkMate trims. It generates 147 horsepower at 3,400 rpm. In the WorkMate trim with the manual transmission and 2WD, the engine is tuned for 253 pound-feet of torque from 1,400 to 2,800 rpm. For WorkMate double cabs with 2WD and the automatic, along with all 4x4 versions, the 2.4-liter turbodiesel makes 295 pound-feet of torque from 1,600 to 2,000 rpm.

The premium engine, the 2.8-liter turbodiesel, makes 174 horsepower at 3,400 rpm. Those mated to the manual transmission are tuned to make 310 pound-feet of torque, while those getting the automatic gearbox kick out 331 pound-feet of torque – both between 1,600 and 2,400 rpm.

Pricing

2018 Toyota Hilux
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Despite the changes, the 2018 Toyota Hilux’s pricing remains mostly the same. The SR 4x4 double cab increases by $70, but other SR trims see a price drop of $80. The volume-leading SR5 trim costs $50 more but now comes with LED fog lights.

Prices for the 2018 Hilux WorkMate start at $20,990 AUD and caps out around $58,440 AUD.

GRADE, ENGINE, TRANSMISSION TOWING CAPACITY PAYLOAD PRICE
4X2 Single Cab (cab chassis)
WorkMate, 2.7 P, man 2500kg 1225kg $20,990 unchanged
WorkMate, 2.7 P, auto 2500kg 1210kg $22,990 unchanged
WorkMate, 2.4 TD, man 2500kg 1240kg $24,990 unchanged
4x2 Extra Cab (pick-up)
Hi-Rider SR, 2.8 TD, auto 2800kg 1090kg $40,910 (new)
4x2 Double Cab (pick-up)
WorkMate, 2.7 P, man 2500kg 1035kg $30,690 unchanged
WorkMate, 2.7 P, auto 2500kg 1025kg $32,690 unchanged
WorkMate, 2.4 TD, man 2500kg 1020kg $33,990 unchanged
Hi-Rider WorkMate, 2.4TD, auto 2500kg 1020kg $39,490 (new)
Hi-Rider SR, 2.8 TD, man 2800kg 1000kg $39,910 (-$80)
Hi-Rider SR, 2.8 TD, auto 2800kg 1000kg $41,910 (-$80)
Hi-Rider SR5, 2.8 TD, auto 2800kg 1000kg $49,940 (new)
4x4 Single Cab (cab chassis)
WorkMate, 2.4 TD, man 3200kg 1225kg $36,990 unchanged
SR, 2.8 TD, man 3500kg 1205kg $39,410 (-$80)
SR, 2.8 TD, auto 3200kg 1205kg $41,410 (-$80)
4x4 Extra Cab (cab chassis)
WorkMate, 2.4 TD, auto 3000kg 1110kg $42,490 (new)
SR, 2.8 TD, man 3500kg 1160kg $42,910 (new)
SR, 2.8 TD, auto 3200kg 1155kg $44,910 (new)
4x4 Extra Cab (pick-up)
SR5, 2.8 TD, auto 3200kg 1005kg $54,440 (new)
4x4 Double Cab (cab chassis)
WorkMate, 2.4 TD, auto 3000kg 1085kg $44,490 (new)
SR, 2.8 TD, man 3500kg 1045kg $45,060 (+$70)
SR, 2.8 TD, auto 3200kg 1045kg $47,060 (+$70)
4x4 Double Cab (pick-up)
WorkMate, 2.4 TD, man 3200kg 955kg $43,990 unchanged
WorkMate, 2.4 TD, auto 3000kg 955kg $45,990 unchanged
SR, 2.8 TD, man 3500kg 920kg $46,560 (+$70)
SR, 2.8 TD, auto 3200kg 920kg $48,560 (+$70)
SR+, 2.8 TD, man 3500kg 930kg $48,560 (new)
SR+, 2.8 TD, auto 3200kg 930kg $50,560 (new)
SR5, 2.8 TD, man 3500kg 925kg $54,440 (+$50)
SR5, 2.8 TD, auto 3200kg 925kg $56,440 (+$50)
SR5+, 2.8 TD, man 3500kg 925kg $56,440 (+$50)
SR5+, 2.8 TD, auto 3200kg 925kg $58,440 (+$50)

