02 October 2020, By Dave Carey

Toyota Hilux Rugged X: Rugged by Name, Rugged by Nature

3 min read

Written by Dave Carey

The prize machine in our latest Mater Cars for Cancer lottery has been an Aussie favourite for over five decades. The unbreakable Toyota Hilux has forged a considerable reputation for build quality and reliability, with the Rugged X adding unparalleled off-road ability and combining it with the finer things in life. At over $70k, it’s not a cheap ute, but your support in a $30 ticket could set you up with one.

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Australia fell in love with the Hilux from the very outset, heralding a massive, but gradual change in our country’s ute-buying habits. Almost 50 years later, previous champions such as the Falcon and Commodore are gone, with vehicles like the Hilux filling the void, and these days, it’s fair to argue they do a better job.

That wasn’t always the case though; sure, the Hilux has always been tough, but when Sir Leslie Thiess imported the first batch shortly after their Japanese release in 1968, they were also pretty agricultural. Available in 2WD single cab only, the Hilux included only the barest necessities in contrast to their established, sedan-based, option-rich Aussie rivals. The Hilux’s party piece lay in its superior cargo capacity; it could carry 1000kgs all day long; although with only 57kw, you needed all day to get there.


Toyota Hilux Rugged X


Half a century later, the 650kg payload of the Rugged X is complemented by a hefty 3.5 Tonne braked towing capacity and powered by a 130kw 2.8 litre turbo diesel with an impressive 450Nm of torque. In layman’s terms, it will make short work of any load its lugging, whether it’s in the tub, on a trailer, the tools of your trade or the family’s fill for a week in the wilderness. If you reckon you could load it to the limit and activate an adventure, why not grab a ticket or two? Aside from giving yourself the chance to get into a Rugged X for just $30, you’ll be supporting the quest to cure cancer and improve people’s lives.

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Hitting the holiday road is half the fun and the Hilux Rugged X is as comfortable as it is capable. Occupants are safely surrounded by a leather-appointed interior and kept cool by set-and-forget, climate control air conditioning. Connectivity is paramount in 2020, so a Bluetooth-compatible stereo-satnav system ensures the tunes are streaming until the signal dwindles.

Despite a list of standard features that would embarrass a 10-year-old luxury limo, Toyota’s Rugged X lives up to its name while maintaining the Hilux’s unbreakable reputation. Away from the cities, our landscape is tough and uncompromising, so the top-spec Toyota was engineered for our conditions right here in Australia.

Toyota Hilux

Toyota’s local engineering team opted for a bunch of off-road tweaks to not only get you there but safeguard your return. Winch-compatible, under-body bash-plates, off-road recovery hooks, rock-sliding side steps, and a snorkel permit this four-wheel-drive to actually go four-wheel-driving. At night, the way is lit by an LED light bar complementing LED headlights and halogen high beams. Additionally, the Rugged X includes a heap of tech such as Toyota’s Hill-start Assist Control and Downhill Assist Control helping you maintain command in the steepest and slipperiest of conditions.

There’s so much a Hilux Rugged X can do; the only question will be, what you do with it? Hitting the buy button to grab a $30 ticket or three may give you that dilemma while assisting to drive vital research. Given the prize pool also includes $55,000 in cashable gold bullion and a modified Subaru WRX STi spec.R, a $30 ticket to be in it to win it, is the bargain of the year.

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