2021 Toyota HiLux scores a 150kW/500Nm 2.8L turbo-diesel engine

ByDean MellorJune 4, 2020
2021 Toyota HiLux scores a 150kW/500Nm 2.8L turbo-diesel engine

The just unveiled 2021 Toyota HiLux scores a 150kW/500Nm 2.8L turbo-diesel engine to (almost) match its fiercest rival, the Ford Ranger.

Toyota has taken the wraps off its 2021 HiLux which features a revised 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine that now makes a claimed 150kW of power and 500Nm of torque. Towing capacity has also been increased on automatic variants while there have been suspension upgrades across the range.

According to Toyota, the 2.8L diesel engine’s peak power and torque outputs are up 15.3 per cent and 11.1 per cent respectively, and Toyota also claims a fuel economy improvement of 11.1 per cent.

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A new “meaner” front-end features a larger trapezoidal grille and LED light clusters.

In addition to the upgraded engine, the 2021 HiLux also scores a facelift with a larger trapezoidal grille up front with more pronounced horizontal elements that are claimed to deliver a wider, more planted look. The grille surrounds differ by grade, while Toyota says the newly designed headlights are smaller for a “meaner” look, while the light clusters on higher-grade models are now LEDs.
The 2021 HiLux’s retuned suspension package includes new shock-absorber tuning, new bushings and improved leaf-spring design, all aimed at providing a more comfortable ride, especially over rough roads and with light loads on board.

The towing capacity for automatic transmission 4×4 HiLux models – including new double-cab-chassis Workmate and SR5 derivatives – has been upgraded to a maximum of 3500kg, which matches the manual versions of 4×4 HiLux, as well as many class competitors.

As before, the new HiLux is available in single-, extra- and double-cab body styles in pick-up or cab-chassis configurations, and the model grades remain Workmate, SR, SR5, Rogue and Rugged X. As mentioned, new to the HiLux 4×4 range are double-cab-chassis Workmate and SR5 derivatives.

On the inside, all models now feature an 8-inch touchscreen display with enhanced voice recognition and – finally – the adoption of Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. SR and higher grades are also equipped with satellite navigation and digital (DAB) radio. There’s a new 4.2-inch multi-information display in the instrument binnacle that includes a digital speedometer and various other new functions.

2021 HiLux interior

A new 8-inch touchscreen finally gets Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity.

“More than ever, Australia’s favourite ute will inspire go-anywhere confidence for customers who rely on it as a load-carrying and trailer-towing workhorse for doing their jobs,” Toyota Australia Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said.

“Equally, the latest changes will advance HiLux’s credentials among customers who demand the handling, ride comfort and convenience of an SUV.”

The Toyota HiLux recently pipped the Ford Ranger as Australia’s best-selling 4×4 (see May 2020 VFACTS report here), recording 2800 sales in May 2020, bringing its sales tally for the first five months of the year to 12,465, compared to Ranger’s 12,314.

2021 HiLux rear end

There’s little doubt Toyota has aimed squarely at the Ford Ranger when tweaking the HiLux’s 2.8L engine, too, its 150kW/500Nm peak outputs almost the same as 2.0L Ranger’s claimed 157kW/500Nm.

Whether the changes to HiLux will be enough to keep it on top of the sales chart for the rest of the year remain to be seen, but we’ll watch with interest and bring you a road test of the revised Lux as soon as we can get our hands on one. The Australian launch is scheduled for August.