Toyota has formally introduced the new-generation Hilux in Thailand in top-spec 2.8 A/T trim. Billed by the automaker as a 'tough pickup truck', the eighth-generation Hilux features improved ruggedness as well as better passenger comfort and easier drivability.

“Our entire development concept was centered on 'redefining toughness'. We aimed to make the new Hilux 'tougher' based on a much broader interpretation of that word. The message we want to deliver to our customers is embodied in our slogan for the vehicle: 'A New Era for Pickup. Every Inch a Hilux,” said Hiroki Nakajima, Executive Chief Engineer of the Hilux and Managing Officer of Toyota Motor Corporation.

The rear and side of the 2016 Toyota Hilux

According to Toyota, the all-new 2016 Hilux was not only built to be tough on all terrains, but was also made to be more occupant focused. With this in mind, the company set out to test the eight-generation pickup under the harshest of conditions along with valuable inputs gathered from Hilux customers.

As it is a complete redesign, the 2016 Hilux has a sleeker yet more muscular appearance which conforms to the brand's current design philosophy. The front fascia carries a three-bar chrome grill along with curved headlights, LED daytime running lights (DRLs) and circular foglamps.

The side profile has defined wheel arches while the cabin doors feature a character line that run from the front doors up to the rear wheel arches. In addition, it has 18-inch alloy wheels that are wrapped in 265/65 tires.

Size-wise, the next-generation Hilux is now longer and wider but has a reduced height. It measures 5,355 mm long (previous 5,260mm), 1,855mm wide (previous 1,835mm) and 1,820mm tall (previous 1,860mm). Despite the added length, the 2016 Hilux retains its previous wheelbase which comes in at 3,085mm.

The dashboard of the 2016 Toyota Hilux

Inside, it has an overall black interior that is only contrasted by splashes of metal trim and gray plastic. It has an illuminated gauge cluster that comes with a multi-information display while the center console has 7-inch tablet-inspired infotainment system that comes with USB, Aux and Bluetooth connectivity. Other features present in the new Hilux is a an automatic climate control with rear vents, a multifunction steering wheel and leather seats.

The seating of the 2016 Toyota Hilux

Toyota added that they improved comfort by incorporating the following: an enlarged side rail cross-section and an upgraded leaf spring type rear suspension and shock absorbers. The company even stated that there are three available suspension specifications, Standard for all road conditions, Heavy Duty for carrying large loads and Comfort which the company debuted in the 2.8-liter model and is aimed for driving on paved roads.

Under the hood, the range-topping model is powered by the 2.8-liter 1GD-FTV inline-four turbo diesel that generates 177 PS at 3,400 rpm along with a torque rating of 450 Nm that is available between 1,600 – 2,400 rpm. It is then mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox and 4WD system.

The 2.8-liter 1GD-FTV inline-four turbo diesel

Other engines available for the 2016 Hilux include the 2.4-liter 2GD-FTV turbo diesel inline-four that puts out 160 PS at 3,400 rpm with 400 Nm of torque at 1,600 – 2000 rpm and the gasoline-powered 2.7-liter inline-four which produces 166 PS at 5,200 rpm along with 245 Nm of torque available at 4,000 rpm.

It is slated to have its Philippine launch sometime in August.