The Toyota Hilux is Back, And This Time It’s Refreshed

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The updated, refreshed, facelifted Toyota Hilux pickup truck is now doing the rounds in preparation for a European launch. Like Madonna re-inventing herself, Toyota has also tried to reinvent the Hilux for a 2021 pushback. And it has to because the Ford Ranger is leaving the Hilux stuck in the mud. On Sales alone the Ford Ranger sold over 52,000 units in 2019 across Europe. By comparison, the Hilux sold 38,000 units. The Toyota Hilux once looked so untouchable that many thought it’s pickup supremacy would ever be challenged.

Faced with stiffer competition, the 2021 Hilux refresh will not be enough to halt a decline in popularity. But let’s take a look at what the refresh offers. Unsurprisingly the Hilux has had an increase in engine performance. The 2.8-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine now churns out 201 bhp and 500Nm of torque (368 lb-ft). The smaller capacity 2.4-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel also receives a performance boost and now produces 148 bhp.

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The manual six-speed transmission is standard. Depending on the model or personal specification the six-speed automatic is standard for 4-wheel drive variants. Why is Toyota still offering a six-speed auto-transmission? the Ford Ranger Double Cab has a 10-speed auto transmission. Efficiency Toyota, efficiency!

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On the outside, The Toyota Hilux receives minor design styling upgrades, new LED headlights, rear taillights, revised front, and rear bumper designs. On the inside equipment, levels include a new 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to boot. The interior design is larger unchanged. However, Toyota always offers a good amount of standard equipment.

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Underneath, the suspension has been revised all-round, retuned shock absorbers, revised leaf-springs, new bushings, and a revised steering are designed to offer a more compliant ride.

But are these revisions enough? Temporary is the answer. While we will never beat a drum on behalf of Ford (due to the deranged lunatics who inhabit the Ford UK press office) even we have to admit the Ford Ranger is the Pickup Truck we would go for right now.


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