Toyota HiLux 2020 Review
Toyota HiLux 2020 - The Best Just Got (a Little) Better
Australia's top-selling ute is expected to continue dominating the 2020 sales charts with its new safety upgrades.
While the car’s exterior and interior designs are roughly the same as its predecessor, the MY20 model will feature new advanced safety gear from its Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) technology. These include auto emergency braking (AEB) as standard across the range. Other advanced driving features that are expected to be included in its top-spec trims include the lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, auto high-beam headlights, road sign detection, and AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection.
HiLux 2020 is the first ute to score five stars in the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) crash testing under a stricter 2019 criteria.
However, ute enthusiasts who are looking for an advanced infotainment system or a more powerful engine will need to wait for a broad facelift. The latest model still doesn’t have an Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The engine/transmission combinations and trim levels are also unchanged—2.7 petrol, 2.4DT or 2.8DT engines for its Workmate, SR, SR5, Rugged, Rogue and Rugged X trims.
Meanwhile, reports of MY20 featuring new colours and interior treatments have surfaced. The confirmation, however, will be made when the car finally arrives in the Australian showrooms in August.
Toyota HiLux 2020 Aggregated Reviews
CarAdvice.com.au (SR d/cab 4x4 auto) - 7.8/10
CarsGuide.com.au (SR5) - 7.4/10
CarsGuide.com.au (Rugged X) - 3.5/5 (Daily Driver) and 4.5/5 (Tradie)
Exhaustnotes.com.au (SR and SR5) - 7.2/10
- Improved safety suite
- Classic industrial look and rugged appeal
- Plenty of trims to choose from
- Powerful engine and towing capacity
- Robust constructions of cabin and switchgear
- The suspension works efficiently when loaded up
- Great off-roading capabilities
- Outdated media suite
- Old, difficult-to-navigate menus
- No dial for volume control on tech
- Jiggly suspension
- Short six-month service intervals
The exterior of HiLux 2020
Hilux 2020 will look nothing less like its previous models. Some minor changes, however, are installed like new front grille full of black gloss plastics and with more chrome details, new metal bullbars, LED lights on the front and rear end, and new alloy wheels (15-inch on the SR Class Double Cab models and 17-inch on the Double Cab SR-X class). A ton of optional accessories is also available, including roof-racks, snorkel, alloy bullbar, hard tonneau cover, and dashcam.
The bumpers also have a larger and wider aperture while the skirts extend further to the rear. Top-spec trims get extra chrome on the grille, door handles, bumpers, and flashy 18-inch alloys.
The standard low ride 4x2 single-cab cab-chassis and double-cab 2.4-litre turbo diesel models are replaced with WorkMate hi-rider versions that share the same ride height and body and engine configuration with HiLux 4x4 models. The shift to hi-rider spec across all trims means that all models now have a six-speed manual.
Inside the HiLux 2020
The inside of MY20 is generally the same as the 2019 model, although there are more hard plastic surfaces and a little design on the swept dashboard. Generally, the cabin offers a comfortable ride, thanks in part to the leather seats and the padded trim for the driver on the door cards.
A few annoyances have remained unaddressed like the lack of dial for volume control on tech and the fact that the drivers could smack their knees into the housing for the 4x4 transfer switch. The suspension is also jiggly, like in most commercial vehicles.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Toyota HiLux 2020 will come with Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) suite of technology, which makes the car safer and easier to drive. These new safety additions include auto emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, auto high-beam headlights, road sign detection and warning. Some trims may also have a more advanced AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection. At this point, it is not confirmed if the tech pack will be offered as standard or as an option.
To accommodate the speed sign recognition display, the 4.2-inch multi-function display will be standard across all ranges. However, the infotainment system remains outdated than rival utes. It continues to have difficult-to-navigate menus and still doesn’t have an Apple CarPlay and Android connectivity.
What's it like to drive a HiLux 2020?
The car’s heavy-duty suspension is designed primarily for carrying heavy loads—It can be too firm when driven empty of with only light loads. This flaw is most noticeable on patchy secondary roads, where the car bounces over bumps and corrugations.
"It’s overly bouncy and unnecessarily harsh, given that its Ford Ranger nemesis has struck a sweeter compromise with a more car-like ride quality when empty or lightly loaded. And let’s face it – most high-end utes are driven this way most of the time”, says CarsGuide Contributor Mark Oastler.
Loaded with its maximum payload, however, HiLux returns with a desirable sprung-to-unsprung weight ratio.
“It floated over bumps and smoothed out road irregularities with commendable poise and comfort. The engine’s 450Nm of torque was also ample for our 13 percent gradient 2.0km set climb, easily pulling third gear at 2500rpm with the light throttle all the way to the summit.”
"Cabin noise suppression is excellent, although, at highway speeds, there is noticeable wind buffeting caused by the large engine intake snorkel mounted to the driver’s windscreen pillar. At these speeds, the active cruise control works a treat, along with the overdriven fifth and sixth gears which ensure relaxed and economic engine performance with only 1600rpm at 100km/h and 1750rpm at 110km/h. The lane-keeping alert with steering assist function is also effective, even though it tends to be overly enthusiastic in its response."
Who’s the HiLux 2020 for?
Free of the superfluous, the vehicle is fit for practical and no-nonsense people who mean business, like the hardworking tradies, farmers, movers, and business owners who usually transport and haul heavy loads. They also work well for those who love to go on off-road trips.
With the safety upgrade in its latest model, it is expected to become more popular among small families and individuals who like to drive strong, large, and fast vehicles.
Price: $22,325 to $64,490
Dimension: 1550mm long, and 1520mm wide (crops down to 1110mm between the wheel arches)
Engine: 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine
AV and Tech: 7.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with built-in nav; Toyota Safety Sense (TSS)
Payload Capacity: 955kg
Towing Capacity: 750kg unbraked and 3200kg braked
Safety: 5-star ANCAP rating
Warranty: 5 years/Unlimited km warranty
Range: Workmate, SR, SR5, Rugged, Rogue and Rugged X
Rivals: Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, WV Amarok, Nissan Navara
Can't wait to get your hands on the wheel of HiLux 2020?