Of the cars presented at the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival 2023, a HiLux seems like the least interesting. But out of all of them, it does stand to make the biggest impact on UWM Toyota’s bottom line.
It’s pretty much just like the HiLux you know, in double cab guise, but dressed up in GR Sport bits – yes, it is a cosmetic enhancement package. It includes a new front grille, grille frame, overfenders, 18-inch wheels.
The exterior is a very close match to the version sold in Thailand, as does its trio of colour combinations: Super White II, Attitude Black Mica, and Crimson Red Metallic.
Prices & Variants – 2023 Toyota HiLux
2023 Toyota HiLux Single Cab – 2.4 MT
2023 Toyota HiLux Double Cab 2.4 E – MT
2023 Toyota HiLux Double Cab 2.4 – E AT
2023 Toyota HiLux Double Cab 2.4 – V AT
2023 Toyota HiLux Rogue 2.8 – AT
2023 Toyota HiLux GR Sport 2.8 – AT
However, we’re very pleasantly surprised to find that the suspension system has also been upgraded to a beefier monotube shock absorber setup with retuned coil springs. Its engine is unchanged, however, with the 1GD-FTV 4-cylinder turbodiesel pumping out a familiar 204PS and 500Nm of peak torque paired to a 6-speed automatic. Exclusive to the HiLux GR Sport, though, are paddle shifters!
Mechanically, the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel lacks the enhancements that gives the Australian market version of the HiLux GR Sport a leg up to the tune of 224PS and 550Nm, and neither does the Malaysian-spec version receive the widened track deemed necessary for the rough and tumble of the outback.
The HiLux GR Sport, at least in its local guise, might not tick all the boxes as a perfect foil to the Ranger Raptor (2nd-generation), but it might get closer than most thanks to its uprated suspension. Of course, we’ll need to test this out to see its full capability shine through.
Inside, the range-topper gain aluminium pedals, plenty of GR badges and logos strewn throughout the cabin, which is now dressed up in a leather and suede combination (front only) with red contrast stitching to match a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
As was offered in the Rogue, the HiLux GR Sport gains the Toyota Safety Sense suite of active safety features such as Pre-Collision, Lane Departure Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and the ever useful 360-degree all-round view camera system.