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The Toyota Hilux, and Toyota Tacoma, are compact pickup trucks built and marketed by the Toyota Motor Corporation. The Hilux name was adopted as a replacement for the Stout in 1969, and remains in use worldwide. In North America, the Hilux name was retired in 1976 in favor of Truck, Pickup Truck, or Compact Truck, until it was renamed the Tacoma in 1995. One popular option package, SR5 (Sport Rally 5-Speed), also became synonymous with the truck, even though it was used on other Toyota models as well. In 1984, the Trekker, the camper version of the Hilux, was changed to the 4Runner in Australia and North America, and as the Hilux Surf in Japan. The 4Runner is now a full SUV, and the more recent models do not resemble the Tacoma.



The original Toyota pickup was the 1935 Type G1 truck. It shared many components with the company's Type A1 sedan, and was a 1.5 ton stake-bed commercial truck.


1953 Toyota Model SG truck

After World War II, Toyota returned with a compact pickup truck, the Toyopet Model SB. This was the ancestor of the Stout, and remained in production from 1947 through 1957.

  • 995 cc I4, 27 hp (20 kW)


1964 Toyota Stout

Introduced the second generation Stout. It was larger than the similar Datsun and Mazda compact trucks.

  • 1964-1968 - 1.9 L (1897 cc) 3R I4, 85 hp (63 kW)

First generation

The Hilux started production in March 1968 as the RN10 in short wheelbase form with a 1.5 L engine.This was upgraded to a 1.6 L I4 engine in February 1971.

Global markets:
  • 1968-1971 - 1.5 L (1490 cc) 2R I4

In April 1969, a long wheelbase version was added to the range. The short wheelbase version also continued in production for many more years. The long wheelbase version was not sold on the North American market until 1972.

In spite of the name "Hilux", it was a highly-luxurious vehicle only when compared to the Stout. Hilux was engineered and assembled by Hino Motorsmarker to augment the Hino Briska, Briska and Stout or to replace them in some markets. For the North American market, the only body style was a regular cab short bed and all were rear-wheel drive. It used a typical truck setup of A-arms and coil springs in front and a live axle with leaf springs in back. A 4-speed manual transmission was standard.

Global markets:
  • 1968-1971 - 1.5 L (1490 cc) 2R I4
  • 1971-1972 - 1.6 L (1587 cc) 12R I4

North American markets:
  • 1969 - 1.9 L (1897 cc) 3R I4, 85 hp (63 kW)
  • 1970-1971 - 1.9 L (1858 cc) 8R SOHC I4, 97 hp (72 kW)
  • 1972 - 2.0 L (1968 cc) 18R SOHC I4, 108 hp (81 kW)

Second generation

In the middle of 1972, the 1973 Hilux was released as the RN20. A more comfortable interior was specified along with exterior updates. A 7.5 ft (2.3 m) "long bed" was optional for the first time in North America, although it had been available in globally since April 1969.

Global markets:
  • 1972-1978 - 1.6 L (1587 cc) 12R I4
  • 1977-1978 - 2.0 L (1968 cc) 18R I4

North American markets:
  • 1973-1974 - 2.0 L (1968 cc) 18R SOHC I4, 108 hp (81 kW)

The truck was radically redesigned in 1975. Larger and more luxurious, the truck also introduced the 20R engine and SR5 upscale trim package. A 5-speed manual transmission was optional. The Hilux name was dropped in North America in favor of "Truck" the next year.

  • 1975-1980 - 2.2 L (2189 cc) 20R SOHC I4, 96 hp (72 kW)

Third generation

In North America the Hilux saw the use of four wheel drive. It had a solid front axle and leaf suspension. The body saw a redesign that included single round headlights and a less complex body. These trucks became known as first generation 4WDs. It was the first Hilux with automatic transmission.

1983 Pickup SR5 4X4

In 1981 a vehicle development agreement was established between Toyota, Winnebago Industries and two other aftermarket customizers. This was to allow Toyota to enter the SUV market in North America. The vehicles which resulted from this collaboration were the Trekker (Winnebago), Wolverine, and the Trailblazer (Griffith). All three used the Hilux 4x4 RV cab and chassis, and an all-fiberglass rear section (the Trailblazer had a steel bed with a fiberglass top). There were at least 1,500 Trekkers, 400 Trailblazers and an unknown number of Wolverines sold in North America. Research and development work on the Trekker lead to the development of the 4Runner, which was released in 1984. The 4Runner was sold in Australia, North America and the United Kingdom; in some other markets, such as Japan, it was called the Hilux Surf

