Trucks & SUVs

There’s a lot of Reasons We Wish the 2021 Toyota Hilux Was in the U.S.

The Toyota Hilux is easily one of the sweetest pickup trucks on the road. But, alas, it has not––will not––come to prowl around in U.S. dirt. There’s a lot of reasons we wish the 2021 Toyota Hilux was in the U.S. Here are a few of them.

Sure, we get the Toyota Tacoma. And the Tacoma has its own reasons for being awesome. But still, it’s not a Toyota Hilux.

Is the Toyota Hilux a good pickup truck?

Yes, the 2021 Toyota Hilux is a great pickup truck. Not only does it share a reputation for reliability and indestructibility with the Toyota Tacoma, but it is an entirely different truck. Yes, the 2021 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is cool. But the 2021 Toyota Hilux ‘Invincible’ trim is even cooler.

Silver Toyota Hilux on display at a motor show
Silver Toyota Hilux| Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

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While the Toyota Tacoma is the quintessential American hipster truck, the 2021 Toyota Hilux is cool on a global scale. It appeals to adventurers the world over. Plus, it just got a long list of updates for the 2021 model year.

It looks a tiny bit more like the Tacoma now. However, the 2021 Toyota Hilux pickup truck is entirely its own entity. Complete with a powerful upgraded diesel powertrain and a worldly, more cultured body design, the Toyota Hilux is just one of those trucks. Add it to the list of other cool stuff we don’t get in the U.S.

a 2-door Toyota Prado driving in the country
Land Cruiser Prado 2-door | Toyota

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You know, like the Mitsubishi Triton, Toyota Prado, or the Volkswagen Amorak? Yes, we are getting the 2022 Amorak truck here, but it’s essentially going to be a rebadged For Ranger. Of all the forbidden fruit trucks out there, the Toyota Hilux handily wins the prize as one of the most coveted.

2020 Mitsubishi Triton-00 pickup truck off-road on rocky terrain is a model not sold in the U.S.
2020 Mitsubishi Triton | Mitsubishi

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The new Toyota Hilux gets fresh features for the 2021 model year

“The foreign-market truck has sleeker headlights and a more streamlined overall front fascia design.”

MotorTrend
the rear tailgate of the invincible hilux, not sold on U.S. soil
Toyota Hilux Invincible | Toyota

According to MotorTrend, the 2021 Toyota Hilux got recent updates. The exterior of the truck received some style tweaks. We definitely approve. The new Hilux does look a tad bit more like the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. But we’d never say that’s a bad thing.

Our love for the Hilux doesn’t mean we don’t also appreciate the Tacoma. It just means we like having options. A North American market Toyota Hilux with a diesel powertrain would definitely be a welcome option among other pickup trucks in the U.S.

the interior of an Invincible hilux shows the upgraded display and plush leather isn't available in the US
2021 Toyota Hilux interior | Toyota

The interior of the new Toyota Hilux boasts what the folks at MotorTrend call a “practical cockpit.” Once you’re in the cabin of the 2021 Hilux, you’ll also see an 8.0-inch display season with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Toyota has also improved the 2021 Hilux’s steering and suspension which makes the dring experience more comfortable. But the whole Hilux experience is even better in an Invincible model.

The Invincible model

The Hilux pickup truck sees its highest sales in Thailand, South America, and South Africa and it's not sold in the U.S.
2021 Toyota Hilux Invincible | Toyota

The stronger 2.8-liter diesel engine makes 201 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. You can opt for either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. But this new engine comes to the entire Hilux lineup. What’s so special about the Invincible Hilux?

The Invincible Hilux gets a more plush interior and blue interior lighting on the doors. In addition, its nicer leather seats are perforated. For an even further elevated version with more rugged cladding, buyers can opt for the Invincible Hilux. The Invincible Hilux X adds standard navigation, an upgraded audio system, and a special badged key––among other improvements, according to Car Magazine.

The diesel engine, the Invincible Hilux and Invincible X trim options, and the upgraded interior and exterior style are only some of the reasons we wish the U.S. could get the 2021 Toyota Hilux pickup truck. The alleged improved ride quality is on our list of reasons too. Maybe someday Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) will give us something badged Hilux in the U.S. someday.

A 2021 Toyota Tacoma parked on sand aimed at U.S. markets
2021 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota

But it won’t ever come here as it is now. So we will have to be content with strictly driving the Hilux during travel abroad. That said, we can still dream about that diesel going into a future U.S. Tacoma model, right?