TOYOTA has patched up a big deficiency with its bestselling HiLux.

The brand has put safety front and centre with the latest updates to its ever-popular workhorse ute.

The HiLux has fallen behind rivals such as the Ford Ranger and the Mitsubishi Triton in terms of safety but but the inclusion of a number of standard active safety technologies across the range brings the tradies' favourite into line with key rivals.

All versions now come with the brand's "safety sense" package that includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, active cruise control, lane departure warning with lane-keep assist and speed-sign recognition. A comprehensive suite of gear that is only set to boost sales even further.

The Toyota HiLux now comes with long awaited standard safety kit. Picture: Supplied.
The Toyota HiLux now comes with long awaited standard safety kit. Picture: Supplied.

But the new safety focus comes with price rises of between $800 and $875 depending on specification.

Toyota believes the new equipment will deliver a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

The local crash test authority has in the past 12 months made driver aids essential to new cars receiving full marks on safety.

Several new vehicles have received low scores due to lack of driver aids. The Jeep Wrangler was slapped with a one-star rating after poor structural results and the lack of standard driver aids such as autonomous emergency braking.

Toyota HiLux Rugged X is the brand’s range-topper. Picture: Supplied.
Toyota HiLux Rugged X is the brand’s range-topper. Picture: Supplied.

The Suzuki Jimny copped a three-star rating partly because its autonomous emergency braking tech didn't have pedestrian or night time detection functionality.

However, there are anomalies in the test regime. The Volkswagen Amarok still has a five-star rating because it was tested in 2011. This ute doesn't come with autonomous emergency braking and has no airbag protection for rear-seat passengers.

Toyota Australia's sales and marketing boss, Sean Hanley, believes the addition of the new safety equipment gives drivers peace of mind and brings consistency to its range.

"With the addition of these advanced safety technologies, customers can be assured they are behind the wheel of a vehicle that delivers the latest driver assistance features, whether that's a light commercial vehicle like HiLux or HiAce, or a passenger car such as Corolla or Camry," says Hanley.

Toyota is ditching several Workmate versions in favour of higher-riding variants.
Toyota is ditching several Workmate versions in favour of higher-riding variants.

The safety updates will come into effect over several months: single and dual-cab versions from July 8, higher-spec Rugged, Rogue and Rugged X from August 1 and HiLux extra cab versions from August 26.

Toyota has also ditched two base Workmate diesel-powered versions and replaced them with a Hi-Rider version with a raised ride height.



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