The Toyota Hilux GR Sport Is the Cool Truck You Can’t Have
Here in the United States, there are plenty of midsize trucks that we don’t get. One of the more legendary pickups missing from the domestic market is the Toyota Hilux. Around the world, the Hilux is known as a nearly indestructible truck, but we don’t get it here. And the version that I want the most has got to be the Toyota Hilux GR Sport.
What is the Toyota Hilux GR Sport?
The Toyota Hilux GR Sport is a performance-oriented version of Toyota’s midsize truck. In the States, you’re probably familiar with the GR Corolla, but we don’t get the high-flying Hilux. This small pickup gets an improved suspension, bigger brakes, and redesigned wishbones.
All of these make for a Toyota truck that is ready to tackle just about anything. Additionally, the GR Sport Hilux also has skid plates, rock rails, and recovery tow points. Those tow points will come in handy for folks who actually plan to off-road the Hilux.
As you would expect from an overseas midsize truck, you’ll find a turbodiesel under the hood. It makes 221 horsepower and 405 pound-foot of torque. That might not seem like a lot, but it’s actually the most power produced by any diesel-powered Toyota Hilux.
Why doesn’t Toyota sell the Hilux in America?
First off, Toyota already has a midsize truck in the United States known as the Tacoma pickup. So there’s not necessarily room to bring the Hilux to our shores. The other issue is the Chicken Tax. According to the Washington Post, this tariff is placed on light-duty trucks that are not manufactured domestically.
So even if Toyota did want to bring the Hilux here, it would not be financially feasible unless it built the truck here. While it would be great to be able to buy the Hilux GR Sport in the States, there’s little to no chance that it will happen.
At least we get the Tacoma TRD Pro
Although it might not feel as exciting as the Toyota Hilux, you can get a Tacoma TRD Pro. And unlike the Hilux GR Sport, the TRD Pro Tacoma does offer a six-speed manual transmission. So if you like rowing your own gears, that is a perk of the Tacoma.
At the same time, when you watch Top Gear’s torture test of the Hilux above, it really does feel like we are missing out on this midsize truck. Not every pickup can be submerged in water, dropped from a crane, and more while living to tell the tale.
Of course, those tests were performed on an older Toyota Hilux. So, there are probably less complex components that can fail. But still, it’s a feat no-the-less.
As it stands, we do expect the 2024 Toyota Tacoma to mark the biggest update this pickup has seen since 2016. And the brand is slowly revealing hints about what we might see on its various social media platforms.
A redesigned Tacoma TRD Pro has been confirmed, along with something that is being called the Trailhunter trim. Once that is released, maybe we won’t have to long for the Hilux GR Sport anymore.