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2020 Toyota Hilux promises more comfort, same payload

John Law

Toyota Australia has revealed an update for the eighth-generation Hilux hot on the heels of the freshest dual-cab on the block, Isuzu’s all-new D-Max. The new Hilux will go on sale in Australia by the 27th of August.

To keep the Hilux competitive, Toyota has added interior tech, refined the styling and improved ride quality, while making some pretty severe changes to the 2.8-litre turbo diesel. 

Sean Hanley, Vice President of Sales for Toyota Australia, says the brand made changes in line with customer feedback and that they will “inspire even greater go-anywhere confidence”.

2020 Toyota Hilux SR+
The new Hilux – plenty of chrome on the SR5.

With rumblings of reliability issues plaguing this generation of Hilux, the engine updates should keep the Hilux competitive against vehicles like the Volkswagen Amarok, Nissan Navara, and Ford Ranger.

Those looked for off-road focused models like the Rogue and Rugged X will have to wait a little longer, though, those grades won’t be arriving with the first load of Hiluxes.

Outside the design is very familiar, though the front bumper has been tweaked to look a little more like the full-size Tundra, it’s most notable on upper-grade models.

2020 Toyota Hilux 2
SR and Workmate Hi-Rider get 17-inch steel wheels.

Toyota has heavily reworked the suspension for the update, with new leaf springs that are both longer and spaced further apart for a more plush unladen ride. Newly developed dampers and suspension bushes rear their heads, and there are new cabin mounts for improved occupant comfort. 

Luckily, Toyota says these tweaks haven’t affected the maximum payload of the eighth-generation Hilux, nor that crucial 3.5-ton towing capacity.

Three engines are available, the most popular and the most sold motor overall in Australia is the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel. Teamed with a six-speed auto, power climbs by 20kW to 150kW, with an impressive 500Nm of torque on tap from 1,600-2,800RPM. 50Nm more than before.

Opting for the six-speed manual sees torque limited to 420Nm, so best choose the auto if you intend to tow.  Power is up thanks to a combination of a larger turbo and higher pressure injector system.

2020 Toyota Hilux SR
50Nm more and a better EGR system is under the bonnet.

Toyota promises they’ve improved the efficiency of the EGR system for the new generation Hilux, while also upgrading the cooling system and a new cylinder head coating.

This engine does duty in models like the popular $59,920 (driveaway pricing TBA) Hilux SR5 4×4 Auto, which sees a $2,680 price increase from last year. The range-topping SR5 scores a chrome grille, new LED headlights, sidesteps and 18-inch wheels, while satnav and DAB are standard inside.

A $2,500 option package adds leather-accents and heating to the seats, electric adjustment for the driver and four-way manual adjustment for the passenger.

2020 Toyota Hilux Workmate
The Workmate, a faithful steed.

For SR trim dual-cabs, Toyota offers a $2,000 upgrade pack that nets 17-inch alloy wheels, satnav and DAB radio in addition to the standard 8-inch touchscreen with wired Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

Powering the entry-level Hilux models like the Workmate 4×2 Single Cab is a 2.7-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. That model now starts at $23,590 (driveaway pricing TBA), a price increase of $1,725, from last year, and the engine outputs are 127kW/245Nm.

Also on offer for Hilux Workmates is a torquier 2.4-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder with outputs of 110kW and 400Nm, this shares many of the updates the 2.8-litre motor sees. A Workmate 4×4 ute starts at $46,790 and shares its 3.5-ton towing capacity with the more powerful engine.

2020 Toyota Hilux SR+
The new Hilux goes on sale in late August.

The new Hilux will hit showrooms by the end of August when we’ll have a detailed test up to see if these updates all add up to a better experience