  • 1981-1983-2.4 L(2366 cc) 22R SOHC I4, 96 hp (72 kW) at 4800 rpm and of torque at 2800 rpm.
  • 1981-1983-2.2 L Diesel I4, at 4200 rpm and of torque (SR5 long bed only.).
  • 1981-1983-1.8 L preflow 4 speed manual (Australia)

Fourth generation

The 1984 redesign introduced the Xtracab two-row extended cab option. There was also a fuel injected model, the 22R-E. Two diesel engines were also offered, the 2L and the turbocharged 2L-T. The diesels were discontinued in the U.S. after the 1986 model year, this was due to higher performance expectations from customers and the wide availability of inexpensive gasoline. The next year saw the introduction of a turbocharged option, the 22R-TE. The solid front axle was swapped out for an independent front suspension/torsion bar setup in the 4x4 model in 1986, and optional automatic front locking hubs and an electronic transfer case was added as well. A V6 engine was introduced in 1988.

  • 1984-1988 - 2.4 L (2366 cc) 22R SOHC I4, 96 hp (72 kW) at 4800 rpm and 129 ft·lbf (174 N·m) at 2800 rpm
  • 1984-1986 2.2 L 1L (2188 cc)Diesel I4, 62 hp (46.2 kW) at 4200 rpm and 93 ft·lbf (126 N·m) (SR5 long bed only)
  • 1984-1985 - 2.4L (2446 cc) Diesel I4 2L SOHC, 83 hp (62 kW) at 4200 rpm and at 2400 rpm;
  • 2L-T (2446 cc) SOHC, 92 hp (69 kW) at 4000 rpm and at 2400 rpm
  • 1984-1988 - 2.4 L (2366 cc) 22R-E SOHC FI I4, 112 hp (78 kW) at 4800 rpm and 137 ft·lbf (185 N·m) at 2800 rpm
  • 1986-1987 - 2.4 L (2366 cc) 22R-TE SOHC FI turbo I4, 135 hp (101 kW) at 4800 rpm and 173 ft·lbf (234 N·m) at 2800 rpm
  • 1988 - 3.0 L 3VZ-E V6, 145 hp (112 kW) @ 4800 rpm; 180 ft·lbf @ 3400 rpm

File:Toyota--pickup.jpg|1984–1988 Toyota Pickup (US)File:1984-1988 Toyota Hilux (LN56R) 2.4D 4-door utility 01.jpg|1984–1988 Toyota Hilux (LN56R) 2.4D 4-door utility (Australia)

Fifth generation

The next redesign, in 1988, saw a longer-wheelbase option, 122 in (309.9 cm) versus 103 in (261.6 cm) for the regular wheelbase. One-piece cargo box walls eliminated the rust-prone seams found in earlier models. The V6 Xtracab SR5 earned Motor Trend magazine's Truck of the Year award that year. Production began at the NUMMImarker plant in Fremont, Californiamarker, USA in 1991.

The Hilux (Seventh Generation) in South America was produced in Colombia since 1994 to 1998 by SOFASA (Only Petrol engine 2.4 l), sold and export to(Venezuela and Ecuador). For Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay was produced in Argentina since 1997 to 2005 (Sarate Plant. Petrol and Diesel engine). Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru was imported from Japan since 1989 to 1997 (Petrol and Diesel Engine).South American 7-G Versions:
  • Single Cab chasis (2wd, 4wd Petrol) (Colombia)
  • Single Cab Long Bed (2wd,4wd, Petrol and Diesel) (All South American countries)
  • Crew Cab (2wd,4wd, Petrol and Diesel)(All South American countries)

The Hilux in South America was produced in Colombia since 1998 to 2005 by SOFASA (Only Petrol engine 2.7 cc), sold and export to(Venezuela and Ecuador where the Single Cab 2wd Chasis/Long Bed is called Stout II). Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru it was imported from Japan since 1998 to 2004 (Petrol 2.7 cc and Diesel Engine 2.8D). This was mot sold in Argentina and Brazil because the 7th Generation received a facelift.South American 8-G Versions:
  • Single Cab chasis (2wd, 4wd Petrol) (Colombia and Ecuador)
  • Single Cab Long Bed (2wd,4wd, Petrol and Diesel) (All South American countries)
  • X-Tra Cab (4wd, Petrol and Diesel) (Bolivia)
  • Crew Cab (2wd,4wd, Petrol and Diesel)(All South American countries) (Named Hilux Millenium from 2002)

In Germany the Hilux was sold as the Volkswagen Taro.

