Following the release of the 2021 HiLux, Toyota has announced the return of the Rogue and Rugged X for 2021, too, with the pair of premium variants described as the most aggressive, most advanced and most ‘Australian’ yet.
The latter statement refers to local input in terms of the suspension and steering updates, with Toyota Australia involved in development and evaluation of the new, more powerful 2.8 turbo diesel engine, as well as the updated model’s styling.
"The expertise of our local teams has ensured these two fully fledged models offer more power and torque, more relaxed towing and overtaking in all conditions, sharper steering and handling, and suspension refinements that deliver excellent ride quality in all conditions," said Toyota Australia's Vice President Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley.
"They also incorporate an in-demand array of locally designed, developed and tested components that enhance capability and style: premium features on the 'work and play' HiLux Rogue and serious off-road protection and recovery for Rugged X."
Updates fitted not only to the upcoming Rogue and Rugged X, but also the rest of the 2021 HiLux range, start with the 1GD turbo-diesel four-cylinder.
While engine capacity remains at 2.8 litres, output has increased to 150kW and 500Nm – gains of 15 per cent and 11.1 per cent, respectively – thanks to a larger turbocharger and compatible modifications to the engine block, water jackets, exhaust manifold and gaskets.
Higher output – and a recalibrated six-speed automatic transmission to match – mean maximum braked towing capacity has increased from 3200kg to 3500kg – on par with most HiLux rivals.
Retuned rear suspension has resulted in improved ride comfort when the vehicle is unladen, while revised chassis mounts reduce NVH levels in the cabin.
To suit low-speed manoeuvring, be it crawling over rough trails or negotiating multi-level car parks, a new variable-ratio steering pump has been fitted. Reducing overall steering effort, this new pump also comes with a ‘low range’ mode specifically for off-road driving.
Rogue in Detail
As the “city” half of the Rogue-Rugged X pairing, the Rogue is more about comfort on the road than capability off it. As such, the MY21 updates are primarily in the realm of cosmetic and convenience touches.
Toyota Australia says their Melbourne-based design studio contributed to the new look of the HiLux Rogue, which is now regarded as a global vehicle.
Styling touches specific to the Rogue include a deeper grille with horizontal bars, a black surround and bright upper detailing that links the grille to the LED headlights that now feature darkened internals.
The front bumper has been completely redesigned, even compared to the standard My21 HiLux, with more compact foglamp housings and a more prominent front skidplate
The Rogue also gets unique wheelarch flares with a contrasting upper insert that’s reflected in the treatment of the sailplane-style sports bar. That bar is now cast resin, instead of steel. There’s a new split 5-spoke 18-inch alloy wheel design, too.
Beyond the cosmetic changes, the MY21 HiLux Rogue adds a power-operated roller tonneau cover that can be opened and closed remotely, synced with the vehicle’s central locking system. The new roller cover has been subjected to numerous local and overseas tests, according to Toyota, and the result is a tray area with “high levels” of water and dust resistance. Marine-grade carpet lining for the ute tub continues and includes integrated lighting and a 12V socket.
As with the previous version, the new Rogue is offered exclusively with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Finally, the MY21 HiLux Rogue adds two front and four rear parking sensors.
Rugged X in Detail
The Rugged X also gets its own front end, but it’s largely unchanged from the current version. The main grille opening is a little larger and the surround is chunkier, with the foglamp openings reshaped, too, but the hoopless front bullbar/bumper's overall shape is unchanged.
Grille components were designed and engineered locally, for improved airflow and resistance to damage, as well as the need to incorporate the radar for the Toyota Smart Sense radar.
The tow hooks remain, as does an LED light bar and skidplate, but the latter now carries Toyota branding, while a new-look Rugged X decal features on the bonnet, with bold branding added to the flanks, too.
Dark headlight inserts follow that of the Rogue. The sports bar is unchanged from the current Rugged X, as are the rock rails, snorkel and tub liner with tailgate protection.
Wheelarch flares are now larger, with a swept-back design, while the alloys are redesigned, but remain at 17-inch size.
At the rear, the bumper and tow hooks carry over, a tow bar and wiring harness are standard, but there’s a new tailgate latch that incorporates a high-mount stop light.
Puddle lamps in the exterior mirrors are new and also feature on the Rogue, while three new paint colours are offered.
While the Rugged X was available in manual and auto previously, it appears that just the six-speed auto will be offered on the 2021 version.
Common interior features on both models include a larger 8.0-inch centre console screen, upgraded multimedia system, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and a 9-speaker JBL sound system.
There’s a digital speed readout and front wheel angle display in the instrument panel’s 4.2-inch display, while the instruments themselves have been mildly modified.
An easier-to-use sat nav system, electro-chromatic rear-view mirror and grey outer panels on the leather-accented seats are other changes.
New Look, New Features, New Pricing
The release of the MY21 HiLux Rogue and Rugged X will see a significant price increase over the outgoing models – due mainly to the mechanical and suspension upgrades.
List pricing of $68,990 for the Rogue and $69,990 for the Rugged X will translate to around $75K drive away, which is a substantial increase over list pricing for the 2020 versions of $62,490 for the Rogue and $64,490 for the Rugged X auto.
Local delivery of the MY21 Toyota HiLux Rogue and Rugged X is due to commence in mid-November, subject to COVID-19 conditions.
2021 Toyota HiLux Rogue/Rugged X pricing
Rogue 2.8 auto $68,990*
Rugged X 2.8 auto $69,990*
*list pricing, excl. ORCs