These photos show the evolution of the Toyota Hilux

Technically, the name Hilux is English, and is simply derived from the words “high” and “luxury”. Two words quite literally no one would associate with a Toyota Hilux.



Over the years, it has earned a reputation for being one of the toughest pickups ever built, able to withstand relentless punishment and still going. Africa is the land of ultimate toughness proof, and every generation has proven themselves on that continent. Where many failed, Hilux thrived.

It may have a ridiculous name, but there’s nothing ironic about how important the machine is, and it’s this ruthless and purposeful nature that has captivated generations of fans.

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8 First generation: 1968-1972


When the first Hilux exploded onto the scene, it came with a slightly anemic 1.5-liter inline-4, but chose instead to give the American market the more powerful 1.9-liter engines.

By the time it reached its final year of production in 1972, you could have had it with a 108-hp 18R engine, which made it lighter and more powerful than the 2 Mustangs released the following year, with the added bonus of being capable. To transfer the weight of the goods.

7 Second generation: 1972-1978

By the time the pickup truck reached its second generation, the 18R was the standard fare. They have proven to be exceptionally reliable and have been selling well all over the world.

For this model, Toyota added an optional 3-speed automatic transmission and the now popular 5-speed manual, the AKA SR5. You can also get a long bed version for the first time.

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6 Third generation: 1978-1983

For the first time, you can have a Hilux or a pickup, with all-wheel drive. This is the model that really put the Hilux on the map, providing even greater utility. It also cemented the model’s growing reputation for durability.

Unfortunately, these also highlighted their two less well-tolerated advantages. First, they were never fast. With a primitive old four-wheel drive fitted to the non-powered diesel version, it was painfully slow. Second, their lack of rust resistance. This resulted in many trucks simply melting to the ground. They often leave behind a perfectly functioning transmission set.

5 Fourth generation: 1983 – 1988

Once into its fourth generation, Hilux was pretty much on its way. They’ve expanded the model lineup and have a range of different engine options available, including the much-improved 2.4-liter diesel. This was also the first Hilux to be offered as a double cab.

Notably, it also gave birth to a type of vehicle that has become very popular since then, the chassis-on-frame SUV. Introduced for the 1984 model, the Surf and 4Runner quickly became bestsellers for the brand.

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4 Fifth generation: 1988 – 1997

With the incredible popularity of the fourth generation, Toyota was reluctant to risk dumping the baby in the bathroom when it redesigned the Hilux in 1987. Hence, the company chose to bypass this generation altogether in markets with less stringent safety regulations.

It would also be the first and last Hilux to be manufactured in the United States, having been replaced by the Tacoma by 1995 as a mid-size/entry level pickup for the North American market.

3 Sixth generation: 1997-2004

After the somewhat drastic restyling that was launched between the fourth and fifth generations, Toyota is back in its cover a bit with the sixth-generation design, sticking closely to the outgoing fifth-generation design.

This will be the first Hilux to really live up to its ridiculous name and follow the growing recreational pickup market, offering many trim levels and a range of options.

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2 Seventh Generation: 2004-2015

After six incredibly successful generations, often outperforming their closest competitors by two to one, the seventh generation was full of ups and downs. In the first few years, it was met with plenty of praise because it was the first radical redesign in nearly two decades, and was by far the newest Hilux.

It featured modern, turbocharged diesels, and greatly improved NVH levels, but it was also the first Hilux not made in Japan. While this may go down as one of their most popular models, it has issues that have cost them their reliability track record and lost valuable ground to the ever-evolving competition.

1 The eighth generation: 2015 – now

Instead of releasing a new model soon, Toyota extended the life of the seventh generation with two facelifts; A decision they regret because they saw a drop in sales.

Once they finally released the current eighth-generation Hilux with two new diesels and improved gas engines, they did enough to reclaim most of the market, but not enough to reclaim their more enduring title.

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