High times for Hilux: Toyota’s premier workhorse gets an Adventure-ready upgrade

It's always been known for being tough, but now the Japanese stalwart has been rejigged for fun times

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One of Toyota’s most stalwart creations has just had a makeover – and it’s an extreme enough shake-up to push it into a market where it’ll go head-to-head with the world’s most high-end pick-ups.

We’re talking about the Hilux, a vehicle most will be familiar with, if only by sight – the UAE’s roads are filled with commercial versions, generally carting around various kinds of work-related gear.

Now, though, customers will be able to get their hands on a model geared towards drivers who need a bit of space to truck around the kind of stuff that’s likely to result in fun for the occupants.

This newbie is called the Adventure, and Toyota is styling it as a tough set of wheels ideal for long road trips, off-road exploration, camping, fishing and any other activity that will require shunting around a lot of kit.

With special features throughout, the vehicle has been given an athletic look, which includes a three-dimensional trademarked front grille and a reinvigorated front bumper. Wide wheel-arch extensions have been designed to fit the 18-inch alloy tyres, and there are little decorative touches that include unique door handles and a new tailgate design.

There’s no shortage of oomph, of course – the new Hilux has been fitted out with a four-litre V6 engine, which will pump out 235 horsepower. That’s less than a lot of pick-ups on the roads at the moment, but the Adventure is a more streamlined option than some of the more monstrous versions of the breed. Suffice to say, you’ll notice the difference at the petrol pump.

Toyota is clearly expecting the Adventure to get some attention as it gave a version to former 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso, who described it as “invincible”. If the Adventure is anything like its commercial compatriots, there may not be a lot of argument with that. He did drive a souped-up version in the Dakar Rally, after all.

Prices for the Adventure start at Dh143,000, and Al Futtaim Toyota dealerships are offering test drives now.