Toyota Hilux and Prado
Toyota New Zealand is adding two locally-specced Gladiator models to its 2017 Hilux line-up as it looks to continue to claw back sector market share from Ford. Ross Mackay has the story.
The two new production models are based on the heavily customised Hilux Gladiator Concept ute Toyota NZ showed at Fieldays last year and will join a third ‘new’ local Hilux – the SR5 Cruiser- in the company’s extended 2018 model offering. The SR5 Cruiser will be available in both 2WD and 4WD Pre-runner configuration, Toyota NZ seeing it as its top-of-the-line ‘Level 4’ offering in the vein of the Wildtrak version of Ford’s Ranger and the Z71 version of the Holden Colorado. As such it will replace the SR5 LTD in the Hilux line-up. Effectively it is a simple styling and re-spec exercise, but so impressed are local execs with the new nose and grille that these will be adapted across the complete range from June 2018 production. The two Gladiator models also get a new grille (in this case the one from the Concept model), as well as a 20-inch diameter. alloy wheels, flare kit and custom leather interior. One has a more urban look with a deeper (think TRD) front bumper and A/T tyres, the other a more overt off-road one thanks to flare kit and new angular steel bumpers front and rear, a custom (red) sump guard, trick sports bar, and set of guard-filling M/T tyres. As far as the revised 2018 model
line-up goes Hilux is offering customers even more choice and features across 21 models, 12 4WD and nine 2WD The addition of more automatic transmission variants, a common 3.5 tonne tow rating across all Prerunner and 4WD powertrains, and a differential lock added to the Prerunner range, are all in response to market feedback. As is work on spring rates, particularly at the rear, to improve ride quality, long the bane of Hilux buyers. The five new automatic transmission variants added to the range include a 2WD Prerunner SR Extra Cab and four SR 4WD variants across different body configurations; Single Cab Chassis, Extra Cab Chassis, Extra Cab Ute and Double Cab Chassis. What did come as a bit of a bombshell at the 2018 model reveal was the news that the V6 petrol models are no more. As is the 4WD Extra Cab Ute with manual transmission. Hilux pricing for the range at November 2017 starts at $36,390 for the 2WD S 2.8 DT Single Cab Chassis, five speed manual $36,390. Pricing for 4WD models starts at $49,390 for a 4WD SR 2.8 DT Single Cab Chassis, six speed manual and goes to $62,690 for the 4WD SR5 2.8 DT Double Cab, six speed automatic $62,690. RRPS for the new SR5 Cruiser and two Gladiator models will be announced at a later date.