They benefit from the same 20kW power, and 50Nm torque boost as the rest of the Hilux range, as well as the largely Aussie-penned, refreshed exterior appearance.
Outside, though, the Rogue and Rugged X are easy to distinguish from the cooking HiLux range, though Toyota’s designers haven’t gone as far as Ford did with the widebody Ranger Raptor.
Like the Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior and Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain, the Rogue and Rugged X are vehicles aimed at the recreational off-road user, tested extensively in harsh Australia conditions including days over 40º celsius.
One significant advancement for the 2020 Rogue and Rugged X is their increase in towing capacity by 200kg, up to the class-standard 3,500kg.
Outside, the globally sold Rogue is defined by extended black plastic wheel arches to accommodate wider tyres fitted to 18-inch alloy wheels and a redesigned front bumper which ties into the tougher aesthetic of the vehicle.
The Rogue’s tray is covered by an automated, locking tonneau cover as standard now, which we reckon is pretty neat, but it would want to be, given its $68,990 asking price.
But it’s the Rugged X that stands apart with its more aggressive dark-finished 17-inch alloy wheels shod in more off-road focused rubber. The metal front bumper retains the Rugged X’s distinctive look, with new light bezels accompanying the LED lightbar.
Beneath that front bar are recovery points and a distinctive skidplate embellished with Toyota branding. Of course, the usual decals rear their head, as do rock-sliders, uprated springs, a heavy-duty rear bumper and that unmissable snorkel for $69,990.
These are all upgrades that have had significant Australian input, too, with Toyota Australia very open to feedback from the needs of customers, the Rugged X designed to suit those who are recreational off-road buyers.
If you’re wondering how extensive that Aussie input is, Toyota Australia’s Accessories Development Manager, Harisch Karki confirmed that the brand “newly designed or redesigned and re-engineered more than 60 individual components across the HiLux and Fortuner model ranges”.
Both the Rogue and Rugged X naturally benefit from the extensive upgrades to the regular HiLux including the redeveloped 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine which has a larger turbocharger, improved cooling efficiency, even the EGR issues have been addressed.
New cabin mounts and suspension bushings are employed on the more recreationally-focused Rogue and Rugged X, too, to improve unladen ride comfort.
Toyota Australia claims that the towing experience has been improved for the new Hilux, though. The updated engine now makes more torque – 500Nm of it – across a broader spread than before of 1,600-2,800RPM.
As with the rest of the range, the six-speed torque converter automatic has been refined and boasts better converter lock-up. Why, you ask? It’s two-fold by keeping the transmission fluid cooler and providing snappier acceleration. There’s also a low-range transfer box in both the Rogue and Rugged X to aid their off-road capabilities.
Inside the more recreationally-focused utes are virtually identical to the range-topping SR5 and share that vehicle’s upgrades including a new eight-inch touchscreen with external tuning and volume knob. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a nine-speaker premium JBL stereo and two 220-volt power outlets are also standard.
There’s also leather-accented seats with electric adjustment for the driver in both the Rogue and Rugged X. The Rogue and Rugged X will join the regular HiLux in showrooms shortly.
2020 Toyota HiLux Pricing
All prices are before on-road costs
HiLux Rogue 4×4 Auto – $68,990
HiLux Rugged X 4×4 Auto – $69,990
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