New Toyota Hilux – Asco Motors

While we’re only just getting used to Toyota’s seems the company has had something interesting going on elsewhere. Thailand will soon be welcoming a refreshed and revised Hilux to the market, sporting a brash new face and a new trimline to do battle in the fiercely-competitive Land of Smiles.

Just two years have passed since the eighth-generation was introduced in the Thai market, and while we’ve gotten a kit update a year after local introduction, it appears that Thailand’s required a more significant rework. If that front end looks familiar to you, then you may have spent far too much time looking at the new Toyota Tacoma, a US-exclusive ute of about the same size. The Hilux gains the Tacoma’s hexagonal grille that’s probably not the last word in subtlety, as well as a new bumper and fog-light surrounds.

The new face isn’t applied across the range though, as it appears that it’s only being offered with the all-wheel drive and premium rear-wheel drive variants, with the rest of the range getting the face we’re more familiar with. There are no other aesthetic changes to report externally, with the rest of the car staying identical to the model it supersedes.

Kit on offer hasn’t changed either, and neither has interior trim and design. However, there’s a new variant on offer at the top of the Hilux range in Thailand. Called the ‘Rocco,’ it’s offered exclusively as a double-cab ute with the 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine, albeit in two- or all-wheel drive variations. Rocco trim adds things like a grey rear bumper, black trim around the wheel arches, black 18-inch alloys, a fancy-looking sports bar and bed lining, ‘Rocco’ graphics al over the place, and a black interior.

The Thai market continues to offer the two turbodiesel units we’re familiar with here (in 2.8 and 2.4 guises) as well as the 2.7-litre atmo petrol engine that we no longer get. While most of this is of little consequence to our market without context, comments made previously by Toyota top management suggests that perhaps the Rocco could make its way to our market, just a little differently.

In the face of the impending The Ford Ranger Toyota reckons that it might be on the back foot as far as securing a slice of the lucrative high-performance ute segment.Enjoy the comfortable sales despite its price premium, while the Ranger Raptor promises a very different take on this highly desirable niche. 

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