Toyota has expanded its HiLux range, for the first time offering entry-level WorkMate with automatic transmission. The new WorkMate Single Cab and Double Cab automatic models take the HiLux 4x2 range to 16 models.

The launch of WorkMate automatic is part of an overall visual and technical upgrade for the now 32-model range of Toyota HiLux 4x2 and 4x4 utilities.

The technical upgrade includes Euro IV compliance for HiLux' two VVT-i equipped petrol engines: WorkMate's exclusive 2.7-litre engine and the 4.0-litre V6.

It also includes larger front brakes and improved rear suspension for all 4x2 models, and improved front suspension across the entire range.

Toyota HiLux

HiLux WorkMate's Euro IV-compliant 2.7-litre 2TR-FE petrol engine delivers 116kW of power and 240Nm of torque (ECE).

It can be matched to a five-speed overdrive manual or four-speed overdrive automatic transmission.

Toyota offers WorkMate with the option of ABS anti-skid brakes.

In addition, all WorkMate models now have 15-inch steel wheels. These 15-inch steel wheels were previously available on WorkMate only in conjunction with the optional ABS anti-skid brakes.

The adoption of 15-inch wheels on all 4x2 models has allowed Toyota to increase the front brake size, for increased active safety.

HiLux 4x2 now has 275mm-diameter front disc rotors, in lieu of the superseded 255mm-diameter rotors.

The suspension upgrade for HiLux 4x2 includes revised valving for the front and rear dampers, to enhance response to road surface inputs, and achieve a flat, stable ride.

In addition, Toyota has revised the 4x2 model's rear suspension bushes, to reduce vibration from road surface inputs.

HiLux 4x2 and 4x4 rear suspension now features double-row, roller-type axle bearings, for improved reliability and more stable handling

HiLux' exterior changes include a new trapezoid shape radiator grille, to complement the design theme of Toyota's SUVs.

The opening of the lower grille has been enlarged to create a feeling of width and a low centre of gravity.

HiLux' new exterior features also include a new front bumper design and a new headlamp design with clear lenses for the front turn signal lamps.

High-grade HiLux 4x4 SR5 models adopt a new 15-inch alloy wheel design.

All SR5-grade models now have audio and multi-information display controls on the four-spoke leather-bound steering wheel, as well as a new design chrome/grey radiator grille in lieu of the previous body-coloured grille.

HiLux Double Cab SR5 now has the added feature of cruise control. A new metallic exterior colour has been adopted from the Kluger colour palate - Tidal Blue.

Inside, upgraded HiLux has a cover on the front passenger vanity mirror and a new shift console on all manual transmission models.

The console has been raised by approximately 30mm, to enhance the vehicle's appearance.

The light control switch and the wiper control switch have been changed to enhance operability.

Despite the added specification and fresh looks, there is no increase in the recommended retail prices for Workmate models. The new automatic transmission for Workmate is $2000.

Toyota has also maintained prices on 4x2 turbo-diesel models and 4x4 SR V6 petrol single-cab and cab-chassis models.

Although the cost of raw materials has risen sharply, price increases on other models have been kept to a minimum, averaging just one per cent.