Hilux, Toyota's heroic pick-up, is to benefit from a raft of styling, technical and equipment upgrades for 2009, making it an even stronger proposition in the work/leisure/adventure crossover market.

Increasing popularity across Europe has seen Hilux command a 22 per cent share of its market segment, while in the UK the sixth generation model achieved an increase of more than 70 per cent in sales in 2007, with sales to date this year up by almost five per cent and ranked number one in segment sales in July and August.

With the benefit of new features, fresher styling and revised powertrains, even better performance is anticipated for 2009, with a target of around 8000 UK sales. The 2009 Hilux will go on sale in the UK towards the end of this year.

Toyota Hilux 2009, 1 of 3
Toyota Hilux 2009, 2 of 3
Toyota Hilux 2009, 3 of 3

EXTERIOR STYLING The 2009 Hilux is easily identified by new front-end styling that reflects the tough character of Toyota SUVs, with a new trapezoidal grille and grey plate bar. There is also a redesigned bumper, with larger, wider opening to give the impression of a low centre of gravity.

Strong, muscular lines flow back from the bonnet to the rear of the vehicle, with new-design 15-inch alloy wheels for the 3.0 D-4D Double Cab HL3 and 17-inch alloys for the Double Cab Invincible.

The range continues to offer three body styles: the Single Cab workhorse; the Extra Cab, with additional seating capacity; and the Double Cab, which achieves a strong balance of everyday practicality, 4x4 driveability and passenger vehicle levels of comfort and safety.

Extra and Double Cabs are now fitted with a lockable tailgate for use when the vehicle is fitted with a hardtop and a revised range of accessories is available for owners to give their Hilux both plenty of extra style and practicality.

Two new metallic body colours are available – Island Blue and Graphite Grey – and dark-tinted rear privacy glass is now provided as standard on Double Cab HL3 models and above.

[MEDIA=22]

INTERIOR UPGRADE Toyota has gone further to create a feeling of passenger car comfort inside Hilux. The new four-spoke steering wheel includes integrated fingertip controls for the audio system and multi-information display and the wheel and gear knob gain a leather trim on HL3 models and above.

The instrument cluster and controls for the wipers and lights have been improved and a better ergonomic design has been adopted for the shift console in versions with manual transmission.

A new automatic air conditioning system has been introduced, with intuitive push-button controls and a digital display showing the selected temperature, vent and air inlet mode. A highly efficient filter removes dust and pollen from air passing through the unit.

The 3.0 D-4D Double Cab benefits from new sports seats that give both added comfort and support – upholstered in leather in the Invincible.

NEW FIVE-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION A new five-speed automatic transmission is available in the 3.0 D-4D Hilux Double Cab, giving smoother performance and better efficiency than the previous four-speed unit.

The transmission uses artificial intelligence, developed by Toyota, to adapt the gear shift pattern according to driving conditions, monitoring both driver inputs and road factors such as up and downhill gradients.

The 169bhp (171 DIN hp) 3.0 D-4D engine gives the Double Cab Hilux a market-leading power-to-weight ratio. Performance has been strengthened in the automatic version with an increase of 17Nm in maximum torque to 360Nm, available all the way from 1,400 to 3,400rpm.

A sophisticated swirl control system optimises the air-fuel mixture at low engine speeds, increasing the amount of torque available without the need for a heavier throttle. As well as giving class leading emissions, combined CO2 of 236g/km, the system improves fuel efficiency with combined cycle figures for the automatic increased from 30.1 to 31.7mpg.

RIDE AND HANDLING Adjustments have been made to the suspension to ensure stable and reliable handling, with new double-row roller-type rear axle bearings and more responsive valve structure on the front shock absorbers. Road surface vibration is already low thanks to the suspension design's inherent high torsional stiffness, but a further reduction has been achieved with the deployment of new bushes.

EXTRA EQUIPMENT FEATURES Improvements to the standard specification for Hilux reflect the increasing demand for the car for dual purpose personal/leisure transport and professional/work use. The result is a vehicle that offers a comfortable and relaxed cabin environment, together with dynamic and safety systems for driving pleasure and security.

The 2.5 D-4D Single Cab, Extra Cab and HL2 Double Cab are the true workhorses of the range and retain their current specification, which includes electric windows, air conditioning, alarm, remote central locking, driver and front passenger airbags and ABS.

The 2.5 and 3.0 D-4D Double Cab HL3 gain a leather trimmed steering wheel with audio controls, automatic air conditioning, sports front seats (3.0D-4D only), privacy glass and new-design 15-inch alloy wheels.

At the top of the range, Hilux Invincible raises its premium quality with the addition of new 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 265/65R17 tyres and leather upholstered sports seats. Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is also introduced as a standard feature.

SAFETY Double Cab models enjoy better passive and active safety with the addition of VSC, (Invincible only) side airbags for the driver and front seat passenger and curtain airbag protection for front and outer rear seat occupants (3.0D-4D only).

Hilux also gains larger brakes with 297mm diameter ventilated front discs and 295mm drums for all four-wheel drive models, apart from the Invincible with VSC, which has 319mm ventilated front discs.

NEW HILUX FEATURES AT-A-GLANCE

SINGLE CAB

EXTRA CAB/DOUBLE CAB HL2

DOUBLE CAB HL3

DOUBLE CAB INVINCIBLE

Locking tailgate

-

Four-spoke steering wheel with audio controls

-

-

Headlamp cleaners

-

Leather steering wheel and gear knob trim

-

-

Manual air conditioning

-

Automatic air conditioning (3.0 only)

-

-

Sports front seats

-

-

Leather seats

-

-

o

Dark-tinted rear privacy glass

-

-

New-design 15-inch alloy wheels

-

-

-

New-design 17-inch alloy wheels

-

-

-

Front side and curtain airbags (3.0 only)

-

-

Vehicle Stability Control

-

-

-

o = Option