Toyota has announced the expansion of its super popular HiLux range, for the first time offering the entry-level WorkMate with an automatic transmission. The introduction of the new WorkMate Single Cab and Double Cab automatic models, increases the HiLux 4x2 range to 16 models.
The launch of WorkMate automatic follows the recent visual and technical upgrade of the HiLux for 2009.
Technical upgrades for the 2009 HiLux include a move to Euro IV compliance, with two VVT-i equipped petrol engines being available, the 2.7-litre engine (exclusive to the Workmate) and the 4.0-litre V6. The 2.7-litre 2TR-FE petrol engine delivers 116kW of power and 240Nm of torque and can be fitted with a five-speed overdrive manual or four-speed overdrive automatic transmission.
Workmate buyers are also able to option ABS anti-skid brakes, while 15" steel wheels are now standard (previously only available with with the ABS option). The move to larger wheels, has enabled Toyota to increase the standard front brake size (now 275mm), for improved braking performance.
A number of suspension upgrades have been introduced for the upgraded model, with the HiLux 4x2 benefitting from revised valving for the front and rear dampers, and revised bushes for the rear suspension, to reduce vibration.
Both HiLux 4x2 and 4x4 rear suspensions, now feature double-row, roller-type axle bearings, for improved reliability and more stable handling.
Cosmetic changes to the exterior include a new trapezoid shape radiator grille (to bring the HiLux into line with Toyota's other SUVs), a new front bumper design and a new headlamp design with clear lenses for the front turn signal lamps. High-grade HiLux 4x4 SR5 models adopt a new 15-inch alloy wheel design.
All SR5-grade models now have audio and multi-information display controls on the four-spoke leather-bound steering wheel, as well as a new design chrome/grey radiator grille in lieu of the previous body-coloured grille. The Double Cab SR5 also features cruise control.
The Kluger's signature metallic colour, Tidal Blue, is now also available on HiLux.
Inside the upgraded HiLux,there is now a cover on the front passenger vanity mirror and a new shift console on all manual transmission models, which has been raised by approximately 30mm, for an improved 'appearance'. The light control switch and the wiper control switch have also been changed to enhance operability.
Despite the upgrades to the new Workmate models, Toyota has kept the pricing at the same level as the outgoing model. Buyers opting for the new automatic transmission in their Workmate will need to find an extra $2000.
Toyota has also maintained prices on 4x2 turbo-diesel models and 4x4 SR V6 petrol single-cab and cab-chassis models.