  • 1989-1995 - 2.4 L (2366 cc) 22R-E SOHC FI I4, 112 hp (84 kW) at 4600 rpm and 142 ft·lbf (192 N·m) at 3400 rpm
  • 1989 - 3.0 L 3VZ-E V6, 150 hp (112 kW)

Volkswagen built and marketed them under the Volkswagen Taro name; this agreement ended in 1996.


The name Tacoma comes from an Lushootseed word for the volcano Tahomamarker in the Cascade Mountains, known as Mount Rainiermarker in English, which is visible from Tacoma, Washingtonmarker, USA.

The Tacoma frame differs from the Hilux frame, although both appear similar from the outside. Both the Tacoma and Hilux variants are sold in Mexicomarker.

The ninth generation of compact pickup trucks from Toyota, was radically updated, with a new frame and body, new suspension, and new engines. All versions now featured coil springs in front with a live axle and leaf springs in back.

The Tacoma was restyled in 1998 when the front fascia and the frame were the primary changes as well as the addition of new badging. It was also restyled in 2001 when a new "double cab" (crew cab) option was added, and a flashy S-Runner was offered as well.



Toyota shifted production from the Hilux to the Tiger in the 1990s and made it the global export hub. The Thailand made Hilux Tiger went through the following versions:1998-1999 - Hilux Tiger with 5L engine2000-2001 - Hilux Tiger with 5L EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) Engine2001 - Hilux Tiger with 1KZ engine (short lived replaced right away with D4D engine)Late 2001- late 2004 : Hilux Tiger SportCruiser with D4D engine

File:Toyota Hilux N140 003.JPG|Hilux

Single cab 2.0 L (Japan)File:Toyota Hilux N170 001.JPG|Hilux

Supports Pickup 4WD Wide Extra cab 2.7 L (Japan)File:Toyota Hilux N160 007.JPG|Hilux post facelift

Supports Pickup 4WD Wide Double cab 2.7 (Japan)File:Toyota-Tacoma-ext.jpg|Pre-facelift Tacoma extended cabFile:1995-97 Toyota Tacoma.jpg|Tacoma extended cab with second faceliftFile:Toyota-Tacoma-extended.jpg|Facelifted Tacoma extended cabFile:Toyota Hilux N170 001.JPG|1997–2001 Hilux Xtra Cab 2-door utility (Japan)File:1988-1991 Toyota Hilux (RN85R) cab chassis 02.jpg|1988–1991 Hilux (RN85R) cab chassis (Australia)File:2001-2004 Toyota Hilux (RZN149R MY02) 4-door utility 01.jpg|2001–2004 Hilux (RZN149R) 4-door utility (Australia)File:1992 Toyota V6.JPG|Pick Up 4WDFile:VWTaro1991.jpg|1991 Volkswagen Taro

Sixth generation

Both the Tacoma and the Hilux were updated in 2005. The Tacoma was based on the new Land Cruiser Prado chassis, while the Hilux rides on a refreshed version of the ladder frame found on previous versions. The new Hilux got bigger, now classified as a mid-size pick up. The Tacoma had a new 4.0 liter V6 engine that produces and torque. Its design was very similar to the 4Runner.

Those sold in European, Australian and Asian Markets are built and assembled in Thailandmarker and are known as the Hilux Vigo. For the South African and Icelandic markets the Hilux is built in Durban, South Africa. As of September 2009, it is the best selling vehicle in South Africa. Those sold in South America are made in Argentinamarker. The Hilux Vigo platform was used as the basis for Toyota's IMV program which spawned the Innova MPV and Fortuner SUV/PPV.

In Malaysiamarker, the Hilux is only available in 2.5 L with the option of single cab or double cab. The double cab model has an automatic transmission variant. It uses the same engine as other Asian countries (in-line, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC Turbo Diesel with common rail direct injection), however the specs for Malaysia’s models are slightly different in that its maximum output is 75 kW at 3600 rpm and maximum torque is 260 nm at 1600-2400 rpm.

Engines (markets):


A facelifted version of the Hilux was unveiled by Toyota's Malaysian distributors, UMW Toyota Motor in August 2008. Toyota has released a Left Hand Drive facelifted Hilux Vigo in August 2008 while a Right Hand Drive Hilux Vigo 2009 facelifted model is expected to be released in September 2008. The facelifted models were introduced to the Philippines in October 2008.

Toyota also introduced a rear access system called "Smart Cab" to replace all Xtra Cab models in E and G grade. The Smart Cab models are only for Thailand domestic market.

