New looks, a new top-trim, and an improved engine under the hood make the new Hilux a better proposition than it already is

After teasers, leaks, and getting Fernando Alonso to drive the Hilux, Toyota has finally unveiled the 2020 Toyota Hilux. The truck has been launched in Europe, where the pickup truck segment is picking pace. The truck has a long history and enough credibility to make it one of the segment’s top picks. But, with growing competition, Toyota, too, had to bow down to the pressure and deliver the best it could. So, for this updated model, the Japanese automaker has introduced a new front end, better tech features and, most importantly, a more powerful 2.8-liter engine. How about that!

What’s New On The Outside?

2020 Toyota Hilux Exterior
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The front fascia is new, although no structural changes have been made. It looks bolder and more aggressive, thanks to the three-dimensional grille. The redesigned bumpers now make the fog lights much more prominent. New LED headlamps and taillights are also available. Some new graphics and elements on the side profile make the Hilux look fresh. New 18-inch machine-finished black wheels look hot. The truck was expected to feature three new colors - Emotional Red II, Dark Blue, and Oxide Bronze Metallic – but Toyota has announced just the Bronze Metallic at the moment.

What’s Different On The Inside?

2020 Toyota Hilux Interior
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Step inside the new Hilux’s cabin, and you won’t find anything drastically different from the model it replaces. The automaker has equipped a new “combimeter design” in the instrument cluster. On the tech front, a new eight-inch infotainment system with buttons and knobs marks its presence on the center console. At a time when automakers are ditching dials and physical buttons for a cleaner look, it’s good to see Toyota focusing on function over form and not go with the flow.

This system supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is a big deal for a Toyota vehicle. The other niceties include:
2020 Toyota Hilux Interior
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  • Smart Entry and Push-Button Start
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Automatic Air-Conditioning
  • Front and Rear Parking Sensors
  • Nine-Speaker JBL Premium Sound System with an 800W eight-channel Amplifier

What’s New Under The Hood?

2020 Toyota Hilux Drivetrain
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The Hilux will continue to be offered with two engine options – a 2.4- or a 2.8-liter.

No changes are made to the 2.4-liter mill as it still continues to make 148 horses at 3,400 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque between 1,600 and 2,000 rpm.

Power is sent to all the wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox that helps the truck sprint to 62 mph in 12.8 seconds. Toyota has also reduced the idling from 850 rpm to 680 rpm, which will result in better fuel efficiency and more refinement.

The 2.4-liter engine with the six-speed manual gearbox will be offered in Single Cab, Extra Cab, or Double Cab styles with a choice of two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive configuration. The six-speed automatic, on the other hand, will be offered on the Extra Cab and Double Cab body styles with only a four-wheel-drive layout.

2020 Toyota Hilux Exterior
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As for the 2.8-liter diesel engine, it witnesses a power bump. In the current iteration, this engine produces 174 horses. It makes 332 pound-feet of torque with an automatic gearbox, and when paired to a manual transmission, it dishes out 310 pound-feet of torque.

Now, however, the 2.8-liter engine churns out 201 horses, an increase of 27 ponies, at 3,400 rpm

. When paired to an automatic gearbox, the torque figure is rated at 369 pound-feet of torque between 1,600 and 2,800 rpm, and when mated to a six-speed manual, it makes 310 pound-feet of torque between 1,400 and 3,400 rpm. The truck takes 10.7 seconds to sprint to 62 mph from rest, making it 2.1 seconds quicker than the smaller-engine equipped Hilux.

2020 Toyota Hilux Exterior
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This mill can be had on Extra Cab and Double Cab body styles with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox. No two-wheel-drive option is available here. The manual gearbox, by the way, is upgraded with a lock-up range in the fourth, fifth, and sixth gears.

2020 Toyota Hilux specifications
Engine 2.4-liter four-cylinder 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel
Horsepower 148 HP @ 3,400 RPM 201 HP @ 3,400 RPM
Torque 295 LB-FT @ 1,600-2,000 RPM 369 LB-FT @ 1,600-2,800 RPM
0 to 62 mph 12.8 seconds 10.7 seconds

Improved On-road and Off-road Performance

2020 Toyota Hilux Exterior
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The automaker has mentioned that the new Hilux comes with an improved suspension system for better on and off-road performance. The leaf spring and twin shock absorber rear suspension system is revised to work as efficiently off the roads as it does on the tarmac.

Toyota has added a new electronic function that apparently replicates the effect of a mechanical limited-slip differential for improved traction on low grip surfaces in two-wheel-drive mode.

