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Toyota HiLux and Fortuner 2021 deep dive: All the new safety, style and specs you can expect from Ford Ranger and Isuzu MU-X rivals

The wait is finally over, the countdown done, and we finally know what the new Toyota HiLux and Fortuner will deliver when they arrive in Australia in August, with the Ford Ranger and Isuzu D-Max rivals serving up more grunt, more tech and more capability.

But with the confetti from the grand unveiling having now settled on the ground, it's time to take a closer look at just what Toyota has changed, added or removed entirely from its most popular (in Australia, at least) model line. 

So join us as we deep-dive the new HiLux and Fortuner.

There's a heap of new safety equipment

While Toyota in Australia has so far kept quiet on the specification details of the HiLux and Fortuner, some international snooping has revealed that both will rectify one of their lingering issues, and that is a lack of truly modern safety kit, especially on the Fortuner.

But no longer. Both will now deliver the same standard safety kit as the any other new Toyota, like the Corolla, and they'll do it from the base model on up. 

That means you should expect Lane Departure Alert (which is already fitted) but in this updated model it should also score active steering assist (or Lane Keep Assist), while the existing AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection (between 10km/h and 80km/h) is set to be complemented by blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, hill-start assist, and a 360-degree parking camera on more expensive trims. The existing model's active cruise control and road sign recognition will carry over range-wide.

New engine/suspension means more capability 

We've waxed lyrical about the changes to the HiLux and Fortuner's 2.8-litre engine here before, with the diesel donk now producing 150kW and 500Nm -  about on-par with the best from Ford - the 157kW and 500Nm Ranger Raptor.

For the record, the Mitsubishi Triton produces 133kW and 430Nm, the Nissan Navara is good for 140kW and 450Nm, and the VW Amarok produces 190kW and 580Nm. 

Toyota is promising the new HiLux's can sprint from zero-to-100km/h tim in 10 seconds flat - half a second faster than the Ranger Raptor

There has also been key suspension upgrades, with new bushings, a new leaf-spring design, and revised shock tuning, designed to "provide a more comfortable ride, particularly over rough roads and with low loads while maintaining HiLux's legendary off-road capabilities". Towing capacity is now 3500kg on all 4X4 models, while on 4x2 variants, diesel automatics are now rated at 2800kg. For the Fortuner, towing capacity has been increased by 300kg to now sit at 3100kg.

Engine idle speed has dropped from 850rpm to 680rpm, and there's an updated traction control system and the accelerator response has been tuned to be sharper, too. 

Finally, Toyota is touting a new function that mimics the effect of a mechanical LSD on its 2WD models. 

More cabin technology

The HiLux and Fortuner have also received a welcome tech boost, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now included for the first time. An 8.0-inch screen is now standard, along with a 4.2-inch multi-information display in the driver's binnacle. Top-spec models will also include smart entry and push-button start, satellite navigation, climate control, and a new nine-speaker JBL stereo with an an 800W amplifier.