Eighth-Generation Toyota Hilux Pickup Debuts
New Diesel Engines; Up to 7,700 lbs Towing, 2,700 lbs Payload
The U.S. market has had the Tacoma since the mid-’90s, and prior to that, Toyota’s trusty workhorse was simply known as the “pickup” to American customers. But for the rest of the world, since 1968, it’s always been the Hilux. Much like the Corolla is to the car market, the Hilux is pretty much ubiquitous everywhere in the world except North America, perhaps especially in areas inhospitable to less-rugged transportation. On May 21, Toyota simultaneously unveiled the eighth-generation Hilux in Thailand and Australia, two of its biggest markets.
Unchanged is the Hilux’s legendary capability and ruggedness, as highlighted by a maximum payload of 2,700 pounds and a maximum towing capacity of 7,700 pounds, both more than the current Tacoma. The Hilux is offered with the choice of four engines, including 2.4L and 2.8L turbodiesel I-4s, producing 295 and 332 lb-ft, respectively. Unlike the 2016 U.S.-spec Tacoma, which will be getting a new dual-port/direct-injected 3.5L V-6, the proven 4.0L V-6 carries over in the new Hilux, as does the 2.7L gas I-4, with enhancements to improve fuel economy. All engines are available with a choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Similar to the U.S. Tacoma PreRunner, the Aussie-spec Hilux will be offered with an off-road–oriented 2WD package, which will be marketed down under as the Hi-Rider. In addition to the new engine and transmission offerings, the Hilux features a stronger frame and added off-road protection. Traditionally, the Hilux and Tacoma have shared a substantial amount of hardware beneath the skin, and we expect that to be the case with the new model as well. The new Hilux goes on sale in global markets starting in October 2015.