What makes the Toyota Hilux so legendary?

What makes the Toyota Hilux so legendary?

Updated on June 21 2024

It’s no secret that many pick-up truck owners consider the Toyota Hilux as a modern day legend. Its solid reputation, combined with its seemingly indescribable nature, have given rise to an almost cult-like following.  But how did this come about, you ask?

Blame it on TV

Part of the reason comes from the ultra popular Top Gear UK television feature that shows the show’s crew trying to see just how far a particular old model Hilux will go before it finally calls it quits.

When we say how far, we mean being set on fire, being dumped in the ocean and sunk to its deepest depths, as well as being dropped from skyscraper-like heights using a crane. And then some.

After subjecting the truck to all these grueling and destructive trails, it still manages to start--burned to the crisp and drenched, mind you.  That's how tough this Toyota is.

Tracing its roots

The Toyota Hilux traces its roots to as far back as 1968. This was when the 1st-generation model was introduced as a compact truck for light duty hauling. Since then, it has evolved and has spawned several variants, including a cab and chassis, as well as a double cab model with passenger comfort in mind.

The latest-generation model not only has a modern look, an equally up to date powertrain, and the latest safety tech mixed into the package.

Throughout its more than 50-year, eight-generation run, one thing remains constant: that bulletproof, seemingly indestructible reputation that makes it such a legend.  This is seen not only from that Top Gear UK feature but from the millions of owners who swear by this truck’s reliability.

And of course, you’ve got the equally legendary Toyota build quality that has made the Japanese carmaker a household name over the years when it comes to high quality yet relatively affordable cars and trucks.

Sure, you may not necessarily set your Hilux on fire. You may not even take it to the far recesses of the earth. But whether you drive it to the mall and tackle the steep parking ramps, or take it out on the trails with a bike or camping gear in the bed, it’s nice to have that assurance that you’ve got a tougher than nails truck that will last for years.

What’s the most grueling thing you would do to your Toyota Hilux?