The Competition

Volkswagen Amarok

2018 Volkswagen Amarok High Resolution Exterior
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The Volkswagen Amarok might not have the lengthy tenure enjoyed by the Toyota Hilux, but since 2010, the VW has made a big name for itself around the world. The truck comes in various trim, cab, and bed configurations, all mixed with several engine options. Its clean lines and high-class interior make it a popular choice among buyers.

The 2018 Volkswagen Amarok is powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel with several available tunes, including 160, 201, and 220 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard and an eight-speed automatic is optional. Rear-wheel drive is also standard, and like the Hilux, 4WD is optional.

Prices for the Amarok start at £24,510.00 ($34,536 U.S. Dollars) and crests at £33,650.00, or roughly $47,415.

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Amarok.

Mercedes-Benz X-Class

2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class Exterior High Resolution
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The Mercedes X-Class is the newcomer to this group but is making big waves thanks to its brand recognition. The X-Class is Mercedes’ first pickup, so it’s sort of a big deal. In reality, Mercedes turned to its partnership with Nissan-Renault in developing the X-Class. In fact, the truck rides on a modified version of the Nissan Navara’s chassis and uses the same four-cylinder turbodiesels. Sadly, the part sharing continues inside the X-Class as several dashboard pieces are clearly Nissan parts-bin items. Still, the X-Class isn’t a terrible first stab into the pickup market for Mercedes.

That Nissan turbodiesel is a 2.3-liter four-cylinder twin-turbo mill making 187 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. it’s found in the X250d model. The entry-level X220d comes with the same engine but one less turbo. Its power levels drop to 161 horsepower and 297 pound-feet of torque. Both versions come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but the X250d is offered with a seven-speed automatic. Both RWD and 4WD are available.

Prices for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class start around $37,000, putting it well above the Volkswagen Amarok, Toyota Hilux, and even the Nissan Navara.

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class.

Conclusion

2018 Toyota Hilux
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The updates Toyota has brought to is 2018 Hilux pickup were in direct response to customer input and help ensure the pickup stays ahead of its growing competition. Now with Mercedes in the game, things are getting fierce. Of course, Toyota has a lock on the fleet and budget-friendly sector of the pickup market while Mercedes attempts to find the price ceiling.

The Hilux is a legend thanks to its “unbreakable” reliability and notoriety it found on a Top Gear episode some years back. And while it’s not offered in North America, the pickup is sold about everywhere else. It’s also Australia’s most popular vehicle, just like the Ford F-150 is America’s best-selling vehicle.

  • Leave it
    • Underpowered compared to U.S. pickups
    • Growing competition

References

Toyota Hilux

2016 Toyota Hilux
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Read our full review on the 2016 Toyota Hilux.

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Read more Toyota news.

Press Release

Toyota is set to expand the appeal of HiLux for families, tradespeople and fleet buyers by adding eight new automatic variants in a comprehensive revamp of Australia’s best-selling vehicle range.

In the first significant revitalisation of the HiLux range since the launch of the current generation, the wide-ranging update also includes:

  • Three new SR extra cab-chassis variants (six-speed manual and auto) with the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine.
  • Three additional automatic Hi-Rider pick-ups - a WorkMate double-cab, SR extra cab and SR5 double cab.
  • Introduction of a WorkMate grade (auto) for the 4x4 double cab-chassis.

Toyota’s sweeping changes offer the ability for 4x4 SR double-cab pick-up buyers to specify the in-demand features of satellite navigation and alloy wheels for $2,000 - without the need to step up to the top-of-the-line SR5.

Overall, Toyota has unveiled 10 new variants which effectively replace 10 slower-selling variants, including V6-powered vehicles that account for fewer than half of one per cent of total HiLux sales.

