Daily Addict Takes Toyota’s ‘Up-Market’ Hilux From Town To Country
+ Super-cool looks
+ Go anywhere ability
+ Comfy highway cruiser
+ Carpeted tray
+ Feels indestructible
Watch out for:
– Some interior plastics are scratchy
– Turning circle is massive
– Electric tailgate cover can be temperamental
Sometimes a road-trip is only as good as the car you bring along; so Daily Addict turned to Toyota for the ultimate driving companion… the legendary Toyota Hilux.
Let’s face it, the 2020/21 holiday season was like no other, with many of us unable to head overseas. However, exploring what our great country has to offer is not exactly a downside. We got our mitts on the 2021 Toyota Hilux Rogue, the top-of-the-tree of the Hilux range for a holiday that spanned cities, beaches and bush.
Street cred: The looks
First up, around town there’s no hiding it, if you want to zip down laneways and side-streets in inner-Sydney or Melbourne, a 4×4 ute may not be the car for you. The massive wing-mirrors are a dream at spotting pesky curbs, and parking sensors and cameras do make reverse parking a lot let nerve-wrecking, especially when the Rogue is in the mid-70k price range.
Sure, that’s a lot of money for a ute, but utes are now less about carting pigs to market and getting to Church on a Sunday (seriously, that’s why the first ute was invented), and more about providing a family car that can do it all. Our striking red example certainly turned heads with its 18-inch black rims and special Rogue edition body-kit, and once you head inside you could be in a luxury family car.
Head inside: Interior
Leather seats all-round, 8-inch colour display compatible with Apple and Android, plenty of storage cubbies and nooks as well as ISOFIX points along the back row certainly gave the workhorse Hilux an air of maturity when driving along. When on the open road the high-seating position combined with driver-assistance tech such as active cruise control, road sign assistance, pre-collision safety and even trailer sway control keep mean that the Rogue is incredibly easy to rack up the miles in.
What would give the Toyota even more of an edge over its competition from Ford, Mazda and VW would be some more soft touchpoints within the cockpit as well as a few more creature comforts such as wireless charging pads and auto-dipping mirrors. What this writer would also love to see (on any ute for that matter) is a sunroof to enjoy those incredible Aussie driving days even further. The tray is massive, and the electrically controlled cover is genuinely waterproof having survived a trip to the Central Coast in torrential rain without so much a paper bag getting wet within. Speaking of the tray, it has been carpeted throughout so that your bags are kept clean and dry. This carpet would be amazing for anyone who uses the ute for lifestyle activity rather than trade-work as we imagine getting concrete or sand out of it would be a never-ending task.
On the open road: The Drive
Once we headed bush the Hilux made even more sense. Mud? No problem. Flooded weirs? Easy as! Steep, wet hills? Pfft, not even a challenge. Anything Daily Addict tried to throw at the Rogue it figuratively shrugged it off and got on with the job. Over kilometres of unsealed trail, the Rogue, once placed into 4H mode via dial, was able to be driven over challenging terrain with one hand. The New HiLux’s top of the line 2.8L diesel engine gets a muscle upgrade, power is up 20kW, while torque gets a 50Nm bump in automatic transmission variants.
So, can the Hilux Rogue work in town and country? Daily Addict would give this a big double thumbs up. As an alternative to the mainstream and similarly priced SUVs like the Toyota Prados and Nissan Patrols it certainly keeps up, providing you don’t need the flexibility of seven seats. If you are looking for a purely luxury experience you are better off heading towards a more Germanic brand but good luck finding anything for under $90K. If you want to head anywhere with no cares the 2021 Toyota Hilux Rogue certainly is a the goldilocks alternative, just right.
TECH ADDICT RATING: 8.5/10