Following an earlier stumble or two, the Rogue has redeemed itself. The HiLux top-dog ute
has taken its rightful place as the genuine hero of Australia’s best-selling range of

My introduction to the HiLux Rogue last year was fraught, with its motorised roll-top tray
cover jamming centimetres from full retraction with no amount of button pressing – even
physical exertion on my part – getting it to close.

Revisiting the MY21 dual-cab utility recently everything worked to order, which was
welcome as the tonneau cover is the result of design and development by Aussie
engineers as part of their task to produce a combination of toughness, complemented by a
more recreational focus for a vehicle designed to go anywhere and be sold in markets
around the world.

Toyota Australia’s role in developing and evaluating the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel
engine, rear suspension and hydraulic power steering was supported by teams from
Japan and Thailand, as well as representatives from other markets.

The Rogue sells for $68,990, plus on-road costs and options. The HiLux, in general,
continues its reign as the best-selling vehicle in Australia and like all Toyota vehicles is
covered by Toyota Service Advantage, with each of the first scheduled services costing
just $250 each.

Out of Toyota’s Melbourne design studio comes a dark vertical grille that cascades from
the bonnet down to the prominent lower bumper and under-guard. LED headlamps, with
dark internals, combine with bold outer corners of the bumper, which links to strong fog
lamp surrounds.

An aggressive side profile continues the theme with robust fender flares, unique wheel-
arch mouldings and an integrated resin sports bar making its debut.

Wheel-arches also are generous enough to take bigger, fatter alloys than the factory-fitted
18-inchers. A new sports bar, made from resin, is easier to mould than steel, allowing it to
have a more artistic ‘sailplane’ shape.

Out back are redesigned bumper and tailgate. The tub itself is kitted out, up the walls too,
like a fully carpeted lounge room (no place for gravel, rocks or rubbish), with marine-grade
liner lifting appearance and coverage. The design makeover is made complete by a
chrome Toyota tailgate badge and new decals on the gate and sports bar.

The cabin is dominated by hard surfaces, which is hardly a serious criticism for a hard-
working ute. However, coming to the classy rescue are black perforated leather-accented
seats with grey stitching.

The front seats are heated while the driver’s seat has eight-way power adjustments. Front
and rear carpet mats are included for Rogue.

There’s a deep cubby in the centre console and a double-decker dash-mounted glovebox,
the upper section cooled. Door storage includes convenient bottle slots.

Pride of place is a larger 8-inch display touchscreen plus control knobs, an upgraded
multimedia system with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and a premium JBL nine-speaker
sound system. One USB point and two AC 220-Volt accessory sockets are standard.

Restyled instruments consist of analogue speedo and rev counter with blue pointers
flanking a 4.2-inch multi-information display, which now incorporates a digital speed
readout and a pictogram showing the angle of the front wheels.

Satellite navigation is easier to use with enhanced voice recognition, while other additions
include an electro-chromatic rear-view mirror, new ornamentation and blue illumination.

The upgraded 1GD turbo-diesel engine now develops 150 kW at 3400 rpm
and 500 Nm between 1600 and 2800 rpm, gains of 15 per cent and 11.1 per cent

The six-speed automatic transmission has been recalibrated to allow earlier lock-up for
improved acceleration and to ensure Toyota’s temperature tolerances, especially when
towing, were observed.

The HiLux Rogue carries a five-star safety rating on 2019 testing and is equipped with
Toyota Safety Sense, including a pre-collision system with autonomous emergency
braking and the ability to detect pedestrians around the clock and cyclists in daylight. It is
also equipped with high-speed active cruise control and lane-departure alert with steering

Electronic systems include anti-skid brakes, vehicle stability and traction control, brake
assist and electronic brake-force distribution, trailer sway control, downhill assist and an
emergency stop signal (hazard lights).

Like every HiLux, the Rogue is equipped with seven airbags and a reversing camera.

Driving has been made easier by work done on the rear suspension, improving unladen
ride comfort, while a new variable flow-control power-steering pump offers more help in
low-speed manoeuvres such as parking.

Braked towing capacity has been uprated by 300 kg to 3500 kg, courtesy of the higher-
output engine and a recalibrated six-speed electronically controlled automatic

Eco or Sport driving modes are accessed by pressing one of two buttons on the centre
console. Sport frees up engine revs and fun ride but Eco is worth ignoring. It’s a Toyota, so
there’s also a low-range mode for tough off-road driving.

Toyota claims a combined urban / highway fuel consumption of 8.4 litres per 100
kilometres. The test vehicle worked out at 11.7 litres per 100 kilometres in suburban
streets down to 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres when opened up on the motorway.
Improved ride and handling are all-encompassing with the MY20 Rogue.

Leaf springs and shock absorbers were re-tuned to improve unladen ride comfort without
compromising the vehicle’s ability to carry loads over uneven terrain, while low-friction rear
shackle bushes add to ride comfort. Rear stability benefits from leaf spring front bushes
with increased lateral stiffness.

Revised chassis mounts reduce vibrations and noise transfer to the cabin, particularly on
rough roads. A variable flow control power-steering pump improves steering feeling on
winding country roads and reduces steering effort when parking. It’s a pity about the
outsize 12.6 metre turning circle.

The Rogue is up against some of the stiffest competition in the premium luxury ute market
and it’s fair to say the power roll top would be considered an important selling point for the
Hilux ‘hero’. Fortunately, the test automatic tonneau was back on track.

So is the HiLux Rogue.

Looks: 8/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 7/10
Thirst: 6/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 7/10
Tech: 7/10
Value: 7/10


Toyota HiLux Rogue from $68,990
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Toyota dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Toyota HiLux Rogue 2.8L 4-cylinder diesel, 6sp automatic, 4WD

Capacity:2.755 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders inline
Maximum Power: 150 kW @ 3400 rpm
Maximum Torque: 500 Nm @ 1600-2800 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.4 L/100km
Emissions CO2: 220g/km

Six-speed electronically controlled automatic, all-wheel drive

Length: 5325 mm
Wheelbase: 3085 mm
Width: 1900 mm
Height: 1795 mm
Turning Circle: 12.6 metres
Kerb Mass: 2231 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 80 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Drum

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *