Are you on the market for a mid-size truck and you want to learn if you can get the Toyota Hilux USA? If that is the case, you shouldn’t worry because we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to the Toyota Hilux and more.
- What Is The Hilux?
- 2021 Specs
- Reputation Of The Hilux
- Why Is Not Sold Here?
Getting a mid-size truck is probably the way to go these days. Full-size trucks are not for anyone, mostly because they and big and bulky and also really expensive to run. That’s why taking a look at the mid-size truck segment will probably be your best bet if you want to drive a truck and don’t want something that big.
Also, mid-size trucks spend less fuel than the bigger full-size trucks that are out there. This means that your budget will not be obliterated by the high gas bills. And as the gas is going up these days with the situation in the world right now, we cannot expect that things will get better any time soon. That’s why the Hilux is probably one of the best bets, but there is a catch and we are going to discuss that in the following article.
First, we are going to cover what is the Toyota Hilux and learn the Toyota Hilux specs for the 2021 model year. Then we will share our comparison with the Tacoma and we will answer the question of why there is no Toyota Hilux USA model available and also we will list the alternatives. So, follow along.
What Is The Toyota Hilux USA?
That’s why it is so highly desirable among the audience who want a good and reliable pickup truck that can haul a lot of stuff and be practically bulletproof. But there is also another reason that makes the Toyota Hilux USA very desirable and that is the inability to get this pickup truck anywhere in the US.
Most notably because it is not imported. Even though you can import it if you want to from another country. But more on that, we are going to cover later.
Now let’s see what does Hilux means? The name Hilux is a combination of the words high and luxury. So, the end word is Hilux.
It was first introduced back in 1968 as a compact truck but as the years went by, it evolved into a mid-size truck. At the present moment, the Toyota Hilux is in its 8th iteration which means that there are 8 generations of the Toyota Hilux.
But although it is not imported right now in the USA, it doesn’t mean that this has always been the case. The Hilux was in fact even produced up until 1995 in the USA, but Toyota decided to ax the Toyota Hilux USA model and replace it with the bigger Toyota Tacoma since the market for full-size trucks was much bigger than for the mid-size trucks.
But are we going to see a revival of the Toyota Hilux USA? Well, we are going to find out a bit later. But first, let’s see what are the specs of the most recent Hilux model.
2021 Toyota Hilux Specs
The latest generation of the Hilux was introduced in 2015 and is still in production to this day. This model as we mentioned belongs to the group of mid-size pickup trucks.
The Hilux comes in a two-door and a 4 door crew cab car. The wheelbase of the Hilux is 121.5 inches. So, it doesn’t matter which type of cab are you getting the wheelbase is always the same. What is different is the length of the vehicle.
For the Crew cab, the length is somewhere between 207 and 210 inches while for the single cab is shorter and is somewhere between 199.8 inches and 207.5 inches depending on the spec. While the smart cab with the suicide doors is similar in size to the crew cab with 207 inches in length.
As we said this model is in production since 2015. It is produced in many factories and continents across the world but it is sad that it is not produced in the USA and we don’t have a Toyota Hilux USA model. But we hope so that one day we will have one here in the states. Now let’s cover the other specs of the Hilux. Namely, the engines and transmissions.
Engines And Transmissions
As we mentioned the Hilux is sold across many different markets worldwide. Everywhere there is a different demand so the powertrains depend much on the market that the Hilux is intended for.
The most popular options in Europe are diesel engines. There are a variety of these diesel engines in the Hilux. But the most popular is the 2.5l straight 4 turbocharged engine. There are also 2.4l, 2.8l, and 3.0l diesel engines. Depending much on where you live and what is offered there.
There are also petrol (or gasoline) engines that offer a great driving experience as well. Namely the 4.0l V6 engine that is pretty much bulletproof and extremely popular engine. There are also two other engines. Namely the 2.0l and 2.7l straight 4 engines. So, we can conclude that in terms of engines there is an option for everybody.
In terms of transmission, there is also a wide variety of options. But most of the engines are either connected to a 6-speed manual or 6 speed automatic. There is also the 5 speed manual for the lower trim options. Overall, pretty much bulletproof engines and transmissions and are extremely reliable.
The fuel mileage of the Hilux is excellent on the diesel engine options. The 2.5l turbo diesel that you will find in most of the offerings out there is averaging 38 mpg. And that is quite good when compared to the regular full-size truck that can be found in the US like the Ford F-150 or the Dodge RAM 1500.
The petrol engines are not that fuel-efficient when compared to the diesel engine and can average somewhere around 11.8 liters on 100km. We give you the kilometer numbers because the V6 is not available in countries that use the imperial system.
Toyota Hilux Safety
And the Hilux performed quite well on their tests. It got an overall rating of 5 stars which is the maximum rating. As they claim, the protection for the adult occupant is 96%, while for a child the protection is 87%. For pedestrians, the safety is 88%. And the safety assist got a 78% rating.
Considering this, we can say that the Hilux is quite a good performer when it comes to the safety of the people inside and outside. But still, it much depends on your driving and also other factors in the traffic.
Sales Of The Hilux
The Hilux is quite a good seller. Since its inception in the 60’s the sale numbers are steadily climbing by every year. And the Hilux is averaging around half a million vehicles sold worldwide.
But if Toyota decides to import the Toyota Hilux USA model here, they could climb even more because the Hilux has a great reputation in the car community and overall in the car culture. And that we are going to cover in the next chapter. Where we will learn more about the reputation of the Hilux.
Reputation Of The Toyota Hilux
The reputation of the Hilux is one of the best when it comes to cars and the Hilux is loved by almost everyone out there. The Hilux is a proper workhorse that is doing a lot of work on a daily basis and it simply doesn’t stop.
And this reputation is drawing the roots by this fact. In fact, there was an episode in Top Gear that you should watch if you shouldn’t. Where they throw the Hilux from a hill and the Hilux survives and keeps going. Even though it is turned into a pancake.
Things like this make some cars become legends. That’s why many people are craving to have one for themselves in the USA, but it’s not clear when we are going to get a Toyota Hilux USA model.
Unfortunately, we only have the Tacoma. In the next chapter, we are going to learn how different is the Hilux from the Tacoma, and then we are going to discover why the Hilux isn’t imported in the USA. Because there is a reason behind it. And we are going to learn this reason for you to have a better understanding of the situation.
How Is It Different From The Tacoma?
In the ’90s Toyota has started feeling the need for a bigger truck for the US market. The Hilux simply couldn’t meet the demand of the market and it didn’t offer the performance.
Since we already know that the US market loves full-size trucks and the Hilux wasn’t cutting it anymore. So, Toyota has introduced the Tacoma.
The Tacoma was Toyota’s take on the full-size category and it was built to be a competitor to the F-150, the Silverado, and the RAM 1500. There are also other full-size trucks, but these are the best sellers.
Targeting the full-size class meant introducing a bigger chassis and engines. The Tacoma is quite bigger in comparison to the Hilux. The Tacoma has a wheelbase of 127 inches, which is 6 inches longer than the Hilux. And that is for the shortest cab. The longest Tacoma wheelbase goes up until 140 inches which is 20 inches more than the Hilux.
In the Tacoma there are also more powerful engines when compared to the Hilux. The Tacoma is carrying a 2.7 engine that is producing 159hp for the base version and a more powerful V6 engine of 3.5l of displacement that is producing 278hp and that is quite a bit of power. This engine is recommended if you plan to haul a lot of stuff with your Tacoma.
Not to mention the design that is purely American. The Tacoma isn’t sharing the same design language as the Hilux and is purely intended to serve American customers. Which also translates into the design language used in the vehicle as well.
They are both good trucks. But have you asked yourself why we aren’t seeing a Toyota Hilux USA model? Well, that’s what we are going to learn next.
Why The Toyota Hilux Is Not Imported In The USA?
This is a good question that deserves an elaborate answer. Especially if you want to get a Hilux for yourself.
And the answer is because of the laws. Back in the day, there was a law called Chicken Tax that goal was to tax light trucks that are not manufactured in the US for about 25% in comparison to the 4% for the home produced.
This chicken tax was retaliation by US president Lyndon B. Johnson who imposed it back in 1964. Many years before the Hilux even begin its production. And that was because of the European tariffs imposed by European countries on US imports.
Many products were tariffed. For example potato starch, alcohol, and even light trucks. Most of these products were relieved from this tariff. But for the light trucks, it still stands.
This means that if you want to see the Hilux in the USA, you will have to import it from elsewhere. And we are going to cover that later.
Or, be patient and wait long enough so Toyota starts to produce the Hilux in the US. But this is highly unlikely. Even though they have teased us many times.
It’s really unfortunate that we cannot see such great trucks because of this legislation. But it is what it is. That’s why you can import one from outside and also pay the 24% tax along the way. And that we are going to cover next.
How To Import One Into The USA?
The short answer is that you can’t. You can import one probably. But it is highly likely that you will not be able to register this vehicle. You will also have to pay that 24% chicken tax along the way.
Which makes this acquisition highly unlikely. Because it will cost you an arm and a leg to get this vehicle in the states. And also you will not be able to register it. Which is really unfortunate.
So, why you cannot register it? This is the case because the Hilux is not made for US roads. In order for a car to be approved to be used in America, it has to pass a lot of testing, and also the special equipment has to be installed in order to comply with the laws.
So, it is an extremely hard task to get the Toyota Hilux USA. But you shouldn’t be desperate because there are alternatives to the Toyota Hilux USA model and we are going to cover them next.
Alternatives To The Toyota Hilux USA?
Unfortunately, you cannot get the Toyota Hilux USA. But there are alternatives that are readily available that you can purchase for a good deal.
In the following chapters, we are going to list them and give you our input on whether they are the way to go. These trucks are in the same class as the Hilux. Which means that they share the same proportions. So, let’s begin.
One of the first models that will come to your mind when you are thinking of an alternative to the Hilux is the Ranger.
The Ranger is basically a mirror-like truck with the Hilux. Although, apart from the dimensions nothing is the same.
It is a good thing that the Ranger is readily available and complies with the US legislation. This means no chicken tax or other annoying things if you want to purchase it.
The Nissan Frontier is another truck that is in the Ranger and Hilux category. Which means that it is a mid-size pickup truck.
And this Nissan is quite a good alternative for the Hilux. And what its best of this Nissan is that it is assembled in the USA which means no imports, no chicken taxes, or any of that annoyance.
It is also a brand new model that is 2022. This means that the new generation has just come out of the production line.
And it also delivers a good performance as well with the 3.8l V6 engine making 310hp. Along with a 9-speed automatic transmission. You just cannot beat that. If you are for a new truck, this Nissan gets my vote.
Chevy Colorado / GMC Canyon
Chevy also has an offering in this category of mid-size pickup trucks and that is the Colorado. The Colorado is a reliable beater truck that can withstand anything out there. And most of these trucks are driven to the ground. That’s why it is hard to find a good one. But if you have a bigger budget, you can find a second-hand Colorado for a good deal.
This truck is also manufactured by GMC as well since they are a parent company with Chevrolet. You can also find this Colorado under the badge of GMC Canyon.
This truck is also packed some power with 2 Duramax turbo-diesel options and also a punchy 3.6L V6 gasoline. My vote goes for the Duramax diesel if you plan to haul a lot of stuff with it, and also the overall reliability should be much better in comparison to the gas engines.
If you want to go for something smaller and cute looking, then the Ford Maverick is probably the way to go.
This means that it’s basically a car that looks like a truck. And it is extremely capable when compared to other trucks out there. It is perfect for people that want to haul but don’t haul a lot.
And the price is one of the best things about it. Costing only $22,000 for the base model which is quite acceptable.
Hyundai Santa Cruz
The Santa Cruz is also a class below the Toyota Hilux USA and the Ranger. But in the same category as the Ford Maverick. And they are created for the specific role of filling this hole in the market for people who want trucks but do not like enormous trucks.
Unlike the Maverick that looks like a regular pickup truck, the Santa Cruz is braver with its design and it looks quite appealing. For me, it is one of the best models out there right now. Prices are similar to the Maverick, even though the Santa Cruz is a bit more expensive.
Toyota Hilux: Facts on Why it’s Not Available in North America
- The Toyota Hilux is a reliable work truck that has been popular globally since its launch in Japan in 1968.
- The Hilux was available in limited numbers in America from the early 70s to the 90s before disappearing from the North American market in 1995.
- Toyota’s decision to stop selling the Hilux in North America may have been due to emission and safety standards.
- Importing a Toyota Hilux to the US today comes at a great cost due to the 25 percent tariff imposed by the American government called the Chicken Tax.
- The Toyota Tacoma replaced the Hilux in the US market and has been a successful successor since 1995.
- The Tacoma is wider than the Hilux and has a more aggressive design language that suits American roads and buyers.
- The Hilux has a variety of engine options, including diesel, which is less popular with American buyers.
- The Toyota Hilux is Toyota’s most durable pickup truck globally.
- Classic.com lists legal used Toyota Hilux trucks for sale in North America, including models from 1995 and earlier.
- Fans of Toyota pickups can still technically import a Hilux to the states, as long as they’re willing to pay the price.
Conclusion – Toyota Hilux USA
In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to the Toyota Hilux. We learned what the Hilux is and also its characteristics. The engines that are used as well as the specs that it is running.
Then we discussed the Toyota Hilux reputation and why it is so desirable. We also covered the topic of why the Hilux isn’t been imported in the USA and we cannot see a Toyota Hilux USA model any time soon.
Lastly, we covered the alternatives to the Hilux. There are a few of them and they are also really good. Namely, the Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado, the Nissan Frontier, and also the smaller pickups like the Ford Maverick and the Hyundai Santa Cruz.