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New 2018 Toyota HiLux range announced: Rugged, Rogue, Rugged X

2018 Toyota HiLux Rugged, Rugged X and Rogue
2018 Toyota HiLux Rugged, Rugged X and Rogue

In an effort to keep up with the Joneses, Toyota has revealed a new range of specification levels for the 2018 Toyota HiLux. Manufacturers of Australia’s best-selling vehicle have obviously realised that SR5 isn’t a high enough specification for some folk, and they need something a bit bolder to take on the likes of Ford’s Ranger Wildtrak, Holden’s Colorado Z71 and Volkswagen’s high-specced V6 Amarok Ultimate.

People buying utes these days have pretty deep pockets, and along with demanding comfort and practicality, they are looking for something a bit edgier than your average light commercial vehicle.

First things first, this is more of a bolt-on modification update to the HiLux. The tyres, suspension, engine and driveline are all the same as the rest of the HiLux range: 2.8 litres, part-time 4WD, six-speed auto or manual. Let’s have a closer at each model.

2018 Toyota HiLux Rugged

2018 Toyota HiLux Rugged, geared up with some 4WD accessories
2018 Toyota HiLux Rugged, geared up with some 4WD accessories

This one is pitched towards the 4WD enthusiast, with a steel bullbar, snorkel and black moulded wheel arches sitting over black alloy wheels. Like the other models here, this one gets an updated front look for the Hilux as well. But, without any information about additional mods, we’re saying that’s about it.

2018 Toyota HiLux Rogue

2018 Toyota HiLux Rogue
2018 Toyota HiLux Rogue, with the new-look front design on display

The HiLux Rogue is more about the fresh overall look. The new-look front end and fog lights, in particular, are visible without the barwork, and there is that typical ‘black pack’ theme happening: wheels, sports bar, side steps and grille all going dark.

2018 Toyota HiLux Rugged X

2018 Toyota HiLux Rugged X
2018 Toyota HiLux Rugged X… somebody looking for some extra offset?

This is the most hardcore of the lot, with a very progressive front-end design. Instead of the more traditional hooped bullbar on the Rugged, this ‘X’ designation gives you a hoopless steel front bumper, quite like the Rival or Rhino ones available in the aftermarket.

The front bar on the Rugged X is winch compatible, and there is also an alloy bash plate underneath and LED light bar included in the design. Some good practical mods we like to see is a snorkel and recovery points. The recovery points look like a dead ringer for ARB’s range of rated red units, but we aren’t sure if these ones are properly rated for off-road recovery just yet.

2018 Toyota HiLux Rugged X
The 2018 Toyota HiLux Rugged X will be the range-topper for the HiLux.

Pricing for these models haven’t been announced yet, and the models pictured are ‘pre-production’ (meaning they might change a bit before hitting showroom floors).

It’s great to see some proper 4WD-related options and accessories landing onto 4WDs, although I think many will be disappointed Toyota haven’t upped the ante with any extra ground clearance, or bigger off-road rubber.

What do you think? Do these new additions make the HiLux a genuine contender at the top end of the 4X4 ute market? Or have they fired too early and missed the mark?

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