Flagship versions of the 2021 Toyota HiLux range will cost more than many luxury cars, ranging between $73,000 and $77,000 – a significant 20 per cent increase on previous drive-away prices.
Leaked drive-away offers for the 2021 Toyota HiLux Rugged-X and Toyota HiLux Rogue reveal Toyota’s recent round of price rises show no signs of abating.
Less than a month after Australia’s biggest car maker increased the price of its most affordable model, the Yaris hatch, by more than $9000 – vacating the sub-$20,000 segment – it has issued another substantial price hike on its biggest-selling model.
Prices for the 2021 Toyota HiLux Rogue and Toyota HiLux Rugged-X were accidentally published online late last week – and have since been taken down.
UPDATE: Since this story was originally published, the recommended retail prices have been confirmed by Toyota Australia ($69,990 plus on-road costs for the Rugged-X and $68,990 plus on-road costs for the Rogue). Both vehicles are due in Australian showrooms and “formally on sale” in late November.
The drive-away price shown for the 2021 Toyota HiLux Rugged-X in NSW was $75,962. Until four months ago the Rugged-X was available for a long-standing drive-away price of $62,990. This represents a price rise just shy of $13,000.
However, in West Australia – where stamp duty and other fees are higher – customers will pay $77,485 drive-away, a hike of $14,495.
The 2021 Toyota HiLux Rogue – which now comes with a power-operated roller shutter hardlid and retains its marine-grade carpet lining in the ute tub – was advertised for $74,932 drive-away before the price was taken down. Until four months ago the Rogue was available for a long-standing drive-away price of $61,990.
Even regular models in the updated 2021 Toyota HiLux range came in for a significant price rise when they were released two months ago.
The updated Toyota HiLux gains a suspension overhaul, more power and torque (to 150kW/500Nm), Apple Car Play, Android Auto, volume and tuning dials, and a digital speed display. The Rugged-X and Rogue will also get JBL premium audio.
It is unlikely these changes alone amount to a 20 per cent price rise. Toyota and other manufacturers have attributed recent price rises to currency exchange rate pressure and increased levels of standard equipment on new or updated models.
However, a shortage in supply and an unexpected increase in demand have also pushed up prices.
Most car factories have been slow to ramp up after shutdowns during the coronavirus crisis, and demand has been stronger than expected as many consumers have decided to treat themselves to a new car rather than an overseas holiday.
It means after half a decade of record low prices, Australians are now obliged to pay top dollar – until demand wanes or dealers once again become overstocked.
During a recent press conference, the head of sales and marketing at Toyota Australia, Sean Hanley, was asked when HiLux pricing would “come back to earth” and get closer to its long-standing drive-away offers over the past two years.
Mr Hanley said: “In terms of pricing, I believe that car offers sensational value for money. Based on the (three or four weeks) that the car has been in the market, based on the demand we’re seeing, I also believe the market is seeing the value in that car. It’s a significant improvement to the previous model … so I would contest that the pricing of that car in the market right now is in fact offering good value.”
While the popular Toyota HiLux SR5 double cab automatic four-wheel-drive had been available from $53,990 drive-away for much of the past two years, it didn’t limbo to that level until early 2018 – two-and-a-half years after the current generation was released in October 2015.
Industry insiders believe the next possibility for a sharp Toyota HiLux drive-away offer will be early next year, when the company looks to clear 2020-built models in the lead up to March 31, the end of the Japanese financial year.
Historically, Toyota and other Japanese car companies have a big push for the first three months of each calendar year, to meet internal sales and profit targets.
Meantime, as before, the Toyota HiLux Rugged-X and Rogue are produced in Thailand before additional parts are fitted locally, in Melbourne. That process is scheduled to commence on the new models in early October.