File:Tacoma-regular-cab.jpg|Current Tacoma (regular cab)File:2008 TRD Hilux (GGN25R) 4000SL 4-door utility 01.jpg|2008 TRD Hilux (GGN25R) 4000SL 4-door utility (Australia)File:Hilux vigo.jpg|Extended cab HiluxFile:Toyota Hilux (eighth generation) (front), Serdang.jpg|Double cab Hilux


The Hilux has gained a reputation for exceptional sturdiness and reliability, even during sustained heavy use and/or abuse, and is often referred to as "The Indestructible Car". This was further reinforced on the BBC motoring show Top Gear, when a 1988 Hilux with 190,000 miles (308,000 km) on the odometer was subjected to extraordinary abuse (in series 3, episodes 5 and 6). This consisted of driving it down a flight of steps, scraping buildings, crashing headlong into a tree, being washed out to sea and completely submerged, driving it through a garden shed, dropping a caravan onto it, hitting it with a wrecking ball, setting the cabin and bed area on fire, and, finally, placing it on top of a block of flats that was subsequently destroyed by a controlled demolition. Although it was now suffering from severe structural damage, the truck was still running after being repaired without spare parts and only with typical tools and equipment that would be found in a car's toolbox, such as spanners, motor oil, and a monkey wrench (adjustable spanner), however WD40 was used to get the engine going after it had been recovered from the sea. The Hilux currently resides as one of the background decorations in the Top Gear studio.

In the 2006 series (series 8, episode 3), a Hilux was chosen by Jeremy Clarkson as his platform for creating an amphibious vehicle. With assistance, Clarkson rigged the truck with a massive outboard motor, ironically made by Honda, and steering mechanism in the pickup bed. The truck, redubbed the "Toybota",was driven by Clarkson over several miles by road and two miles (3 km) across open water, before capsizing during a quick turn. Once recovered, the vehicle was moved back to the Top Gear Studio, where a confident Clarkson stated that he would be the only one capable of driving his car home, since it was the indestructible Hilux. However, Clarkson could not get the Hilux started which led his co-hosts to believe that Clarkson had finally destroyed the "indestructible". In the 2007 series (Series 10, Episode 2), Clarkson opted for a Nissan pickup instead of a Hilux in a second amphibious challenge, successfully crossing the English Channel in the vehicle.

In 2007, Top Gear ran a special program in which Clarkson and James May raced a customized 2005 model Hilux to the magnetic north pole from Northern Canada against Richard Hammond using a dog sled. The race, known as the Hilux Arctic Challenge, allegedly made the truck the first car to make it to the magnetic North Pole.

Outside television, these vehicles have been known to exceed 300,000 miles (~500,000 km) with regular maintenance. It is also infamous for being used as an improvised fighting vehicle - a "technical" - by militias and irregular military forces, especially in Third World conflicts. The Toyota War between Libyamarker and Chadmarker was so named because of the use of Hilux trucks as light cavalry by the Chadian army. These vehicles have also been used in the Iraq war as Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). Militias have been known to outfit this vehicle with stolen, post-Soviet missiles and equipment. The Toyota War saw use of the Hilux as a pulling vehicle, serving as an aircraft tug and tank pull for the T-62 heavy tank. There are currently 37 customized Hilux used by the People's Liberation Army in the Southern region of China. The Toyota Hilux has been widely used by Pakistan Army; however, Mitsubishi L200s were acquired instead of sixth generation Hilux recently to replace worn out vehicles.

In October 2007, the Swedish car magazine Teknikens Värld performed an evasive manoeuvre (a moose test) that revealed that the Hilux pickup truck was less than ideal for turning abruptly at speed. The car failed the test and only the driver's skill prevented it from overturning. After the test Toyota stopped the sales of Hilux equipped with 16 inch wheels in Europe.

A world record was achieved by the support crew for the participants in the 2008/2009 Amundsen Omega 3 South Pole Race. The crew travelled in specially adapted Toyota Hiluxs modified by Arctic Trucks, completing a trip of over 5000 km from Novo, a Russian Scientific Station in Antarcticamarker to the Geographic South Polemarker and back again, making them the first 4x4s to reach the South Pole. The return journey of 2500 km from the South Pole to Novo Station was completed in a record 8 days and 17 hours.

File:TGHiluxDestroyed.jpg|The nearly destroyed, but still working, Top Gear Hilux perched on its plinthFile:Top gear toybota 2.jpg|Jeremy Clarkson's Hilux Boat, redubbed the "Toybota"File:Hiluxmauritania.JPG|Toyota Hilux in the Sahel in Mauritania

Notes and references

External links

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