Go Buy a Toyota Hilux – With Some Corn

The Toyota Hilux has a reputation. Even here in “we-don’t-get-anything-cool” America, the little Toyota pickup has a reputation for being nigh unkillable. That is, thanks to three middle-aged British guys that were on TV occasionally. Now, the Japanese automaker is leaning into that reputation for dependability and helping to get the truck into the hands of Brazil’s agriculture industry at a shocking price.

Just a corny subheader about a Toyota Hilux

Toyota's logo on one of their vehicles, covered in fresh snow
Surely Toyota loves how rugged this image makes their cars look | Artur Widak via Getty Images

I’ll try to keep the corn jokes to a minimum from here on out. Honestly, Toyota is really trying to do some good here, and they rightly deserve to be commended for it. But first, a bit about the Toyota Hilux. Some of you may recognize that name from a little TV show called “Top Gear.” Frankly, that’s where the majority of the Hilux’s reputation comes from. The show brought a lot of forbidden automotive fruit to American eyes, the “unkillable Hilux” bit among them.

Clarkson, Hammond, and May dropped a building on a Hilux, and they got it started in a few hours. They also took one swimming across the English Channel. Now, Toyota wants to bolster the Hilux’s reliable reputation again. In Brazil, you’ll be able to buy a Toyota Hilux with not just corn, but grains too.

The shift to EVs means Toyota needs this

Toyota's Hilux-based SUV seen here in black
Toyota’s Hilux-based SUV is yet more forbidden fruit | Toyota

The Japanese marque calls the program, rather fittingly, “Toyota Barter.” Per Toyota, the brand will collect soy, corn, and other grains from Brazil’s thriving agriculture industry and sell them themselves in exchange for a brand new “0km Toyota Hilux.” Frankly, that’s a pretty killer deal. Farmers need dependable work vehicles and the Hilux checks all those boxes. At the star-death of our universe, there’ll still be a Hilux kicking around.

Honestly, Toyota needs this good bit of humanitarian-centric PR. Recently, the brand bet big on hydrogen-powered EVs, something that hasn’t exactly panned out for them. Then, they turned around and lobbied against EV integration in the hopes of turning things hydrogen. It’s not a good look, but this certainly is. Companies need to do more to help their fellow humans, and Toyota is stepping up in a big way here.

Will America ever get a Toyota Hilux?

The "unkillable" Top Gear Toyota Hilux
Top Gear did a number on a Hilux | DriveTribe

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Given America’s thriving agriculture industry, it would be great to see a program like Toyota Barter make its way stateside. Hopefully, that will bring the Toyota Hilux with it, as the small truck market in America is a relatively small part of the market right now. Sure, Ford is changing that with the Maverick, but it would be great to see the Hilux here to fight for the title. For now, the program is in a fledgling state over in Brazil, and there’s no news yet on whether or not the Hilux or the Barter program will be making its way anywhere else, America included.