The Toyota Hilux has a reputation as an essentially indestructible mid-size pickup truck. If you’ve seen those “Killing a Toyota” Top Gear episodes, then you know what I’m talking about. Whether you’re an off-road enthusiast or someone who’s in need of a really solid commercial vehicle, the Hilux sounds more than just a little bit appealing. With that in mind, it’s a real shame they stopped selling the Hilux in the United States.
That’s right, while the Hilux was sold in North America from the mid ’70s until the mid ’90s, it was replaced by the Toyota Tacoma in 1995 and hasn’t been available in America since. But, according to some reports, the long unobtainable Toyota pickup may soon be coming back to U.S. markets.
Not too much information is available right now, but as Autowise points out, a Hilux model packing a third-generation Toyota turbo diesel engine may be sold in the USA as early as 2020. As far as horsepower and torque goes, initial reports claim that “the engines will offer overall improvements in efficiency and power.” Are we getting our hopes up? Not entirely, because you know how this whole “initial reports” thing can go. That said, it would be extremely cool to see the formidable Hilux for sale in U.S. dealerships this time next year.
Toyota Hilux vs. Toyota Tacoma
In many ways, the Toyota Hilux and Toyota Tacoma are pretty similar. Both come standard with rear-wheel drive and are available with 4-wheel drive, as well. Both come with a 2.7-liter gas engine. Both are known for their durability and reliability.
That said, the Toyota trucks do have slight differences when it comes to styling and engine specs. The Hilux, which was sold as a compact truck until 2004, has a sleeker SUV look, while the Tacoma is wider and more rugged. Also, the Hilux comes with an optional single cab configuration, while the Tacoma doesn’t.
As far as engine options go, the Hilux is the only one of the two with a diesel option, though you can’t get it with a V6. Simply put, the Hilux puts more stock in its high torque numbers as a work truck, while the Tacoma, being a proficient off-roader, is more about horsepower.
Pricing wise, the Hilux has a cheaper base model for around $15,000, while the Tacoma goes for over $25,000, though the higher-end models for both trucks are in the mid-$40k range.