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New Toyota HiLux 2020: Everything you need to know about refreshed Ford Ranger rival

A new HiLux is very big News in Australia

News of a new Toyota HiLux hitting Australian shores is always a Very Big Deal. Toyota's ever-popular ute family tops the local sales charts, and more than 16,500 found homes in the first four months of 2019 alone.

And with a new - well, refreshed... - model expected to land in Australia as early as July this year, there will be plenty of excited ute shoppers about the place.

The question is, should you swoop on a MY19 bargain? Or hold out for the refreshed model? To help you with that very decision, here's everything you need to know about the 2020 Toyota HiLux.

First, the good stuff; The new HiLux will arrive with a new safety suite, boosting the workhorse's active safety credentials to a level that rivals the brand's passenger car range.

As we've reported, the 2020 model year HiLux will at last offer Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) technology, which will includes auto emergency braking (AEB) as standard across the range. More advanced versions of the technology also include lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and auto high-beam headlights, as well as road sign detection and AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, but it's not yet known what versions of the HiLux, if any, will get the feature-packed versions of the TSS suite as standard.

Either way, that's good news, and it lifts the HiLux to Ford Ranger-levels of safety, with the Blue Oval now offering AEB right across its ute family, including the off-road-focused Raptor.

Now, the not so good stuff; while Toyota is rolling out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto across some of its passenger car range, with a view to equip the entire fleet eventually, Australia's best-selling vehicle won't be getting true phone-mirroring any time soon.

At the recent launch of the brand's RAV4 SUV, Toyota announced it would last embrace true phone-mirroring technology, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to begin arriving in the fourth quarter of 2019. But despite an updated HiLux due to arrive in Australia around the middle of the year, it is understood that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will not be offered at this stage.

The problem apparently is the HiLux's multimedia system, which is a different unit to the one that appears in the bulk of Toyota's passenger-car range. It is understood HiLux customers will need to wait for a major facelift before the technology can be offered.

Now, this is a model year update, and one probably best considered as a light refresh rather than a broad facelift, so expect engine/transmission combinations as well as trim levels to remain unchanged, meaning Workmate, SR, SR5, Rugged, Rogue and Rugged X models offered with a 2.7 petrol, 2.4DT or 2.8DT engines.

Sources have pointed to the possibility of new colours and interior treatments arriving with the new vehicles, but if you're hanging out for a Ranger Raptor-rivalling model, we're told one won't be arriving with this update.
For more, watch this space.

Will these changes keep the HiLux at the top of the sales charts? Tell us in the comments below.