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2015 Toyota HiLux revealed | video

2015 Toyota HiLux

Which Japanese car outsells the iconic Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon, was designed by the same person who created one of the world’s smallest hatchbacks, and can tow 3.5 tonnes?

The first all-new Toyota HiLux ute in 10 years just got a whole lot tougher -- even though it is loaded with luxury technology and was designed by the same person who developed one of the world’s smallest cars.

The chief engineer for the new HiLux, unveiled globally Thursday afternoon ahead of its showroom arrival in October, also created Toyota's tiny European city car, the iQ, which is about the same size as a Smart.

But Toyota says the latest generation of Australia’s favourite workhorse for more than three decades has retained its ruggedness, even though it has a hi-tech dashboard with an iPad-like display, seven airbags, a remote sensor key, LED headlights and other technology reserved for luxury cars.

As a sign of our changing taste in cars, Toyota has also made the landmark decision to fit a rear-view camera on every model in the new HiLux range, from the cheapest to the dearest, starting from about $21,000 and stretching to an estimated $60,000.

The first all-new Toyota HiLux ute in 10 years just got a whole lot tougher -- even though it is loaded with luxury technology

It means the eighth generation HiLux will be the first heavy-duty ute on sale in Australia with a rear-view camera on every model in the line-up.

The standard fitment of rear cameras is expected to be welcomed by safety advocates given that SUVs and utes are involved for 70 per cent of driveway deaths even though they only account for 30 per cent of cars on the road.

The other big news for ute fans is that the new HiLux will be able tow literally a tonne more than before, with capacity increased to 3500kg to match the Ford Ranger and Holden Colorado pick-ups.

Payload has also increased to a maximum of 1240kg on certain models.

Perhaps the biggest telltale sign that the new HiLux hasn’t gone soft, though, is the fact that the driver still does not get a vanity mirror.

Toyota Australian engineers have for the first time had a hand in how the top-selling ute drives.

“Australia is a very important market for the HiLux and Australian engineers have played an important role in its testing,” said Toyota Australia executive director of sales and marketing Tony Cramb.

“Australia has 80 per cent of the world’s harshest road conditions so that made it an ideal place to test the new HiLux.”

What customers are looking for now is a more family-oriented vehicle that they can take to work

Toyota says the new HiLux will have more luxury mod-cons than ever before because buyer tastes have changed.

“Traditionally the HiLux was very much a workhorse-based, tool-of-trade vehicle,” said Mr Cramb.

“What customers are looking for now is a more family-oriented vehicle that they can take to work.”

More than 16 million HiLux utes have been sold worldwide since 1968, including 850,000 in Australia.

Toyota estimates there are more than half a million HiLux utes still on Australian roads.

The HiLux is not only Australia’s favourite ute, it is also our biggest selling four-wheel-drive, and has been our top-selling vehicle outright on 13 individual months over the past five years.

Perhaps the biggest indication of our changing taste in cars: the Toyota HiLux now comfortably outsells two former Aussie favourites: the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon.

Toyota HiLux fast facts
Price: $21,000 to $60,000 (estimated)
On sale: October
Engine: 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder
Power: 130kW and 450Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed auto
Economy: TBC but Toyota says 10 per cent better than today’s model
Towing capacity: 3500kg
Payload: 1240kg maximum on certain models
Technology: Seven airbags, rear view camera, sensor key, LED headlights, iPad-style display in the dashboard.

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