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2020 Toyota Hilux Rugged X

Car Reviews  ·  August 5, 2020

2020 Toyota Hilux Rugged X

The Toyota HiLux was introduced as the Japanese automaker’s response to the surge of utes in the market. It was aimed at the recreational four-wheel-drive market and came with several additional features which many buyers would typically add as aftermarket. 

Toyota HiLux’s range-topping Rugged X competes with such models as the Ford Ranger Raptor, VW Amarok 580 and the Holden Colorado Z71Extreme. The question is, how does it compare to others within the same segment?


The redesigned grill is an excellent addition along with the winch-compatible front bar and an integrated bash plate, which reduces the approach angles. There are front recovery points and an LED light bar that add to the aesthetics and functionality. 

It does not have frontal fog lights while the driving lights only come on with high beam. The rear of the Rugged X has also seen some changes like a new black steel sports bar which can support a load of 75 kilograms but, with other tie-down points, can manage 200 kg. 

The HiLux Rugged X is set on 17-inch alloys and high profile 265/65 R17 tyres on black arches. Other features to note include the matte black taillamp surround and gloss black exterior mirror caps and door handles.


The front seats of the HiLux Rugged X come heated, and the driver seat is electronically adjustable. The rear seating is based on the same structure as the SR5 HiLux with rear A/C vents available. There are no USB ports, though. Some of the cabin storage options aboard the Rugged X include bottle holder, overhead glasses holder and storage bins for each of the front doors. 

There are pop-out holders as well on each side of the dashboard along with upper and lower gloveboxes. The centre console features a storage tray at the front with a bin and two bottle or cup holders. The passengers in the back also get a bottle holder and small storage pockets situated on the backrests of the front seat.

Is the Toyota HiLux Rugged X comfortable?

The cabin of the HiLux Rugged X affords quite a lot of amenities and creature comforts as mentioned, considering it is an off-road-oriented vehicle. It has black perforated leather seats, and it is comfortable for long periods behind the wheel. There is excellent headroom in the front and rear, but knee room is limited for adults sitting in the back seat. 


The infotainment is the same as those featured on the other Toyota Hilux models and is set on a 7-inch display which includes DAB Radio, Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and a single-slot CD player. Voice recognition and the Link app suite is compatible with most Apple and Android phones. The Hilux Rugged X also features a smart key system which provides for keyless entry and ignition.


The Hilux Rugged X comes available with a 2.8 high torque turbo diesel engine that is rated at 130kW at 3400 RPM. The torque can reach 450 at 1600 RPM, meaning it provides sufficient strength at low gears. It is smooth and refined in its delivery, allowing for a relaxed type of driving style. 

The ute features a switch that triggers a manual burn which cleans the diesel particulate filter should it become clogged. It is an issue especially with utes serving as family cars for short trips which means cold starts that the diesel engines do not like. The six-speed automatic transmission on board is a good option for the ute, and there is an option for Eco or Power driving modes. The 4x4 system is part-time dual range with electronic traction control and rear diff locker. 

Is the Toyota HiLux fuel efficient?

When it comes to efficiency, the petrol engine drinks up 11.1L/100km for combined driving, meaning 1 litre of fuel takes you approximately 9km only. The Rugged X, which runs on a 2.8L diesel engine, uses 7.7L/100km, which returns about 12km per litre of fuel. This tells you that the Rugged X and the other Toyota HiLux variants are not the most economical utes to operate. 

What is the payload of a Toyota HiLux?

The ute’s payload varies, the most capable being the single-cab Workmate cab-chassis with a payload rating of 1,240kg. Extended-cab and double-cab variants are limited by their own weight and, thus, have lower payloads ranging from 1,050kg to 1,235kg. The range-topping HiLux Rugged X is weighed down further by all its accessories, limiting its payload to about 750kg. That number already includes all passengers on board. 

The towing limit is 3200 kg which is lower than what the class leaders offer. The figures on paper on its output imply that the ute is not the fastest either. It does feature a stiff suspension making the Toyota HiLux quite a handful on rocky terrain though the road-based tyres may hinder off-roading ability.  

Safety package

ANCAP awarded the HiLux Rugged X a 5-star rating due to its safety package, which includes Toyota’s safety sense features like pre-collision systems and pedestrian and cyclist detection. Lane departure and lane-keeping options are present along with high-speed active cruise control and road sign detection. The ute has a complement of seven airbags to complete the standard and new safety systems. 

There are ISOFIX child seat mountings as well on the two rear seating positions accompanied by top tether mounts. The new front bar and bash plating structure are fully integrated to the front-end design, allowing for compatibility to the safety systems on board as an extra layer. It stacks well on the safety front.


The Rugged X is the top-tier Toyota Hilux available on the market, so the pricing also reflects at $64,490. There is a five-year unlimited warranty though with a capped rate at only $250 for the scheduled visits every six months or 10,000 km, whichever comes first. So, if one is a regular user, there will be several visits to the local service centre.

What Toyota HiLux is the cheapest?

The Workmate single-cab cab-chassis 2.7L petrol, 5-speed manual is the cheapest Toyota HiLux configuration at $23,590.

Final thoughts

The Toyota Hilux Rugged X is the premium option in the lineup, and it is lavishly equipped. The problem is that extra gear for off-road only makes it much heavier than the other models and the powertrain remains the same. That reduces its payload capacity, which is detrimental, considering that it is a work truck. 

The aesthetics and safety, including the front-end and driver assistance packages, are attractive pluses. It is also easy to drive and handle. It may struggle when compared to the class-leading work trucks in the market, but the Toyota Hilux is a good option for light work and suburban settings. Solid abilities and great value for money make the Ute one of the good offerings this season.

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