$1,500 Finance Deposit Bonus* when you finance a new or demo Hilux 4x4 or Hilux 4x2 (all variants) with Toyota Finance

17 September 2018 · New Vehicles

How the HiLux Rugged X handles itself off-road


With 4WD fans all around Australia taking their new HiLux Rugged X 4x4s off-road, we couldn’t resist getting in on the fun. We took a Rugged X to Lancelin to see how it handled itself on Western Australia’s iconic sand dunes.

The Rugged X is part of the new HiLux 4x4 Grade Expansion that brought three new models – the Rugged X, Rugged and Rogue to the market. These models were designed and fitted with accessories locally and the Rugged X was put through a rigorous, three-year test program, ensuring it stands as the toughest ute on the market.

Based on the body of an SR5 the Rugged X it features high-spec inclusions such as smart key, push-button start and dual zone climate control. You’ll enjoy the introduction of a premium interior, including black perforated leather-accented seats with heating and electric adjustment.

Powered by a 2.8L T/D four-cylinder engine, we were driving the six-speed automatic, which was smooth and well behaved. We found that the torque gets going early on in the rev range, making the HiLux at home off-road. This model has a switchable low-range 4WD system and a rear diff locker which enhances its off-road capability.

The Rugged X brings an aggressive approach and has been fashioned to maximise approach and departure angles, which now approach 50 degrees.

With impressive steel bar work, we appreciated how much protection was offered by the solid steel front bar, bash plate, rear bar (with integrated towbar) and side rock rails. In our eyes, the addition of these features takes the HiLux to the next level for off-roading. Whilst the soft sand of Lancelin meant we didn’t need as much protection, we definitely enjoyed the enhanced off-road capability.

We enjoyed an impressive off-road clearance, easily gliding over tracks where other utes might risk bellying out. We did hit some unexpected rocks once (don’t tell the boss) but the steel slider steps protected the door seals, and ensured we just slid over them with ease.

And though we didn’t get ourselves into a situation where we needed them, there’s two seriously sturdy recovery points fitted for safe off-road recoveries.

You notice that the visibility and steering are engineered well for off-roading, whilst the gearing and throttle response is organised nicely too. Plus there’s a 120-watt LED light bar below the grille, which blew us away with the difference it made driving back home at night. The tyres are a good all-terrain option too, in a decent 265/65 R17 size.

As obvious HiLux enthusiasts, we know that the SR5 has good suspension travel, best-in-class off-road traction control and a fairly comprehensive underbody design, which all work to make it a pretty legendary off-road option. But the additions of the Rugged X take the HiLux to the next level. You can drive confidently knowing the Rugged X is stronger than ever and will conquer whatever lies ahead.

You’ll enjoy the feeling of knowing that many of these components have been designed exclusively for these three models and aren’t available to purchase individually. Plus, knowing that the majority of these additional accessories have been locally designed, manufactured, installed and tested in a three-year process, adds to the peace-of-mind that comes with the Toyota name. And because these are Toyota Genuine Accessories, they are backed by a three-year warranty, which is something that might not be matched in non-genuine parts.

If you’re looking for the perfect partner for some serious off-roading, we think you’ll find it in the new HiLux 4x4 Rugged X.