When we think of Toyota icons, we tend to think of vehicles like the Prius, Land Cruiser, or perhaps the Corolla, the world's best-selling nameplate. But entire towns have been built and many wars have been fought on the back of Toyota's Hilux pickup. Celebrated the world over for its legendary ruggedness and anvil-like reliability, it's been the workhorse of choice everywhere from Africa to Antarctica for decades. In other words, the debut of a new Hilux qualifies as a genuinely important development in global transportation.
And while this isn't an all-new model, there are a raft of changes worth noting for the new year. Starting with the obvious, the 2012 Hilux receives a completely new front clip, including new fenders headlights, bumper, hood, and three-bar grille. Additional changes include updated rear fenders, as well as new mirrors and alloy wheel designs.
Inside, the changes are mostly minor, though there's a new upper dashboard piece and an available 6.1-inch touchscreen multimedia system. Beyond that, Toyota cites "greater colour consistency throughout" and some silver trim bits as key changes.
Underhood, the diesel-powered two-wheel-drive Hilux 2.5 D-4D gets a new variable nozzle turbo to boost power to 144 horses (+24) and 253 pound-feet of torque, all while lowering fuel consumption.
Overall, the Hilux is available in three bodystyles with two engines and transmissions, along with two- or four-wheel drive. Check out our high-res gallery below and learn more in the official press release after the jump.
Hilux 2012, new design and more power
The renowned Toyota Hilux continues to dominate European pick-up sales. Vehicle sales totalled 21,866 in 2010, representing almost 25% of the market share. This makes the Toyota pick-up the segment sales leader for the third consecutive year.
With the launch of the Hilux 2012, Toyota introduces a new design and further improves the model's renowned quality, durability and reliability.
The Hilux 2012's new interior has been extensively revised with a refined design which reinforces the pick-up's credentials as a leisure vehicle. It offers improved sensory quality throughout the cabin, and passenger car levels of convenience.
The interior features a new upper dashboard design in which a new, horizontal centre instrument cluster reinforces the breadth and roominess of the cabin. It incorporates Toyota Touch, a 6.1", full colour, touch screen multimedia unit.
Perceived quality has been significantly improved through the adoption of uniformly darker finishes with a greater colour consistency throughout the interior, and the addition of silver ornamentation.
The front of the Hilux 2012 is entirely redesigned from the A pillar forwards, with a new bonnet, radiator grille, headlamps and front bumper. The vehicle profile is further enhanced by newly designed front and rear wings, redesigned 15" and 17" steel and alloy wheels, and new door mirrors.
In order to create a stronger differentiation between 'workhorse', 'dual usage' and 'leisure' versions, the Hilux 2012 is now available in four grades: DLX, the new DLX+, SR and SR+.
Fulfilling a 'workhorse'/'dual usage' role, the brand new DLX+ grade is available with 2WD or 4WD 2.5 D-4D powertrains mated to a manual transmission in Single Cab, Extra Cab and Double Cab body styles, and with a 4WD 3.0 D-4D powertrain and manual transmission as a Double Cab only.
With a choice of three body types, two engines, manual and automatic transmission and two- or four-wheel drive, Europe's pick-up of choice now satisfies the requirements of an even wider professional and leisure customer base.
Through the introduction of variable nozzle turbocharging, Hilux 2012 2WD 2.5 D-4D models benefit from a 24 hp increase in power. The engine now develops 144 hp at 3600 rpm and 343 Nm of torque at 2000 rpm.
Despite this power increase, combined cycle fuel consumption has been reduced by 1.0 l/100 km to 7.3 l/100 km and CO2 emissions lowered by 26 g/km to only 193 g/km.
In addition, Hilux 2012 2WD versions are now equipped with the more robust chassis design of 4WD models. This not only improves vehicle ground clearance, but also increases the two-wheel drive models' towing capacity to 2.5 tons.
Thanks to the adoption of a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) both 2.5 D-4D and 3.0 D-4D engines are now EURO V compliant.
Produced at Toyota Motor Thailand and Toyota South Africa Motors, the Hilux 2012 will be available in 36 European countries, and more than 135 throughout the world.
With anticipated European sales of almost 26,000 units in 2011, the Toyota Hilux success story is set to continue.