Today’s global unveiling of the 2016 Toyota HiLux already has us excited about throwing the all-new iteration of the country’s favourite ute into a comparison with its key rivals.
The new-generation Mitsubishi Triton has just launched in Australia, while the new Nissan Navara launches next week and the updated Ford Ranger arrives in the third quarter of this year, just weeks before the launch of the eighth-gen HiLux in October.
While we’ll have to wait a few months to conduct that test, the release of the first official details of the all-new Toyota HiLux allow us to analyse how the 2016 model stacks up against the fresh metal from Ford, Mitsubishi and Nissan on a number of key measures.
The HiLux’s engine range will include a new flagship 130kW/450Nm 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine matched to a six-speed automatic (torque drops to 420Nm with a six-speed manual fitted).
This compares to the Ranger’s 147kW/470Nm 3.2-litre five-pot that comes with six-speed manual or auto options, Triton’s 133kW/430Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder with a six-speed manual or five-speed auto and Navara's twin-turbo 2.3-litre with 140kW/450Nm matched to a six-speed manual or seven-speed auto.
Also offered in the Toyota will be a lower-grade 2.4-litre turbo-diesel with 110kW/400Nm (dropping to 343Nm if matched to a five-speed manual gearbox rather than an auto).
Ford and Nissan likewise offer lower-grade diesels — a forthcoming 118kW/385Nm 2.2-litre (110kW/375Nm in soon-to-be-replaced version) in the Ranger and a 120kW/403Nm single-turbo 2.3-litre in the Navara.
There will also be a 122kW 2.7-litre petrol in some versions, as well as a larger 4.0-litre V6 petrol with 207kW. The Ranger currently comes with a 122kW/225Nm 2.5-litre unit, while the Navara will in time come with a 122kW/238Nm 2.5-litre petrol of its own. The Triton will get a 94kW 2.4-litre in early 2016.
Crucially, Toyota has increased the HiLux’s braked towing capacity on top-spec versions to 3500kg (up 1000kg), matching the Ranger and new Navara, which lead the class. The Triton’s claim in 3100kg.
Toyota has also increased the capacity of the HiLux’s fuel tank to 80 litres (up 4L), matching the Ranger and Navara, and beating the Triton by 5L.
Toyota hasn’t revealed full details of the HiLux’s dimensions, though we know the new model is 70mm longer and 20mm wider than before, and its roof sits slightly closer to the ground.
As such, we know the HiLux dual-cab measures 5330mm from nose to tail, making it 75mm longer than the Navara, 50mm longer than the Triton, and 21mm shorter than the Ranger.
With the dual-cab’s height set to be slightly lower than 1860mm, it’s likely to still be one of the tallest competitors alongside the Ranger (up to 1848mm), Navara (1840mm) and Triton (1780mm).
Toyota hasn’t announced changes to the HiLux’s width, though the outgoing model is already the broadest of this bunch. Its 1855mm width makes it 5mm wider than the Ranger and Navara and 40mm wider than the Triton.
Toyota is also yet to confirm the new HiLux's wheelbase. The outgoing model measures 3085mm between the axles, positioning it between the smaller Triton (3000mm) and the larger Navara (3150mm) and Ranger (3220mm).
The new HiLux range will feature 31 variants, up from 23 in the outgoing model. The line-up will include four engines (two petrols and two diesels), two transmissions (six-speed manual and six-speed automatic), two drivetrain layouts (4x2 and 4x4), two ride heights, three cabin styles (single-, extra-, and dual-cab) and three equipment grades (WorkMate, SR and SR5).
The current Ranger line-up features 37 variants, including two diesel engines, two transmissions (six-speed manual and six-speed automatic), two drivetrain layouts (4x2 and 4x4), two ride heights, three cabin styles (single-, extra-, and dual-cab) and five equipment grades (XL, XL Super, XLS, XLT and Wildtrak).
The 2016 Nissan Navara range will include 27 variants, with the 14 dual-cab pick-up variants already available to be joined in the third quarter of this year by 13 single-cab, extra-cab, and dual-cab chassis body styles. The line-up will feature three engines (one petrol and two diesels), two transmissions (six-speed manual and seven-speed automatic), two drivetrain layouts (4x2 and 4x4), three cabin styles (single-, extra-, and dual-cab) and four equipment grades (DX, RX, ST and ST-X).
The 2016 Mitsubishi Triton range currently features 10 variants and will add another one towards the end of this year when the petrol model arrives. The current range includes a single diesel engine, two transmissions (six-speed manual and five-speed automatic), two drivetrain layouts (4x2 and 4x4), three cabin styles (single-, extra-, and dual-cab), and three equipment grades (GLX, GLS and Exceed).