Hilux Invincible

2020 Toyota Hilux Exterior
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Toyota is introducing a new ‘Invincible’ trim on the Hilux. It will be available on the Extra Cab and Double Cab trims. These models come differentiating factors on the fog-lamp bezels, front and rear fenders, wing mirrors, and door handle. ‘Invincible’ sticker is slapped on the side of the truck bed. An XL-sized ‘Invincible’ moniker is embossed on this trim, and it looks a little too overdone, honestly.

On the inside, the Invincible trim comes with an exclusive driver’s combimeter, black metallic and black chrome trim accents, ’clear blue’ front and rear door trim illumination on the Double Cab trim, perforated leather seats, and a smart entry key.

Final Thoughts

2020 Toyota Hilux Exterior
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Toyota is even offering around 300 optional accessories like a resin sports bar, an electric aluminum roll cover, tailgate locking, a hardtop, and a 12v deck-mounted power supply, and 10 deck covers to customize this truck as per your taste. Toyota has not revealed the prices of this Hilux yet. There was no mention of the much-anticipated high-performance GR Hilux, but we hope to hear about it soon.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
About the author

New Hilux - A more powerful engine for a striking design
New, 204 DIN hp 500Nm 2.8 litre powertrain
Robust ladder-frame chassis with improved on- and off-road performance
Striking new design and enhanced on-board instrumentation multimedia technology
New, range-topping Invincible grade for leisure customers
INTRODUCTION

The new 2020 Hilux combines a striking new front design, the addition of a powerful 2.8 litre powertrain and improvements to both its on- and off-road performance with greater comfort, upgraded equipment and an expanded model range targeting Europe’s growing dual-usage, professional and leisure customers.

The pick-up segment is steadily growing in Europe. From 154,000 vehicle sales in 2015, an anticipated segment growth of some 35% will see annual pick-up sales rising to 208,000 units by 2023. Much of this growth may be accounted for by the rise of interest in the pick-up as a dual-usage, both professional and leisure market vehicle.

Toyota’s new, range-topping ’Invincible’ grade offers customers bespoke styling and the premium levels of equipment appropriate to a leisure-oriented customer base, without sacrificing any of the toughness, robustness and legendary Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) that have made Hilux the world’s favourite pick-up.

Since its initial launch in 1968, the unstoppable Hilux has proved its invincibility time and again, having conquered the North Pole, Icelandic volcanoes and the Antarctic continent, and also achieving podium finishes in the Dakar Rally in 2019.

5325 mm long, 1900 mm wide, 1815 mm high, the new Hilux Double Cab ‘Invincible’ 5mm shorter, and 45 mm wider than its predecessor. And with a load bed length of between 1525 and 2315 mm dependent on cab format, the new Hilux’s 1 tonne payload and 3.5 tonne towing capacity has now been expanded to all four-wheel drive body types - Single Cab, Extra Cab and Double Cab.

POWERTRAINS

New, more powerful 204 DIN hp 500Nm 2.8 litre powertrain for the most demanding professional and leisure Hilux customers
Upgraded 6-speed automatic transmission with expanded lock-up range
The new Hilux powertrain range has been bolstered by a new, more powerful 2.8 litre, 204 DIN hp 500Nm diesel engine, equipping the Toyota pick-up with highly competitive performance in its segment.

Targeting the most demanding professional and leisure Hilux customers, the new 2.8 litre powertrain is available in Extra Cab and Double Cab body styles, with a choice of 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions mated to 4-wheel drive, and Stop & Start fitted as standard.

Mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, the 2.4 litre unit is available in Single, Extra or Double Cab styles with a choice of 2- or 4-wheel drive. It is also available with a 6-speed automatic transmission in Extra and Double cab styles with 4-wheel drive.

The 6-speed transmission has also been upgraded. It now benefits from a lock-up range which has been expanded in 4th, 5th and 6th gear positions. The earlier lock-up improving the vehicle’s response to throttle inputs for more direct feeling acceleration.

2.8 Litre Diesel Engine

The new, Euro 6d-compliant, DOHC, 16 valve, 2755 cc diesel engine generates 150 kW/ 204 DIN hp at 3400 rpm and, with automatic transmission, 500 Nm of torque between 1600 and 2800 rpm. Maximum torque for manual transmission versions is 420 Nm between 1400 and 3400 rpm.

This new unit equipped with automatic transmission will accelerate the Hilux from 0-100 km/h in just 10.7 seconds (2.1 seconds faster than the existing 2.4 litre unit), whilst returning an average fuel consumption of 9.5 l/100 km* and CO2 emissions of 250 g/km*.

It is equipped with a common rail fuel injection system, a variable nozzle turbocharger and a water-cooled intercooler. Exhaust emissions control measures include a Diesel Oxidisation Catalyst (DOC), a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Urea Additional Injection.

