While Toyota’s updated 2021 HiLux, LandCruiser Prado and Fortuner still carry over the same 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine as the respective outgoing models, there have been a lot of mechanical changes for the new models.
And Toyota Australia is adamant the worst of its diesel particulate filter dramas are behind them.
This new iteration engine has more power and torque, and claims to be more efficient at the same time.
Still called the 1GD-FTV, this new engine now makes 150kW at 3400rpm and 500Nm at 1600-2800rpm when running through the automatic transmission. With a manual transmission, the torque output is capped at 420Nm at 1400-3400rpm.
This is an improvement over the outgoing engine, which made 130kW at 3400rpm and 450Nm at 1600-2400rpm with an automatic transmission, or 420Nm at 1400-2600rpm with a manual transmission.
While peak torque has improved only for the automatic transmission, the torque curve is both wider and flatter for both variants.
A new variable nozzle ball-bearing turbocharger, which is larger, is mainly responsible for the gains in power and torque. This new turbo hangs off a redesigned exhaust manifold.
The common-rail fuel injection system has also been updated, with changes to the injector flow rate.
The new cylinder head has a redesigned water jacket to improve cooling, and the cylinder block has been made more rigid to accommodate the higher engine performance. Pistons and piston rings have been redesigned, and there is a new cooling fan and coupling.
There’s also a new head gasket for this more powerful engine, presumably done to handle the increased amount of boost that this engine develops.
Toyota says the diesel particulate filter system (DPF) for this new engine has also been reworked, with software and hardware changes implemented on the facelifted model.
Sean Hanley, Toyota vice president of sales and marketing, said the engine’s new tune will "continue to improve the way the DPF operates".
Previous iterations of Toyota’s 2.8-litre DPF were dogged by ongoing issues, which precipitated an ongoing Class Action headed up by Bannister Law.
In regards to the ongoing class action claim, Mr Hanley said he was unable to comment on matters that are before the court. He did want to reassure customers however, by saying “we are here for our customers, for any questions and/or concerns they have about their vehicles”.
The design of the air filtration system in the new HiLux has been left untouched. While Toyota concedes that "minute dust particles in fact can pass through the filter" in extremely dusty conditions, Mr Hanley said "this is not known to cause any engine damage, based upon the very thorough evaluations and assessments we have done… in quite incredible driving conditions."
While the manual transmission has been left unchanged, the automatic transmission has been recalibrated for faster and more frequent torque converter lockup, which allows the driveline to run cooler.
These changes, along with the improved cooling capability of the engine, has been an instrumental part of increasing the towing capacity to 3.5 tonnes for all HiLux 4x4 models. The Toyota Fortuner now has a towing capacity of 3100kg and diesel-powered 4x2 HiLux variants can tow 2800kg.
Claimed fuel consumption for the 2021 Toyota HiLux has improved by up to 11.1 per cent on some models, now rated between 7.1L/100km and 8.1L/100km depending on variant. Claimed emissions have been reduced as well, by up to 3.7 per cent or 187-212g/km.
However, in our road testing of the 2021 Toyota HiLux we saw an average consumption of 10.7L/100km.