Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Toyota HiLux 2023 review: Rogue - off-road test

The new Toyota HiLux Rogue is the top-spec variant in the HiLux line-up given the Rugged X has been discontinued and the range-topping GR Sport isn’t due to arrive here until later this year.

The Rogue has new suspension onboard and is now wider, taller and – Toyota reckons – it’s tougher than the previous-generation Rogue. 

But is it really a serious rival to the likes of Ford's Ranger Wildtrak, the Nissan Navara Warrior, or even something like the pace-setting Ford Ranger Raptor? 

Read on.

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

The HiLux 4x4 Rogue 2.8L turbo-diesel automatic double-cab pick-up has a manufacturer suggested retail price of $70,200 (excluding on-road costs), correct at time of writing.

Standard Rogue features include an 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system (with sat nav, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), a nine-speaker JBL sound system, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, a front cooler box, a marine-grade carpeted tub, a sports bar, LED tray lights and an electric roller cover.

  • The Rogue wears 18-inch alloy wheels. (image credit: Marcus Craft) The Rogue wears 18-inch alloy wheels. (image credit: Marcus Craft)
  • Inside is a 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system. (image credit: Marcus Craft) Inside is a 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system. (image credit: Marcus Craft)

The Rogue is available in a variety of colours: 'Glacier White', 'Frosted White', 'Silver Sky', 'Feverish Red', 'Graphite', 'Eclipse Black', 'Saturn Blue', 'Nebula Blue', and our test vehicle's 'Oxide Bronze'.

So, what’s big news with this new generation? Well, the Rogue has a new suspension set-up, which includes a wider front stabiliser bar (to suit the new wider front end), stretched front lower control arms, a wider rear differential housing, and, for the first time in a HiLux, a rear stabiliser bar. 

The Rogue has always looked ready for adventure. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The Rogue has always looked ready for adventure. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

It now has a wider wheel track front (1670mm) and rear (1705mm), and a taller stance than before, yielding 20mm more ground clearance.

This re-engineering work is aimed at giving the Rogue more composed ride and handling on-road, but does it amount to any capability boost off-road? Continue reading to find out. 

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design?

In terms of dimensions, the Rogue is 5320mm long (with a 3085mm wheelbase), 2020mm wide, and 1870mm high. It has a listed kerb weight of 2256kg.

The Rogue has always looked ready for adventure, and now even more so with the wider wheel track, which gives it a more aggressive posture – and its ride height has been boosted by 20mm, so it stands a bit taller. 

The Rogue now has a wider wheel track front and rear. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The Rogue now has a wider wheel track front and rear. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

Beyond that all-round chunkier look, the Rogue gets some variant-specific styling, such as the pronounced wheel arch mouldings, side steps and sports bar. 

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside?

The Rogue’s cabin is more functional than fancy, but, having said that, the black leather-accented trim adds a nice level of low-key class to the interior.

The look and feel is very familiar because it is after all the HiLux cabin we all know so well, just dressed up a little bit. Frankly, it’s all starting to feel a bit old, but I don’t mind it.

The Rogue’s cabin is more functional than fancy. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The Rogue’s cabin is more functional than fancy. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

There are plenty of durable hard plastic surfaces, numerous storage spaces, a reasonable number of charging points up front – single USB port up front as well as two 12V sockets and a 240V socket inside the centre console.

The driver’s seat is power-adjustable and quite comfortable without ever straying into plush territory.

The front seats are quite comfortable. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The front seats are quite comfortable. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

Apple CarPlay was easy enough to get hooked up to the Rogue’s multimedia system, but the screen is too small, and overall the Rogue feels a bit underdone in terms of the tech on offer.

In the rear seat, there aren't a lot of surprises, either. It's more a space suited to accommodating three children or two adults. 

Rear passengers have a reasonable amount of space. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) Rear passengers have a reasonable amount of space. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

As for storage in that row: there are bottle holders in each door, and there’s a dual cupholder in the fold-down centre armrest.