Numerous features combine to maximise both power output and fuel efficiency:

The shape of the cylinder block and the water jacket, the structure of the surface-coated cylinder head gasket, the exhaust manifold and gasket materials, and the cooling fan and fan coupling have all been optimised. The resultant improvements in rigidity, cooling and sealing performance all contribute to enhanced power output.

A newly-developed heavy-duty turbocharger has been adopted. The size of the impeller and turbine wheel blades has been increased - from 48 to 58 mm for the former, and from 41.5 to 52 mm for the latter - increasing supercharged air volume.

The adoption of a ball bearing reduces friction and facilitates higher-speed turbo rotation. A newly-developed variable nozzle vane mechanism enables higher temperature exhaust gases whilst suppressing heat deformation, deterioration and oxidation, and enhances reliability.

In combination, these measures enable the new turbocharger to achieve both high output and enhanced fuel economy.

The new engine is equipped with an electronically controlled common rail injection system with a maximum fuel pressure of 250 MPa, combining high output with low fuel consumption.

Complying with new Euro 6d exhaust regulations, the adoption of a water-cooled intercooler enhances cooling performance and contributes to improved power output and fuel efficiency.

Several further measures have been adopted to enhance the fuel efficiency of the new 2.8 litre diesel unit:

The combustion chamber shape, and the pistons and piston rings, have been optimised. Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating has been added to the outer surface of the piston rings to reduce friction, and the flow of combustion gas has been slowed to reduce cooling losses.

A two-stage oil pump that can optimally switch the oil pressure has been adopted, reducing the oil pump driving force when the engine is cold or under light load, and the friction caused by piston early warm-up.

The shape of the EGR section of the intake manifold has been optimised, suppressing EGR gas variation, and the swirl control valve has been discontinued, enhancing intake efficiency.

In addition, the gas flow from the turbocharger to the catalyst is controlled, the urea Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system catalyst capacity has been increased and a PM sensor added, and a water-cooled intercooler adopted - all measures required for compliance with Euro 6d emissions regulations.

Finally, enhancing Noise and Vibration (NV) performance, the shape of the EGR section of the intake manifold and the catalytic converter insulator have both been optimised, improving the quietness of the engine.

2.4 Litre Diesel Engine

Toyota’s proven, DOHC, 16 valve, 2393 cc diesel engine generates 110 kW/ 150 DIN hp at 3400 rpm and 400 Nm of torque between 1600 and 2000 rpm. This unit coupled with an automatic transmission will accelerate the Hilux from 0-100 km/h in 12.8 seconds, whilst returning an average fuel consumption of 9.3 l/100* km and CO2 emissions of 245 g/km*.

Euro 6d-compliant, it is equipped with a common rail fuel injection system, a variable nozzle turbocharger and a water-cooled intercooler. Exhaust emissions control measures include a Diesel Oxidisation Catalyst (DOC), a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Urea Additional Injection.

In addition, the combustion chamber shape, and the pistons and piston rings, have been optimised. Diamond-Like carbon (DLC) coating has been added to the outer surface of the piston rings to reduce friction, and the flow of combustion gas has been slowed to reduce cooling losses.

Finally, a two-stage oil pump that can optimally switch the oil pressure has been adopted, reducing the oil pump driving force when the engine is cold or under light load, and the friction caused by piston early warm-up.

DRIVING DYNAMICS

Ladder-frame chassis combines outstanding durability with the torsional rigidity required in the most extreme off-road conditions
Improved on-road comfort and driveability with revised suspension and power steering systems
Enhanced off-road ability with new automatic limited-slip differential function, lower engine speed at idle for greater driver control, updated VSC system, improved accelerator response, dedicated Variable Flow Control (VFC) map for appropriated steering effort and new tyre angle monitor.
The engineering goal for the new Hilux was to maintain its legendary off-road capabilities whilst improving its on road comfort.

Safeguarding its abilities in even the most extreme off-road conditions, the Hilux is one of the few vehicles in its class to remain true to its body-on-frame architecture. Its ladder-frame chassis combines outstanding durability with the torsional rigidity required to withstand even the most severe twisting forces.

On-Road

The comfort and driveability of the new Hilux has been enhanced through improvements to the suspension, and power steering systems. The suspension which benefits from front and rear shock absorber tuning, offering both enhanced ride comfort and superior steering response.

The tough, durable leaf spring and twin shock absorber rear suspension system has been revised to combine the off-road articulation capabilities expected of a rugged 4-wheel drive workhorse with SUV-like ride comfort and handling stability.

An improved leaf spring design features a helper leaf contact point with the main leaf extended by some 6%, a vertical spring constant reduced by adding a slit, and optimised bushing. In addition, self-lubricating rubber has been adopted on the rear shackle bush, reducing friction and making the suspension stroke easier. These measures combine to offer a smoother ride with reduced impact on steps and holes.

In addition, side rigidity has been increased by the addition of a horizontal flange, which enhances steering response when cornering or changing lanes.

