Toyota has released its two special-edition HiLux variants boasting locally-developed accessories as well as price increases.

Toyota has unveiled its hero HiLux variants, the Rogue and Rugged X (the Rugged has been dropped) and it’s hoping it can steal ground and overtake Ford as the best-selling 4×4. But with Ford having just released the very tasty FX4 Max, the HiLux heroes will have to be on their A games. Let’s take a look.

2020 Toyota HiLux Rugged X (l) and HiLux Rogue (r).

Toyota is expecting the Rogue and Rugged X to be available towards the end of November but it said final timing will depend on lockdown in Melbourne and restrictions on the workshops where final assembly takes place.

Like the rest of the HiLux range, the hero variants have copped a raft of styling and performance improvements. Toyota Australia said it had a heavy hand in development work on the HiLux, including the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, rear suspension and hydraulic power steering. The upgraded 1GD turbodiesel engine now makes 150kW and 500Nm. Maximum braked towing capacity has also been increased to 3500kg (up 300kg).

So, what are the key changes to the Rogue and Rugged X? There’s a new motorised roller shutter for Rogue, like the Ford Ranger Wildtrak, and a new look grille, rock rails and hoopless bar on Rugged X.

Toyota said in the development of its new motorised roller shutter for the Rogue it spent time evaluating competitor products, as well as field tests in Japan and Australia to ensure it was weather and dust proof. Designed alongside the motorised roller cover, the new sports bar is made from resin. HiLux Rogue is priced from $68,990+ORCs – the previous model Rogue was priced from $62,490+ORCs. Yes, that’s a significant price increase but Toyota would argue the new model is better equipped with active safety and the motorised roller shutter.

The Rugged X is now priced from $69,990+ORCs whereas the old model listed at $64,490+ORCs in automatic trim. In our opinion it would be the better buy than the Rogue.

The Rugged X boasts plenty of cosmetic enhancements, including a 3D mesh grille, darkened headlights and a new bonnet. There are also black 17-inch alloys and a bash plate underneath the front. Toyota said that plenty of design work went into incorporating the Safety Sense system with the new-look grille and hoopless bull bar.

The Rugged X has also been tweaked with heavy-duty springs at the front, snorkel with reversible head, front and rear recovery points, rock rails, sports bar with “recreational attachment points”, moulded tub tray with tailgate protection, and a heavy-duty rear bumper with integrated step. There’s also a central mounted LED light bar.

Question: Which one would you go for, Rugged X or Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior?

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