First Drive: Toyota Hilux 2.8 Rogue – RM146,880

By thoriq, 08 October 2020

‘Rogue’? 'Enough Said'? Has the Hilux gone mad or something?

No, it hasn’t. You can thank things like the Ford Ranger Raptor and the upcoming Honda City for hype-based marketing taglines as such and the subsequent model naming culture it spawned.

Fortunately, you have folks like us to dissect all this hoopla

Thankfully, Toyota’s heavily updated range-topping pick-up truck has plenty of substance to back this hype up. Much of this stems from the new intelligent driver assistances it is now endowed with, plus other key changes inside and out.

We had half a day’s worth of drive time in the Hilux Rogue prior to its virtual launch today and, unsurprisingly, there’s plenty to bask in.


So what’s new apart from its ‘Rogue’ naming?

Plenty, and we’ll start with the powertrain. You still get the choice between a 2.4-litre and 2.8-litre 4cyl turbodiesel in the range, but it’s the latter that powers the new Rogue flagship, and it sports a brand new turbocharger system. With it, there’s now 204PS (201bhp) and 500Nm in play – 27PS and 50Nm more than before.

Notably, the Hilux Rogue’s beefed up grunt is now accessible from a lower and much broader 1,600rpm to 2,800rpm range. The result of which is evident in the effortless manner this 2,120kg (kerb) pick-up truck gets off the line and going. There’s even a new and also beefed up Auto LSD suite to keep all this grunt in check.

Aptly, real trucking duties, as in lugging people and or big, heavy things in the flatbed to almost anywhere, should be made easier now. Should the Hilux Rogue spend more time on the pavement however, Toyota’s blessed it with a few new intelligent driver assistances to make it both easier and safer to drive here too.

So it’s a smarter truck now too?

Very much so. A new array of forward sensors have now enabled things like radar-guided cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, as well as lane-departure warning and assist. Yep, the Hilux Rogue’s playbook now sees it equal its footing against its arch rival the Ranger on this front.

What’s interesting here is how the lane-departure warning and assist feature works. Unlike most, the Hilux Rogue’s system employs an additional Yaw Assist feature that applies additional inner wheel braking – on top of turning the steering wheel itself – to correct the truck’s heading, and the sensation of it in action is very different too.

Whilst on the subject of safety, this flagship truck is as fully-loaded as Toyotas come. Present are seven airbags, ABS, traction and stability control suites plus trailer sway control, blind-spot warning, hill-start assist, ISOFIX child seat anchors, not forgetting a nifty 360-degree parking monitor, though that last one could use higher resolution.


Does it drive like a truck still?

Yes, but Toyota says both the spring and damper settings have been tweaked. The former now offers a little more travel whilst the latter’s been recalibrated for more softness. The result sees this Hilux deliver a noticeable softer and tauter ride.

Our half day’s drive from Toyota’s Shah Alam HQ through the hills of Genting Highlands and Janda Baik and back, the Hilux Rogue’s driving manners here were commendable to say the least. However, it fundamentally remains a big, heavy and high-riding truck at heart, so don’t expect GT86- or Supra-like agility.


More than anything, the slightly revamped ride has made this Hilux noticeably much more pleasant to drive in and out of the concrete jungle with. The addition of the intelligent driver aids mentioned earlier only sweetens the affair further, as does the electric power steering suite that’s also carried over.

On this note, ‘lifestyle truckers’ will be glad in knowing that this flagship offers lots of creature comforts too. The list includes plush leather seats, nifty keyless entry and ignition, automatic climate control with rear vents, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as fast-charging USB ports.

I’m no town trucker. How does it handle the rough?

Truthfully? We don’t know. The pandemic-driven short half-day press drive program didn’t spare us enough time for us to take the Hilux Rogue for spot of off roading. Nevertheless, we reckon this Hilux wouldn’t fare any less than its predecessors, even with the factory-equipped highway terrain tyres that this new flagship is primed with.

If it helps, part-time four-wheel-drive (4WD) is still present, on top of the Auto LSD mentioned earlier that supplements the existing Automatic Disconnecting Differential suite, as is a hill descent control feature. In other words, should the going get rough, this new Hilux Rogue has everything it needs to get through it.

That aside, it’s plain to see Toyota kept both utility and urban needs in mind when revamping the 2020MY Hilux range. This new Rogue flagship offering more or less combines and balances both almost seamlessly, which in turn ought to justify its RM146,880 (excluding insurance) price tag.


Woah, that’s heavy doc…

Yes, and understandably so given that the Rogue is the range-topper. It is also the only one benefitting with the improved new 2.8-litre turbodiesel mill, plus all the advanced driver aids mentioned, the latter resulting in the Hilux Rogue’s new five-star ASEAN NCAP rating.

If it eases your mind a little, UMWT will include a five-year or 150,000km warranty coverage in said price too.