With Ford holding the reins of the ute market since about 2014, it was always going to be a case of when – not if – Toyota NZ would deliver a model to compete.
The SR and SR5 extra and double cab variants come with a similar tough looking stance first seen on the range topping SR5 Cruiser earlier this year.
The front-end design includes a bold new honeycomb grille with a chrome surround, redesigned front bumper, black bonnet garnish and chrome fog light garnish, and the SR variants get halogen fog lights.
The SR5 Cruiser variants will change to Dunlop Grandtrek AT25 tyres with white lettering to further enhance their looks.
The Hilux was introduced to the Japanese market in 1968 and exports began the following year, with the first Hilux arriving in New Zealand in 1976. Now in its eighth generation, its sales have numbered at least 18 million in 170 countries.
The Hilux was assembled at Toyota NZ’s Christchurch plant between 1983 and 1995. Today it is imported from Toyota’s Thailand plant.
Since 1976 at least 130,000 Hilux have been bought, making it NZ’s most popular one tonne ute over the last 42 years.
Sales in Australia have exceeded one million.
All variants come with an improved diesel particulate filter (DPF) system, with a DPF switch to manually initiate a burn, said to offer greater efficiency and tailored for NZ conditions.
SR variants come with a choice of six speed manual -- excluding the PreRunner and 4WD Extra Cab ute -- or an automatic transmission, 17-inch steel wheels, side steps, PVC floor covering, rear differential lock, cruise control, seven air bags, reversing camera, dot type multi-information display, halogen headlights and daytime running lights, hill-start assist control and trailer sway control
The SR5 variants also get 17-inch alloys, LED headlights, DRLs and front fog lights, a 220V power outlet, smart key entry and push button start, satellite navigation with SUNA traffic channel, climate control air conditioning with rear air vents, carpet flooring and a colour multi-information display. The SR5 manual variants get intelligent manual transmission (i-MT).
All four-wheel drive variants include all-terrain tyres, automatic disconnecting differential and 4WD switch knob to activate the four-wheel drive transmission with active traction control (A-TRC).
The double cab automatic’s get downhill assist control (DAC). The Pre-Runners also have all-terrain tyres. The SR5 Cruiser variants also have 18-inch black alloy wheels, leather accented upholstery, driver’s seat power adjustment, front seat heaters and black coloured exterior mirrors, steering wheel accent, door and tailgate handles.
The 2WD S grade variants and the 4WD SR single cab variants will continue with the current front-end design. – Mark Daniel