Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Toyota Hilux is back with more power, more torque, and more reasons to buy one — at least Toyota hopes so.

The updated Hilux arrives late August, with more power for the range-topping 2.8-litre turbo diesel, thanks to revised componentry and enhanced cooling.

Hilux is Australia’s best-selling motor vehicle, having topped the sales charts on many occasions.

Maximum power is up 15.3 per cent to 150kW while peak torque has been boosted by 11.1 per cent to 500Nm.

No mention of the auto, which suggests it stays at 6-speed (lagging behind the competition).

Fuel consumption, meanwhile, has been improved by up to 11.1 per cent, while accelerator response has been tuned to deliver greater driver control.

Previously, the 2.8 diesel, one of three engines offered across the lineup, produced from 125 to 130kW depending on grade, and from 420 to 450Nm of torque, again depending on grade and transmission.

The 2.4 litre diesel and 2.7-litre petrol four carry over with no change in their outputs.

The 2.4 produces 110kW/343Nm and the 2.7, 122kW/245Nm.

Toyota’s Sean Hanley said the upcoming Hilux reaches new heights in performance, toughness, comfort and quality.

“More than ever, Australia’s favourite ute will inspire go-anywhere confidence for customers who rely on it as a load-carrying and trailer-towing workhorse for doing their jobs,” he said.

“Equally, the latest changes will advance Hilux’s credentials among customers who demand the handling, ride comfort and convenience of an SUV.”

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There’s five grades — Workmate, SR, SR5, Rogue and Rugged X (the latter two were previously special editions).

Suspension upgrades include revised shocks, new bushings and improved leaf-spring design which it is claimed provide a more comfortable ride, particularly over rough roads and with low loads.

In 4×4 models with downhill-assist control, an additional traction control feature in 2WD mode reroutes torque to assist grip in muddy or grassy conditions such as worksites.

Tow capacity for automatic 4×4 versions – including new double-cab-chassis Workmate and SR5 derivatives – has been upgraded to a maximum of 3500kg to match manual versions.

On 4×2 variants, all diesel automatics are now rated at 2800kg — an increase of up to 300kg.

A stronger on-road presence is achieved through the use of a large trapezoidal grille that dominates the front.

It incorporates more pronounced horizontal elements that give the ute a wider, more planted look.

Grille surrounds differ from grade to grade, while newly designed headlights are smaller and “meaner” looking, with LEDs for higher grades.

Inside, all models get a larger 8.0-inch display screen with enhanced voice recognition and the latest smartphone functions, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

SR and higher grades also offer satnav and digital DAB radio.

A 4.2-inch multi-information display adds a digital speedo, among other things.

Personalisation remains a hallmark of the range with a wide range of accessories that allow customers to tailor their vehicles to their requirements.

CHECKOUT: Toyota Hilux: Wanna see some dirty pictures?

CHECKOUT: Toyota Fortuner: Time for some TLC?

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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