2023 Toyota HiLux launches this year with upgraded flagship from Rogue

Australia’s best-selling new vehicle is getting a facelift in late 2022, featuring a revised flagship Rogue with rear disc brakes and a wider track – plus technology upgrades to the best-selling SR5.

The 2023 Toyota HiLux will see the introduction of major upgrades across its range, with key safety technology added for high-end models, and two overhauled flagship variants – one of which could be a GR Sport HiLux.

Expires at the end of 2022, the HiLux range will be updated with key blind spot safety technology – including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic warning and a 360-degree camera – and immobilizer for the SR5, as well as trim changes for the SR.

Prices will increase as part of the updates, with Toyota dealers recommended increases between $600 and $1400 earlier this year — but it’s unclear whether the new Rogue will be included.

The headliner of the 2023 upgrades, however, is an overhauled Rogue model – one of two new flagships, the other replacing the Rugged X with a “new apex off-road model”, possibly with GR Sport badges.

The 2023 HiLux Rogue will benefit from 140mm wider front and rear tracks and a 20mm higher ride height, providing better on-road stance and improved on-road and off-road dynamics.

It also introduces ventilated rear disc brakes for the first time in the current generation HiLux range, replacing drum brakes – while increasing front disc brakes by 25mm.

The rear disc brake upgrade brings the Toyota HiLux in line with the new generation Ford Ranger, as well as the old and new Volkswagen Amarok, and the more affordable LDV T60, GWM Ute and SsangYong Musso.

The rest of the ute market — including the Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton, Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 — is left with rear drum brakes, which are cheaper but still fairly effective.

Toyota’s media bulletin makes no mention of the rear disc brakes – nor the upgraded front brakes – spreading to lower variants in the range, including the best-selling SR5.

There’s no more power to use the new brakes, though, with the current HiLux 150 kW/500 Nm 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel to transfer, with a standard six-speed automatic on the Rogue class.

A diesel V6-powered Toyota HiLux to compete with Ford’s new 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 Ranger is unlikely before the next-generation model arrives, expected around 2025.

To accommodate the wider track of the new Rogue, Toyota says the front suspension arms have been lengthened, the rear axle lengthened, the rear dampers moved further towards the wheels, and, for the first time on a HiLux, a rear stabilizer (anti- roll bar).

Combined with a 20 percent increase in roll stiffness, Toyota says the updated Rogue offerings “[improved] steering feel when cornering and changing lanes”

The wider wheels and tires — which appear to have been adopted from today’s Rogue, with Dunlop tires and 18-inch wheels — include wider fender flares, new fenders and a “front body extension.”

The current HiLux Rugged X will be discontinued and a new “apex off-road model” will be added at a later date – all further details will be announced “in due course”.

Above: Japanese HiLux GR Sport.

While it’s not yet confirmed, this new off-road flagship could carry the GR Sport branding – but it’s unclear which of the four GR Sport HiLux models will be available overseas (Japan,Thailand, Europe and South Africa) on which it would be based.

In addition to the upgraded flagship variants, the double-cab versions of the Toyota HiLux SR5 will feature new safety technology – blind spot monitoring, rear intersection warning and a 360-degree camera – in line with its major rivals.

While these features are standard on every Isuzu D-Max, Mazda BT-50 and Ford Ranger, they are only fitted to the HiLux SR5 double cab – as well as the Rogue above it – with lower-cost WorkMate/SR models, and the SR5 Extra Cab to to miss.

Also new for the 2023 HiLux SR5 (and Rogue) double cabs are courtesy lights on the door mirrors – replacing the heating function – and a new ID Box anti-theft protection system on automatic versions, replacing the steering column lock.

Meanwhile, the extra cab and twin cab SR models get 17-inch black alloy wheels to replace steel wheels, along with new body-colored door handles.

The 2023 Toyota HiLux range is expected to hit Australian showrooms in Q4 2022 (October to December). Dealers are reporting the first arrivals in October, after production starts next month.

Prices will be confirmed closer to launch, but dealers have been warned to expect increases between $600 and $1400.

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website Redline. He contributed to Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019 and becoming a regular contributing journalist on the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role in Alex’s life, from browsing car magazines as a young age to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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