Variable flow control power steering enhances both steering feel and fuel economy. It offers lighter steering at low speeds for ease of vehicle manoeuvrability, and more weight at higher speeds for greater confidence and control.

The system enters standby mode when the vehicle is not being steered - such as when driving straight ahead. Hence power steering pump consumption torque is reduced, contributing to greater fuel efficiency.

Off-Road

The 4x4 Hilux’s already peerless off-road credentials have been further enhanced by the addition of a new electronic function (that can be activated in 2WD mode) replicating the effect of a mechanical limited-slip differential for improved traction on low grip surfaces in 2-wheel drive mode (available on 4WD models only); the lowering of engine speed at idle from 850 to 680 rpm and a tuned accelerator response for greater driver control; an updated VSC system; dedicated Variable Flow Control (VFC) map for appropriate steering effort, and a new tyre angle monitor.

Further reinforcing its go-anywhere credentials, the Hilux boasts class-leading minimum running ground clearance of 310 mm on Double-cabs, all-important approach and departure angles of 29 and 26 degrees respectively, and the ability to wade to a depth of 700 mm.

DESIGN AND ON-BOARD TECHNOLOGY

Striking new design for greater prestige and on-road presence
Enhanced on-board instrumentation with new, 8" infotainment screen
Upgraded multimedia technology with faster software and screen response
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone integration
The front of the new 2020 Hilux has been completely redesigned with a bold, powerfully three-dimensional new grille and front bumper treatment which significantly increases the pick-up’s road presence and strong stature, whilst reinforcing its tough, robust, go-anywhere credentials.

This striking new exterior styling is further enhanced by the availability of newly-designed front and rear LED light clusters, a new machine finish and black 18" alloy wheel design, and the addition of one new exterior colour, Bronze metallic.

The upgraded interior features a new driver’s combimeter design, and a new, 8" centre console-mounted infotainment screen which adopts mechanical buttons and dials for enhanced operability under all driving conditions. The enhanced multimedia system features faster software and screen response, and incorporates both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ for smartphone integration.

An extensive equipment list includes smart entry and push-button start, satellite navigation, automatic air-conditioning, front and rear parking sensors, and a 9-speaker JBL Premium Sound System incorporating an 800W 8-channel amplifier and CLARi-Fi technology.

INVINCIBLE GRADE AND ACCESSORIES

Range-topping Invincible grade for leisure customers
Rugged and sophisticated exterior styling provides a clear differentiation from the rest of the Hilux range line-up.
Bespoke interior detailing and grade-exclusive smart entry key
300 accessories and a choice of 10 deck covers enable customers to tailor their vehicles to their own work or leisure requirements
Invincible Grade

Top of new 2020 Hilux range and available in Extra Cab and Double Cab variants, the Invincible grade is tailored for leisure users who want the all convenience and diverse capabilities of a pick-up combined with more adventurous and sophisticated styling and the highest levels of equipment specification.

The exterior design of Invincible grade models features a more rugged and sophisticated styling which provides a clear differentiation from the Standard, Mid and High grade models that complete the Hilux range line-up.

To the front, the bold, three-dimensional trapezoidal grille design maintains Toyota’s tough pick-up DNA, but is here stylistically integrated by technical, premium elements with an interlocking skid plate for a fresh, powerful and sophisticated look.

The strong C-clamping corner architecture incorporates Invincible-exclusive fog lamp bezels, maximising visual width, whilst the high horizontal axis provides a sense of genuine capability.

Further Invincible-exclusive exterior styling details reinforce the tough, adventurous image of the vehicle. They include front and rear over fenders, door mirrors and handles, black tinting on machine-cut alloy wheels and bespoke tailgate.

On board, Invincible builds on the High grade specification with an exclusive driver’s combimeter, black metallic and black chrome trim accents, ’clear blue’ front and rear door trim illumination (on Double-cab), perforated leather seats, and even a grade-exclusive smart entry key.

Accessories

Reinforcing the exclusivity of the new Hilux range, a list of some 300 accessories and a choice of 10 deck covers enables customers to further tailor their vehicles to their own work or leisure requirements.

This comprehensive selection of accessories includes a front skid plate, or a complete front guard, scuff plates, fender protectors, alloy wheels, tubular or flat side steps, or stainless steel side bars with integral steps, and a resin sport bar or stainless steel high over bar.

Load deck accessories include a bed liner, a selection of hard tops or manual and electric aluminium roll covers, tailgate locking and a 12v deck-mounted power supply.

Sales of the new Hilux begin in Eastern Europe from August and in Western Europe in October. Please check with your local PR manager for exact details.

*WLTP cycle, pending final homologation.

Please note that values can be lower or higher depending on vehicle body, grade, and equipment.

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