Australia’s top-selling car, the Toyota HiLux, is about to get advanced safety systems including autonomous emergency braking, speed sign recognition, and radar cruise control – just months after the same tech was confirmed for the HiLux in Europe.
Toyota Australia would not confirm if or when the new technology is coming to HiLux locally, other than saying it is the company’s intention to rollout the “Safety Sense” tech on all future models.
However, Toyota dealers have told CarAdvice the HiLux will gain the advanced safety aids from May production at the Thailand factory, meaning they will likely be in Australian showrooms by the end of June.
It means all three top-selling utes in Australia – Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton – will have autonomous emergency braking either standard or as a low-cost option from the middle of this year.
Ute rivals without the advanced safety aid – said to be the biggest leap forward since the seatbelt – now include the Holden Colorado, Isuzu D-Max, Nissan Navara, Volkswagen Amarok and China’s LDV T60.
However there are conflicting reports on whether or not AEB will initially only be available on four-wheel-drive models – or rolled out across the 4x2 range as well.
Ford says its AEB tech will be across the entire 4x2 and 4x4 Ranger line-up regardless of price, although the RRP has risen by between $250 and $800 to reflect the changes.
With that in mind, it is likely the updated HiLux will also be hit with a modest price rise.
However, given that May and June are the biggest months of the year for ute sales, there will likely be some red hot deals on runout models in current stock.
Indeed, a number of Toyota dealers are still trying to clear pre-facelift 2018 stock (with the original grille and bumper, versus the facelift introduced in late 2018).
Toyota's dealer bonus on pre-facelifted 2018 HiLux to help clear stock is only $500 more than the facelift 2018-built models.
Stand by a raft of sharp discounts in the coming weeks as all ute brands aim to clear their build up of inventory in the wake of the sales slowdown over the past 12 months.
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling