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Born to beat: Toyota’s ‘indestructible’ Hilux is all new, won’t stay shiny for long

Toyota has introduced the long-awaited 2016 Hilux, a mid-size truck sold in well over 100 countries worldwide.

All new from bumper to bumper, the Hilux gets a much more modern look that falls in line with Toyota’s latest design language. The bulk of the upgrades are found up front, where the truck is fitted with elongated headlights, a muscular-looking bumper, and a sizable three-slat grille. Sculpted fenders and bed sides partially hide the Hilux’s utilitarian roots.

The lineup is made up of three body styles: single cab, extra cab, and double cab. A cab-chassis will be introduced a little later in the production run.

The Hilux follows the truck industry’s gradual shift towards more car-like interiors. The instrument cluster boasts a configurable TFT screen, the steering is commanded through an ergonomic three-spoke multi-function wheel, and high-zoot trims can be ordered with a large touch screen that runs the latest generation of Toyota’s infotainment system.

Power for the Hilux comes from a brand new 2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine that makes 174 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and a stout 331 foot-pounds of torque from 1,600 to 2,400 rpm. The turbo four sends power to all four wheels via either a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic unit.

Related: Mercedes will take on the Hilux with its upcoming GLT-Class pickup

Buyers who don’t need that much torque will be able to order the truck with a 2.4-liter turbodiesel mill rated at 160 ponies and 295 foot-pounds of twist, and at least one gasoline-powered engine will be offered. That said, final specifications will vary from market to market.

2016 Toyota Hilux

Once future Hilux owners have picked an engine, they will be asked to choose from one of three suspension setups called standard, heavy-duty, and comfort, respectively. Standard is designed for regular Hilux owners who drive on a wide range of roads, heavy duty is meant for owners who often drive their truck on rough roads and who tow on a regular basis, while comfort is aimed at those who inexplicably never take their pickup off the beaten path.

Pricing information has not been published yet but it’s of limited interest to us because the Hilux will not make its way to our shores. However, if you live in Australia, Asia, Russia, Europe, Africa, or Latin America — in short, anywhere outside of the United States – the new Hilux is expected to arrive in showrooms before the end of the year.