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Review: A Day with the New 2020 Toyota Hilux 2.8 Rogue


Review: A Day with the New 2020 Toyota Hilux 2.8 Rogue

The Malaysian king of pickup trucks is back once again, updated for the millionth time. While the new 2020 Toyota Hilux certainly looks a lot better than what it was, does it feel any different?

After months of teasing, the folks at UMW Toyota Motor have finally launched the new 2020 Toyota Hilux officially, bringing joy to all the Taukays out there who’ve been waiting to replace their old Hilux with a new one.

2020 toyota hillux 2.8 rogue

As reported earlier, there will be five variants, with prices as mentioned below:

  • Hilux Single Cab 2.4 MT 4×4 - RM92,880
  • Hilux 2.4E AT 4×4 - RM108,880
  • Hillux 2.4G MT 4×4 - RM111,880
  • Hilux 2.4V AT 4×4 - RM133,880
  • Hilux 2.8 Rogue AT 4×4 - RM146,880

The variant which we had the opportunity to sample a few days ago was the flagship Hilux 2.8 Rogue, which is here to replace the outgoing Hilux Black Edition.

On the exterior, the new Hilux features a completely redesigned front fascia, with a new bumper, a new front grille, Bi-LED headlights, LED foglamps, as well as a newly designed Front Fog Bezel.

toyota hilux 2.8 rogue review

Moving to the side, there are the new 18-inch wheels, a funky livery design, as well as a welcome-home light on the side-steps. At the rear, there are LED combination taillights.

Design wise, thanks to all the new features, the Hilux, especially the Rogue here, looks much better than the outgoing version. Compared to the very “uncle” looking Hilux of the past, this one here looks quite youthful and sporty.

toyota hilux 2.8 rogue review

Inside, the new Hilux Rogue is quite generous with features. While the seats are clad in leather, the instrument panel is new and blue, looking all “premium”. The infotainment system has Android Auto, Mirror Link, Bluetooth, USB, MP3 and all the essentials one would need. Even all four windows are automatic.

The truck also comes with front and rear DVR as standard, a panoramic view monitor, Matte Hairline Hydrographic accent across the dashboard, as well as blue illumination on the door panels and a very black colour theme overall.

toyota hilux 2.8 rogue engine

Powering the Hilux Rogue here is an updated, more powerful version of the 1GD-FTV 2.8-litre common rail intercooled variable nozzle turbo diesel engine that makes 204 PS and 500 Nm of maximum torque.

Prior to the update, the engine, which was fitted in the outgoing Hilux Black Edition was producing only 177 PS and 450 Nm of maximum torque.

toyota hilux rogue interior

So, in case you’re wondering how the extra 27 PS and 50 Nm came into the picture, credit goes to the addition of a newly developed heavy-duty turbocharger, as well as a new two-stage oil pump. 

Paired to the engine is the proven part-time 4WD system, and two transmission options - either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic – both of which are being carried over from before.

toyota hilux rogue 2.8

Another new feature is the variable flow control (VFC) steering system, which adjusts power steering assistance depending on vehicle speed. This feature however, is only available in the double cab variants.

Other mechanical additions include an automatic limited-slip differential which ensures optimum traction at all times. However, the system operates only when in the High range and in 2WD at speeds up to 50 km/h.

toyota hilux rogue 2.8 seats

And then we have the addition of a hardened and optimized cabin mount which increases horizontal rigidity, and more importantly, improves vibration absorption.

Last but not least, we have the addition of the Toyota Safety Sense suite of safety driver assistance features, which includes the Pre-Collision System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Lane Departure Alert with Yaw Assist.

toyota hilux rogue 2.8 infotainment

Upon getting into the new Toyota Hilux Rogue 2.8 and turning the engine on, the first thing we noticed was how quiet and refined the cabin was. Unlike previous generations where the diesel engine noise could be heard clearly inside, the new one is noticeably much quieter.

Even when we got moving, engine noise wasn’t bothering us, which is a big plus point. Another big improvement is the seats, which were quite comfortable. While we were expecting a harsh ride, the seats certainly surprised us. Believe it or not, the rear passenger in our Hilux actually fell asleep for a good 30 mins, and woke up feeling like a million bucks – that is how comfortable the new Hilux Rogue is.

toyota hilux rogue 2.8 gear

Some may argue that the new Hilux Rogue’s cabin is not as refined as the Ford Ranger, but we didn’t feel that way. To be frank, we were quite impressed with how comfy it felt. Plus, if we are to compare it with the Navara or even the new Isuzu D-Max, the Hilux is definitely more comfortable now.

Our journey for the day with the Toyota Hilux 2.8 Rogue began in Shah Alam, and took us to Janda Baik and Genting Highlands through a combination of highway and B-roads.

toyota hilux rogue 2.8 load

At any given time, there was more than enough power and the delivery was seamless. Regardless of whether it was uphill, overtaking, cruising, or accelerating on both highways and trunk roads, the Hilux Rogue 2.8 was a smooth operator all the way.

The variable flow control (VFC) steering system however, took some time to get used to as it was a tad too heavy for our liking, since we jumped straight from a car into a 4x4, but once we picked up speed, it felt alright.

toyota hilux rogue 2.8 safety

The Toyota Safety Sense features really came in handy when we were cruising along the highway. All we had to do was set the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and keep our hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road.

Every time the truck swerved a little, the Lane Departure Alert alerted us, and the Yaw Assist feature keeps the truck within the lane – exactly like how most cars with these driver assistance features work.

toyota hilux 2.8 rogue taillight

Further complementing all of the above was the quiet cabin, the infotainment system, the dampers that absorbed bumps and lumps very well, and all the other convenience features which made the whole journey a rather enjoyable one.

Unfortunately, there was no off-roading activities at all during our stint with the new 2020 Toyota Hilux, but since the Hilux’s proven and reliable part time 4WD system and all the off-roading features are being carried over from before; buyers don’t really have to worry about its capabilities as a workhorse.

toyota hilux 2.8 rogue space

In all, what we have here is a proven, reliable and durable pickup truck that is more refined, more comfortable, more stylish, safer, and more practical than before.

So, be prepared to see a wave of new Hilux Rogues on the road in the near future.

Gallery: 2020 Toyota Hilux 2.8 Rogue AT 4x4

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