The updated 2020 Hilux gets a distinctly bolder face. Picture: SUPPLIED
The updated 2020 Hilux gets a distinctly bolder face. Picture: SUPPLIED

Toyota’s Hilux bakkie, SA’s best-selling vehicle, has been unveiled overseas with a facelift and a power upgrade for 2020. Most noticeable is the more muscular front end design, with a new three-dimensional radiator grille and front bumper radiating more visual venom.

The redesign also adds new front and rear LED lights and black 18-inch alloy wheels, along with three new paint colours:  Emotional Red II, Dark Blue and Oxide Bronze metallic.

On sale here since 2015, the Hilux also gets some added underbonnet muscle with a newly developed 2.8l four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine in the Double Cab and Xtra cab versions.

Outputs are hiked to 150kW and 500Nm — up from 130kW and 450Nm — to give the one-tonner decidedly gutsier performance. Apart from improved towing prowess, the updated 2.8 Hilux will now sprint from 0-100km/h in a claimed 10 seconds flat — a 1.2 second improvement.

Inside, the upgrade includes a modernised infotainment system. Picture: SUPPLIED
Inside, the upgrade includes a modernised infotainment system. Picture: SUPPLIED

Toyota says fuel consumption has been reduced up to 11% in the uprated engine.

The power is fed via a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions and rear or four-wheel drive. The 2.4l turbo-diesel and 2.7l petrol engines are unchanged.

Toyota has upgraded the suspension to improve the bakkie’s ride comfort without detracting from its off-road capability. Driveability has also been enhanced with changes to the power steering system and electronic stability control. Off-road prowess has been enhanced by a new electronic function replicating the effect of a mechanical limited-slip differential on two-wheel drive models.

The 1-ton payload and 3.5-ton towing capability have now been expanded to all four-wheel-drive body types (Single Cab, Xtra Cab and Double Cab).

The redesign adds rear LED lights. Picture: SUPPLIED
The redesign adds rear LED lights. Picture: SUPPLIED

A modernised interior sees the 2020 Hilux adopting an enhanced infotainment system with enhanced voice control, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The instrument panel is updated with a new multi-information display.

An extensive equipment list includes smart entry and push-button start, satellite navigation, automatic climate control and front and rear parking sensors.

The Hilux-based Fortuner SUV has adopted similar changes for 2020 as its bakkie sibling, including the updated infotainment, cosmetic revamp and enhanced 2.8l engine.

The facelifted Fortuner was unveiled with two different front end designs, a regular one and a sportier-looking Legender version, but it is not yet known whether both of them are headed our way.

Toyota SA says the locally developed Legend 50 package served as a life cycle refresh action for the Hilux and so the introduction of the new model is still some months away.