There’s a reasonable amount of space – head-, knee- and legroom – for rear-seat passengers.

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its engine and transmission?

The Rogue has a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, producing 150kW and 500Nm. It is only available with the six-speed automatic transmission.

This is a proven engine-and-gearbox combination, with plenty of low down torque, and in overall performance terms, it’s capable of holding its own against such rivals as the Ford Ranger and the Isuzu D-Max.

The 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine produces 150kW/500Nm. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine produces 150kW/500Nm. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

It has part-time four-wheel drive with high- and low-range gearing. It also has a rear diff lock.

Driving – What's it like to drive?

On-road the Rogue isn’t ordinary, but it’s less refined and composed than the likes of Ford Ranger Wildtrak or Raptor, or even something like the Nissan Navara Warrior.

It’s still a firm-riding ute but the re-engineered suspension gives the Rogue a more settled driving feel on sealed surfaces.

Key upgrades are stabiliser bars front (widened) and rear (new for Rogue), extended control arms and lower strut arms moved further outwards (which has altered the spring and dampener angle for better functionality), as well as wider wheel track (there’s now a 35mm difference between front and rear).  

This is still a fair bit off Wildtrak-esque composure, but it certainly handles corners with more flat attitude than a standard HiLux.

Stopping power is also new for the Rogue in the form of disc brakes on every wheel; 338mm at the front and 312mm at the rear. 

The Rogue is the HiLux line-up’s most off-road-focused variant. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The Rogue is the HiLux line-up’s most off-road-focused variant. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

I executed two ‘watch out for that roo!’ emergency-braking manoeuvres (trademark: me) – first on bitumen, then on a loosely-gravelled, dirt track – and on both occasions the brakes bit accordingly, bringing the HiLux to a swift and precise stop. Spot-on.

Also new to this newest Rogue are 18-inch alloy wheels, rather than the 17s on the previous-gen Rogue. No big issue there, but many Rogue off-road tourers will likely replace that wheel-and-tyre combination with a 17-inch set soon after purchase. More about that later.

While there have been some improvements to noise, vibration and harshness levels over previous HiLuxes, some engine noise does creep into the new-gen cabin, especially once you get onto dirt roads. 

There are no powertrain changes to this HiLux and that's fine because the engine and transmission – the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel and six speed auto – work well together, having been fine-tuned over the past few years into a team-up that, performance-wise, may not match something like the Wildtrak, but certainly has improved.

Along the gravel tracks and dirt roads on the way to our unofficial 4WD testing ground, the suspension-enhanced Rogue still became skippy over unsealed surfaces which were pockmarked with potholes and minor corrugations. 

The HiLux’s approach (31 degrees) and departure (23 degrees) angles are adequate. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The HiLux’s approach (31 degrees) and departure (23 degrees) angles are adequate. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

But we weren’t carrying much gear, at all – barring a vehicle-recovery kit, air compressor, first-aid kit, a set of four MaxTrax and a few tools – so you can forgive it for exhibiting the usual unladen ute jitters.

In terms of low-range 4WDing, the Rogue hasn’t lost a step. It has the four-wheel drive mechanicals, sound low-range gearing and engine braking, plenty of torque across a broad rev range, and it has a precisely calibrated off-road traction control system that helps to make light work of tough terrain. You also have the rear diff lock at the push of a button if you need it. 

There's nice control to throttle response – no blipping over bumps – when you're doing low-speed off-roading and that's really important for good control while traversing irregular tracks.

Official wading depth is 700mm and while we didn’t get the chance on this drive to test that, we have driven HiLuxes through deep water crossings before, so we’ve no reason to doubt that measure.

The HiLux’s approach (31 degrees) and departure (23 degrees) angles are adequate – no ramp-over angle is listed – and you do get an extra 20mm of ground clearance in the new Rogue (now 265mm) over the previous one, due to the upgraded suspension package.

