You might remember the Toyota Hilux, better known as the Toyota Pickup Truck. It was popular for work fleets. And by the time Toyota began selling the Hilux in the United States, this remarkably durable truck was in its second generation. But in 1995, it vanished from the U.S. market for possible emissions and safety reasons. Enter the Toyota Tacoma.
Though Toyota no longer sells the Hilux stateside, it endures in many other markets. So, how does the 2022 Toyota Hilux stack up against the 2022 Toyota Tacoma?
The 2022 Toyota Tacoma at a glance
Though the 2022 Toyota Tacoma has a smaller cabin and rougher driving manners than many of today’s other midsize trucks, it’s one of the best work trucks available and the only one in the U.S. offering a manual transmission. It’s hard to find another pickup truck that does off-roading better. The Tacoma comes loaded with standard driver assists, is highly configurable, and has excellent durability.
The 2022 Tacoma offers a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine producing 278 hp or a 3.5-liter V6 harnessing 278 hp. You can get the manual transmission only with the V6 and only on the TRD Off-Road and TRD Pro trims with select body configurations. The rest come with a six-speed automatic, but note it’s a bit clumsy and primitive.
But inside, the 2022 Toyota Tacoma is chunky and dated-looking. Though it offers only a 7.0-inch touchscreen, it comes with Amazon Alexa, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay integration. All trims also come with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of active safety features.
Starting at only $25,445, the 2022 Tacoma is highly versatile. Four-wheel drive is available, and you can get a short or long pickup bed. It’s available with either the four-door crew cab or extended-cab body styles. The beefiest model can tow as much as 6,800 pounds with rear-wheel drive and 6,500 pounds with four-wheel drive.
An overview of the 2022 Toyota Hilux
The 2022 Toyota Hilux shares the Tacoma’s grille design, but any readily apparent similarities end there. The latest Hilux has a more aerodynamic front exterior design with sleeker headlights. The Hilux’s body lines and wheel designs are sharper too. It offers an Invincible model with a tough-as-nails exterior and plenty of cladding.
Among a wide range of diesel and gas options is an available 2.8-liter diesel. MotorTrend says that engine would make the U.S. Tacoma a real competitor with the Chevy Colorado. The engine produces 201 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and pairs with a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. Toyota tweaked the suspension and steering system for better driver comfort.
As for the interior, the Hilux provides a practical cabin with an 8.0-inch multimedia screen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Invincible models boast upscale materials and amenities, with perforated leather seats and blue lights at the front and rear doors.
The 2022 Toyota Hilux starts at $24,225 and can tow up to 7,716 pounds. Its body styles are similar to the Tacoma’s, although the latter measures a couple of inches longer and wider.
So, which Toyota truck is better?
Though the Toyota Tacoma is larger and packs more power, it desperately needs a redesign. The interior isn’t as comfortable as the Hilux’s cabin, and the Tacoma doesn’t offer as many powertrain options. A future model might benefit from a turbocharged or hybrid option.
However, the Hilux is smaller and less powerful. Still, it offers more engine options, and it’s more comfortable than the Tacoma. But, of course, the 2022 Hilux isn’t available in the U.S.
For now, both trucks boast perks and followings large enough to keep the two models separate. But if Toyota ever electrifies these trucks, they’ll likely share a new platform and once again become the same truck, MotorTrend surmises. Doing so would simplify production and save the automaker money.