Better Than Luxury: The Life and History of the Toyota HiluxBy Vic on December 7th, 2015
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Pickup lines come and go, but pickup trucks are forever. Ever since their invention, these present-day workhorses have been carrying heavier loads than sedans and SUV’s, crossing rough, difficult terrain, and making their owners seem tough as nails.
Now there are many kinds of pickup trucks in the world, but the Toyota Hilux is one of those that stand out from the rest – as expected from the company behind the Toyota Altis in the Philippines, the best-selling car in the world. But what makes this pickup truck unique? To find out why, here’s the exciting dirt road of the Toyota Hilux’s history.
The first-ever Toyota Hilux was produced in 1968. However, it was not sold to the North American market until in 1972, where it was offered as alternatives to the usual Toyota sedans such as the Toyota Crown and the Toyota Corona.
Despite its name, which is a shorthand for High Luxury, the Toyota Hilux was not really considered as a luxury automobile; it only is when compared to the Toyota Stout, another Toyota pickup truck. Nevertheless, the name got stuck, and the people who became enamored to it didn’t choose it for its luxuriousness, but instead for its toughness, power, and versatility.
End of an Age
Unfortunately, despite the support the Toyota Hilux received, it was discontinued by 1995, as it was replaced by the Toyota Tacoma. Because of this, its last hurrah was rather impressive, as the last iteration of the Hilux in the United States was first released in 1988 and featured a 1.8L engine, a sleeker body, and a cargo box that no longer had the rust-prone seams of the previous versions. And on top of that, it won the Truck of the Year award. Talk about going out with a bang.
That, however, is not the end of the legend of the 1988 Toyota Hilux. In fact, it went on to an episode of Top Gear, a British Broadcasting Channel show which is all about car and driving, in which host Jeremy Clarkson tried to prove – or disprove – Toyota’s claims of the Hilux being an indestructible machine.
The Toyota Hilux went through a series of punishments; it was crashed to a tree, drowned in the ocean, and got caught up in a demolished building. While the exterior got horrendously torn, it was still drivable. If that’s not amazing, then nothing is.
Into The New Millennium
So, what’s next for the Toyota Hilux? Is its brief but iconic stint on a British program about cars going to be its last legacy? Definitely not! Because despite its discontinuation in the United States, it remained as one of the most popular choices for a pickup truck in many countries, including in the Philippines. In fact, with the release of the 2015 Toyota Hilux in the local market, anyone can experience the legend for themselves.
As what has been previously said, pickup trucks are forever, and the Toyota Hilux is proof of that. Or maybe it’s only the Toyota Hilux that is immortal and the rest are not. What do you think?