The moves are significant as HiLux continues to set new sales records with consumer demand up 13.7 per cent to the end of August. It is well placed to become Australia’s best-selling vehicle for the second year in a row and is the only vehicle of its type to have taken the title.

Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the realignment will further strengthen the sales potential of HiLux, which has topped the market in each of the past six months and has broken monthly sales records on four occasions this year.

"We are determined to ensure a strong final quarter in 2017; but these moves are not about short-term gains, they are the result of detailed analysis of buyer trends and feedback from dealers over the past two years," Mr Cramb said.

"It is clear that HiLux buyers increasingly want the convenience of an automatic transmission, so we now offer 17 self-shifters compared with 12 previously," he said.

"Last year - for the first time - automatics accounted for more than half of all HiLux sales and this year the proportion has risen to almost 60 per cent and we expect it to increase further.

"We are also experiencing greater-than-expected demand for the two-wheel-drive Hi-Rider, so we have expanded our competitively priced offerings from three to five.

"The Hi-Rider appeals to buyers who do not require serious off-road capability, but appreciate the same rugged looks and imposing ground clearance as a 4x4 HiLux.

"All the new variants have been introduced for specific reasons; for example, SR buyers have told us they would prefer the durability and convenience of a PVC floor covering rather than carpet.

"We have reintroduced a 4x4 WorkMate double cab-chassis for those who want a value-for-money vehicle that gives them the flexibility to add a purpose-built tray that suits their needs.

"For similar reasons, we have brought back the SR extra cab-chassis in manual guise, which was available with the previous generation, and - for the first time - added an automatic version."

The updated HiLux line-up goes on sale officially from October 6; in the meantime, Toyota has improved capability, convenience and durability of its existing SR and SR5 range with minimal price changes.

SR 4x4 double cabs have increased by $70# with the inclusion of downhill assist control, PVC flooring and black door handles; other SR models have been reduced by $80# (PVC flooring). SR5 prices have risen $50# with the addition of LED foglamps. In addition, SR extra cab pick-ups and SR5 variants now have a tailgate lock.

The number of HiLux variants remains at 31 with 23 being genuine one-tonners - all 4x2 variants and all 4x4 single and extra cabs. SR5 is the highest-selling grade and accounts for more than half of all HiLux 4x4 sales.

HiLux offers the torque, driveability and fuel economy of two four-cylinder turbo-diesel engines displacing 2.4 and 2.8 litres. In 4x4 and Hi-Rider variants, the 2.8 delivers maximum power of 130kW at 3400rpm and peak torque of 450Nm at 1600-2400rpm (auto) or 420Nm (manual).

The volume-selling SR5 4x4 double cab is rated at 7.6 litres/100km* for the manual and 8.5 litres/100km for the auto.

The 2.4 turbo-diesel engine is offered on WorkMate models, delivering 110kW @ 3400rpm. Torque is 343Nm @ 1400-2800rpm for manual 4x2 single and double cabs. For the 4x2 WorkMate double cab automatic and all 4x4 variants, it offers 400Nm from 1600-2000rpm.

Fuel economy varies from as low as 7.1 litres to 7.7 litres/100km* in manual guise and from 8.3 to 8.5 litres/100km* with the six-speed automatic. Emissions are as low as 186 grams/km* for the 4x2 WorkMate double cab.

HiLux is also available with a 2.7-litre four-cylinder petrol engine on 4x2 WorkMate single and double cabs. It delivers 122kW @ 5200rpm and 245Nm @ 4000rpm with fuel economy as low as 10.4 litres/100km*.

HiLux is in its 20th year in a row as Australia’s best-selling commercial vehicle and has been Australia’s top-selling four-wheel drive for the past 12 years. In 2018, the HiLux nameplate will mark its 50th anniversary in this country.

The new range is covered by Toyota Service Advantage capped-price servicing at $180 per service (petrol) and $240 per service (diesel).

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