In terms of low-range 4WDing, the Rogue hasn’t lost a step. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) In terms of low-range 4WDing, the Rogue hasn’t lost a step. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

So, has the re-engineering work yielded any other benefits in terms of improvements to off-road efficacy? Well, not really. And that doesn’t seem to have been Toyota’s intention, anyway.

The rear stabiliser bar – designed to keep the Rogue composed through corners on-road – nullifies any chance of extra rear-axle flex or wheel travel at the back end during low-speed 4WDing.

Another thing. The Rogue is supposedly the HiLux line-up’s most off-road-focused variant – until the GR Sport arrives here later in 2023 – but it's rolling on highway tyres, tyres that aren't suited to 4WDing. 

So, if you’re planning to use your Rogue as a touring vehicle then – and Toyota knows this – the tyres will be the first items to be replaced, swapped with a set of decent all-terrains, much better suited to off-roading.

In terms of packability for touring, the Rogue’s tub is 1570mm long (1105mm between the wheel arches), 1645mm wide and the load space itself is 495mm deep.

The Rogue has an electric roller cover, a 12V socket, LED lights, marine-grade carpet (Velcroed into place), and two tie-down points (not enough). 

The Rogue’s tub measures in at 1570mm long,1645mm wide and 495mm deep. (image credit: Glen Sullivan) The Rogue’s tub measures in at 1570mm long,1645mm wide and 495mm deep. (image credit: Glen Sullivan)

The roller cover’s drum, in which the roller cover is housed when the tub is open, encroaches on your packing space in the tub.

If you’re considering towing with your Rogue, be aware that towing capacities are 750kg (unbraked) and 3500kg (braked).

Payload is listed as 1000kg, Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) is 3510kg, and Gross Combined Mass (GCM) is 6900kg.

Efficiency – What is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range?

Official fuel consumption is 8.4L/100km on a combined cycle. 

Our actual fuel consumption on this test, from pump to pump, was 11.8L/100km, which is pretty good considering we did a lot of low-range 4WDing on difficult terrain and that places huge stresses on a vehicle.

The Rogue has an 80-litre fuel tank, so, going by those fuel consumption figures, you should be able to get a driving range of about 640km or so, but that’s after removing 30km as a safe-distance buffer.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

The Rogue has the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating, as a result of testing in July 2019. 

It has AEB, seven airbags, low-speed autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, trailer sway control, a 360-degree camera view, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, active cruise control and new additions to this variant include rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring

It has an ISOFIX point and top tethers in each of the rear outboard seat positions. 

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs?

All new HiLuxes have a five-year/unlimited km warranty and capped price servicing is available, but no roadside assistance.

Service intervals are rather short – every six months or 10,000km, whichever occurs first – and servicing costs are steep, especially compared with some rivals. 

For example, the HiLux (almost $3600 over five years) costs more than twice as much as something like the Ford Ranger Wildtrak (about $1700 over five years).

As I'm sure many of us are, I’m cynical when it comes to carmakers and their efforts to give customers great products and service. Case in point: Toyota often seems to do the bare minimum with its new vehicles, yet always gets away with it, and loyal Toyota fans keep lining up to buy its cars...

Well, the good news is: the new Rogue is much more than a sticker pack. This is a substantial suspension upgrade and it's made a world of difference to this ute. Maybe not in terms of 4WD capability, but in other aspects it has, such as improved on-road ride and handling.

The Rogue is still noticeably behind plenty of its rivals in terms of refinement, comfort, and even all-round drivability. But people can keep buying them – and despite all of those aspects in which it’s sorely lacking, I still like it.

$30,865 - $96,990

Based on 487 car listings in the last 6 months

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Daily driver score

3.8/5

Adventure score

3.8/5

adventureguide rank

  • Light

    Dry weather gravel roads and formed trails with no obstacles, very shallow water crossings.

  • Medium

    Hard-packed sand, slight to medium hills with minor obstacles in all weather.

  • Heavy

    Larger obstacles, steeper climbs and deeper water crossings; plus tracks marked as '4WD only'

Price Guide

$30,865 - $96,990

Based on 487 car listings in the last 6 months

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.