Pick-up trucks in recent times have pushed the envelop of comfort to the point where it’s almost as good as something like an SUV to live in day-to-day. Sure, there are always the workhorse variants on the lower end, but more often than not, manufacturers are also now offering a top-of-the-range model – like the Toyota Hilux Rogue here – that will seriously challenge our car buying preconceptions.
Because not only does it look good (in my personal opinion anyway), Toyota has also made several key improvements to the new Hilux range to make it much more suitable as a daily vehicle. Firstly, the suspension set-up has been tuned with reworked dampers and bushings to mitigate most of the penalty in comfort from the leaf suspension.
As an added bonus, the new cabin mounts on the body-on-frame chassis has also significantly reduced tyre rolling noise inside the passenger quarters of the Hilux, making long highway journeys that much more bearable. Though, it must be said that the roar of the 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine is still quite apparent when you put your foot down.
And then there are the “toys”, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and even Toyota Safety Sense advanced driver assistance systems – the latter, exclusive to the Hilux Rogue, features autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning with yaw control correction, as well as adaptive cruise control with overtake assist.
Power wise, the 2.8-litre inline-four turbodiesel engine received a bump in output to 204 hp and 500 Nm of torque, which is definitely noticeable especially at lower engine speeds. Aside from the higher output though, the engine modifications also resulted in better fuel economy (4% improvement on the 2.8-litre engine, according to Toyota), and an extended service interval from 5,000 km/3 months to 10,000 km/6 months.
But more importantly – how does the Toyota Hilux Rogue drives, and can it stand up to segment benchmarks such as the Mitsubishi Triton and the Ford Ranger? Well, watch on to see what we thought during our short media test-drive session!