It is now on par with its segment rivals in some markets.

The new Toyota Hilux has been teased and leaked several times earlier this year, but now it's time for the official details about the newest version of the long-running pickup truck nameplate.

Launched in its home market in Thailand, where it's built for the European, ASEAN and Australian markets, the 2021 Hilux gets much-needed facelift along with its SUV twin, the Fortuner. Apart from the new look, the updates on the midsize pickup are almost skin-deep, starting with its engine.

Gallery: 2021 Toyota Hilux

As previously teased, the 2021 Hilux gets a more powerful 2.8-diesel engine, now producing 201 bhp (150 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-metres) of torque. The latter is accessible as early as 1,600 rpm. Of note, this puts the Hilux on the same ground with its rivals such as the Ford Ranger. The power output of the 2.4L diesel variant retains its current output, though.

Apart from the output updates, Toyota also claims that it reduced the Hilux's idling 850 rpm to 680 rpm to increase traction and better fuel efficiency. The suspension has been improved as well. The shock absorbers travel longer plus the leaf spring structure has been improved.

Inside, the updates aren't phenomenal, such as the new 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, but safety features have been updated for the midsize truck. Apart from the usual proximity sensors, the Hilux, at least on its top-spec trims, now comes with Toyota Safety Sense. This suite of safety toys includes the pre-collision system, dynamic radar cruise control, and lane departure alert.

Sales of the new Hilux are set to begin in Eastern Europe in July, Western Europe in October and the UK in November. Moreover, a GR Hilux is also underway, so that's another one to watch out for.

More information about the 2021 Toyota Hilux can be found in the press release below.

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New Hilux - More capable and more stylish

  • Striking new design for greater prestige and on-road presence
  • New 2.8 litre powertrain with improved on- and off-road performance
  • Enhanced on-board instrumentation and multimedia technology
  • Range-topping Invincible grade for dual-usage and leisure customers

The new Hilux combines a striking new design, the addition of a powerful 2.8 litre powertrain and improvements to both its on- and off-road performance with greater comfort, upgraded equipment and an expanded model range targeting Europe's growing dual-usage, leisure markets.

A new, range-topping 'Invincible' grade offers customers bespoke styling and premium levels of equipment, without sacrificing any of the toughness, robustness and legendary Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) that have made Hilux the world's favourite pick-up.

Since its launch in 1968, the unstoppable Hilux has proved its invincibility time and again, having conquered the North Pole, Icelandic volcanoes, the Antarctic and a win in the Dakar Rally in 2019.

Hilux's 1 tonne payload and 3.5 tonne towing capability has now been expanded to all 4-wheel drive body types (Single Cab, Extra Cab and Double Cab).

Design and On-board Technology

The face of the new Hilux has been completely redesigned with a new bold & powerful three-dimensional grille and front bumper treatment, which significantly increases the pick-up's road presence and strong stature, whilst reinforcing its tough, robust, go-anywhere credentials.

This striking new exterior styling is further enhanced by the availability of newly-designed front and rear LED light clusters, a new machine finish and black 18" alloy wheel design and the addition of three new exterior colours - Emotional Red II, Dark Blue and Oxide Bronze metallic.

The upgraded interior features a new driver's combimeter design, and a new, 8" centre console-mounted infotainment screen which adopts mechanical buttons and dials for enhanced operability under all driving conditions. The enhanced multimedia system features faster software and screen response, and incorporates both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ for smartphone integration.

An extensive equipment list includes smart entry and push-button start, satellite navigation, automatic air-conditioning, front and rear parking sensors, and a 9-speaker JBL Premium Sound System incorporating an 800W 8-channel amplifier and CLARi-Fi technology.

Reinforcing the exclusivity of the new Hilux range, a wide range of accessories will enable customers to further tailor their vehicles to their own work or leisure requirements. These include a resin sports bar, an electric aluminium roll cover, tailgate locking, a hardtop and a 12v deck-mounted power supply.

Powertrains

The new Hilux powertrain range has been bolstered by the addition of a new, more powerful 2.8 litre, 204 DIN hp* diesel engine, equipping the Toyota pick-up with highly competitive performance in its segment.

Generating 500 Nm* of torque, this new engine will accelerate the Hilux from 0-100 km/h in just 10.0 seconds* (2.8 seconds faster than the existing 2.4 litre unit), whilst returning an average fuel consumption of 7.8 l/100 km* and CO2 emissions of 204 g/km*.

Targeting the most demanding double-usage and leisure Hilux customers, the new 2.8 litre powertrain will be available in Extra Cab and Double Cab body styles, with a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions mated to 4-wheel drive.

Driving Dynamics

For the new Hilux, the engineers target was to keep legendary off-road capabilities while improving on-road comfort. To ensure extreme off-road conditions, Hilux in one of the few still true to its body-on-frame architecture which can withstand twisting forces better and more durably.

The comfort and driveability of the new Hilux has been enhanced through improvements to the suspension and power steering systems. The suspension benefits from front and rear shock absorber tuning, improved leaf spring design and new bushing to combine a smoother ride with reduced impact on steps and holes.

The Hilux's already peerless off-road credentials have been further enhanced by a new electronic function replicating the effect of a mechanical LSD (on 2WD models); the lowering of engine speed at idle from 850 to 680 rpm and a tuned accelerator response for greater driver control; an updated VSC system; and a new tyre angle monitor.

Invincible Grade

Top of new Hilux range, and available in Extra Cab and Double Car variants, the Invincible grade is tailored for dual-usage and leisure users who want the all convenience and diverse capabilities of a pick-up combined with more adventurous and sophisticated styling and the highest levels of equipment specification.

Invincible-exclusive exterior styling details include bespoke front grille and bumper, skid plate, over fender, door handle, wheel and tailgate designs.

On board, Invincible builds on the High grade specification with an exclusive driver's combimeter, black metallic and black chrome trim accents, and even a grade-exclusive smart entry key. On Double Cab, 'clear blue' front and rear door trim illumination and dual tone perforated leather seats are added to enhance the cabin appeal.

Sales of the new Hilux will begin this year in Eastern Europe in July and in Western Europe in October. Please check with your local PR manager for exact details.

*NEDC cycle, pending final homologation.