Know Your Truck
Two months after spruiking the Australian input into the updated Toyota HiLux, more details, including pricing, have emerged.
Now officially launched, the 4x4 double cab Rugged X, Rogue and Rugged models come at a time when the higher-spec end of the market has become more crowded, witht eh likes of Mercedes-Benz entering the fray, and budget makes are looking to step up from the basic.
"These three new HiLux heroes give customers a bold new choice in the market whether they are looking for a stylish and refined top-end ute for work and play or need enhanced protection, functionality and recovery capability for serious off-roading," Toyota Australia's vice president sales and marketing Sean Hanley says.
"We know that the average HiLux customer already spends over $2,000 on accessories for their vehicles so we looked at what those needs were from both a capability and style perspective and developed a raft of new features for HiLux.
"Designed and developed over a three-year vehicle program, all the new components on these stunning HiLux models are fully integrated and engineered into the core vehicle and covered by the standard factory warranty.
"The Rugged X, Rogue and Rugged are not accessorised special editions, they are fully fledged new HiLux models that our customers demanded and we can be justifiably proud that they were designed and developed here in Australia."
As the new top-of-the-range HiLux, the fully equipped Rugged X is priced from $61,690 plus on-road and other costs — as are all figures mentioned — in manual guise and $63,690 as an automatic.
The automatic-only HiLux Rogue is priced from $61,690.
The HiLux SR-based Rugged offers superb value and is priced from $54,990 as a manual with the six-speed automatic option adding $2,000.
With its off-road focus, the Rugged X builds on the SR5 on which it is based with a host of protective, functional and recovery features.
At the front, the winch-compatible heavy-duty steel front bar with integrated bash plate, LED lightbar and driving lights provides effective off-road protection and, together with the new design grille, gives the Rugged X a striking and tough aesthetic.
Further protective and recovery features include a snorkel, purposeful side rock rails that are able to support a fully laden vehicle, front and rear recovery points and a new heavy-duty steel rear bar and integrated tow bar.
The rear tub of the Rugged X has also been designed for functionality with a new steel sports bar that can support a vertical load of 75kg and, with multiple tie down points, secure up to 200kg on the floor of the tub.
Inside, it features leather-accented seats, a new design instrument cluster, metallic black ornamentation and black headlining.
The Rogue has been designed with a more urban adventurer customer in mind and features "redesigned front and rear ends that reflect Toyota's global truck design DNA".
Designed in Australia and developed in conjunction with the Toyota engineering team in Thailand, it will be sold in markets globally.
"The new more vertical front end and outboard driving lights give the vehicle a strong assertive appearance that is complemented by clean lines and a neat rear bumper — all with a contemporary black and grey colour palette," Toyota says.
The tub also gains the same practical and stylish sports bar as all the new HiLux models along with a bespoke hard tonneau cover for added protection and security.
As a premium model, the Rogue also gains the same interior features and trim as the Rugged X.
The Rugged model is based on the HiLux SR and is aimed at customers who want the extra functionality and features of the Rugged X but with the protection offered by a traditional steel bullbar.
Like the Rugged X, the Rugged also features a snorkel, redesigned grille, side rock rails, sports bar and heavy-duty steel rear bar together recovery points.
All three new HiLux models share the same mechanical specifications as the SR5 or SR models on which they are based and are powered by a proven, strong and efficient 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine.
Driving through a part-time, shift-on-the-fly 4x4 system with a full set of low-range ratios, the engine generates maximum power of 130kW and 450Nm of torque with the optional six-speed automatic transmission or 420Nm when mated to the six-speed manual gearbox.
Truck Assist | Small Business Corner
Small businesses can now refer to a new website set up by the Fair Work Ombudsman to answer some of the most pressing questions on their workplace obligations.
The Small Business Showcase aims to make all the information and resources a small business could need available in the one place – covering topics as diverse as hiring employees and calculating their pay, to resolving workplace issues.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James is urging small business owners to participate in the showcase to ensure they’re up-to-date with their obligations under workplace law.
"Our Small Business Showcase is a great opportunity for small businesses to brush up on their workplace relations knowledge, download practical resources and find out more about the assistance the agency can provide," James says.
"Our experience, backed up by research, is that small businesses can be overconfident when it comes to compliance – failing to check the rules to ensure they’ve got things right."
The Ombudsman’s push comes after changes were made to the Fair Work Act last year, doubling the maximum penalty for failing to keep employee records or issue pay slips to $63,000 for a company and $12,600 for an individual.
The changes also tripled the maximum penalty for knowingly making or keeping false or misleading employee records to $12,600 for an individual.
James says the ombudsman expects employers to have checked the rules that apply to them – adding that it needed them to promptly rectify any errors when problems arise.
"Small errors arising from issues such as not passing on the annual wage increase or incorrectly classifying workers can add up to big underpayments over time – which can make for expensive and unexpected back-payment bills down the track," James says.
"What we want to do now is make it even easier for small businesses to access the information they need to implement positive workplace practices and help their business succeed at any time of the day."
The showcase includes six instructional videos demonstrating how small business owners can use Fair Work Ombudsman resources to meet their obligations as an employer.
It also has a series of opinion polls and surveys running throughout the showcase that will provide small business owners with the opportunity to share insights and highlight the key workplace issues facing small businesses today.
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