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Toyota HiLux

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Australia has a proud, hard-working tradie culture and history, with a massive part of that culture being the work ute.

Fast forward to 2018 and Toyota still holds its significant place with the Australian tradie, and when we here at WTW had the opportunity to put the 2018 Toyota HiLux range to the test, we jumped at the chance

HiLux WorkMate

The WorkMate is the tough, no-fuss model of the range. It’s a real workhorse that can take on any site, no matter the conditions.

We had the 4×2 Double-Cab Pick-Up on hand to put through its paces, and we figured the best way to test the HiLux range was to run through a typical day of activities. The first test was to find out just how much equipment we could pack into the WorkMate.

Within minutes we had the tray completely packed, with more than enough tools to get us through the day’s jobs. The large tray was a great size, and the fact we had the Double-Cab meant our more valuable and essential tools – like the drop saw we didn’t want to risk in the weather – could sit perfectly across the back seat.

Next, it was time to test the 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine. We headed up the road to Australian Native Landscapes to pick up a tonne of river stones in a large Bulka bag to see how well the WorkMate would perform with a good load. As the WorkMate 4×2 diesel can take a load of up to 1240kg load in the tray, our substantial weight was a good test on the engine, brakes and suspension. After strapping down the load, we hit the road again and found we still had enough power and performance to overtake a few slower vehicles on our way to the site.

HiLux SR

The SR is the more stylish step up from the WorkMate, and the recent addition of a new grille on Double-Cab and Extra-Cab models has changed the look of the front end, giving it a more sophisticated look. We were happy to see the model also has a bigger, 2.8 litre turbo diesel engine. The six-speed auto transmission felt seamless on the road while punching out 450Nm of pulling power.

There’s an excellent range of impressive options with the SR. You can choose from pick-up or cab-chassis tray options. There are also extensive cab choices including 4×2 Hi-Rider Extra-Cab, 4×2 Hi-Rider Double-Cab, 4×4 Single-Cab, 4×4 Extra-Cab and 4×4 Double-Cab, allowing you to choose the right fit for your specific work needs and requirements.

Built ready to tackle dirty and muddy worksites with ease, the SR has a durable vinyl floor covering which allows easy cleaning after a messy day’s work. There’s no dirty carpets to clean after the first decent spot of rain on the new site.

HiLux Rogue

Next in line for us to get our hands on was the Rogue, which has successfully taken the style and strength of the HiLux range to new heights.

The interior of the model is very luxurious and packed with numerous upgraded premium finishes. It rolls on stylish, 18-inch Rogue alloy wheels, and the whole look is just impressive. The impressive look matches the impressive performance of the 4×4 2.8L turbo-diesel six-speed automatic, Double-Cab Pick-Up. From the full towing set up including tow bar, tow ball and tongue, to leather-accented interior with heated front seats and 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, the Rogue will impress in all aspects of your work life. It’ll shine whether it’s loading materials or turning up at a meeting with style.

It’s also great to know that while you’re sitting in on meetings with clients and architects, your tools in the tray are safely locked away under the very stylish and functional hard tonneau with dust-defence kit. We tackled several steep and muddy tracks while onsite and the Rogue impressed in all situations.

Unbreakable

The 2018 Toyota HiLux Range has been built tough for Australian conditions with impressive options for tradies at any stage of their career. It’s a great balance of unbreakable strength and smart, technology-based inclusions.

Toyota HiLux Rugged – Ready for Adventure

When exploring any top-of-the-line vehicle, you want to be wowed and impressed, and I can say even when just walking around the HiLux Rugged X, I was inspired with what I was seeing.

To start with there’s a new hoopless steel bullbar, with an integrated LED light bar and spread-beam driving lights, specifically designed and developed for the HiLux Rugged X. These lights have some serious power and can light up country roads like a Christmas tree.

Sitting nicely under the new front end you’ll find two more great additions, firstly a 5mm-thick, high-strength alloy bash plate, as well as two shiny red recovery points (which are also at the rear of the vehicle) to assist in either getting yourself, or anyone else, out of trouble when off the beaten track.

Other key exterior features are equipment like the snorkel which delivers cleaner and engine, and being available in the 6-speed intelligent manual transmission or the 6-speed automatic transmission. Both options are more than capable of tackling the most challenging environments.

To The Test

To see what the HiLux Rugged X had in its bag of tricks I put together one of the busiest weekends I could think of. The idea was to test the HiLux Rugged X in many challenging situations. If there were any flaws in the vehicle I was going to find them.

The weekend for us started on Friday morning with an early 6-man outrigger-canoe training session. That involved picking up the canoe and trailer at 4:30am and heading down to the local boat ramp to put the 45ft outrigger into the water. With a combined weight (canoe and trailer) of 750kg, the HiLux Rugged X effortlessly made its way to the ramp and unloaded without any sign of struggle.

Next on the to-do list was to pack the family in the car – after we’d run everyone around to their various sporting activities – and head a few hours up the coast to Stockton Beach to tackle its famous and massive sandhills.

This ute came into its own on the sand. Even in the soft stuff it relished the opportunity to show what it was capable of. Many good hills were tackled, and more importantly, this was an epic family adventure that the entire gang was buzzing from for days.

This is when vehicles like the HiLux are worth their weight in gold, creating memories of great adventures with the family.

Moving On

As Saturday quickly rolled into Sunday, the last adventure on the list was to head down to Mollymook for a solid 30km outrigger-canoe training session. With four big, burly blokes in the ute for a four-hour drive, the Rugged X was still a dream to drive on the open road. It gave impressive fuel economy* and had more than enough power to overtake, even heading uphill, and the lads were totally comfortable in the back seat. There was enough leg room, and the boys were happy to be making the trip in style.

Passed the Test

When it was time to hand back the keys I was more than impressed with what the HiLux Rugged X had delivered over the course of the non-stop activities of the weekend. Not only did it thrive in all the situations we put it in, but it produced an experience that was supremely comfortable and stylish, both inside and out.

Words and Images: Jamie Gray

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