Why is the Toyota Hilux Banned in the US?

Remember the Toyota Hilux? The indestructible truck from the 90s before the Toyota Tacoma made its debut? With so many legendary titles being revived in the United States, the Toyota Hilux could also come back. 

What Happened to the Toyota Hilux? 

The Toyota Hilux was first introduced in 1968 as a compact truck that could go anywhere. It even had an independent suspension instead of an on frame construction. Eventually, in the 90s, this compact truck became an excellent option for work fleets. 

2019 Toyota Hilux Pickup parked in the desert
2019 Toyota Hilux Pickup | Toyota

Drivers loved the Toyota Hilux as a luxury option that could get work done. It was versatile and provided a comfortable, smooth ride. But the last time we saw a Toyota Hilux in the US was in 1995! The Toyota Hilux wasn’t very safe, and it would be difficult to meet rising emission standards. Therefore, Toyota pulled the Hilux from the states and replaced it with the midsize Toyota Tacoma. 

The 2021 Toyota Hilux 

A few whispers suggest that the Toyota Hilux could be making its return to the United States to provide people with a cheaper truck option that’s more suited as a work truck. Some critics suggest that the 2021 Toyota Hilux looks too similar to the Toyota Tacoma to return to the states and should get a full redesign first. Other critics love the Hilux and want it here now. 

The 2021 Toyota Hilux has a 2.8-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine that offers 201 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. There is also a 2.7-liter four-cylinder gas engine available. This Hilux is available with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Plus, the new engine gets about 30 mpg combined, which is pretty good for a truck. 

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Continuing its reputation for a luxurious and capable ride, the 2021 Toyota Hilux gained new shock absorbers, an improved leaf suspension design, and new bushings. The Toyota Hilux also comes with skid plates and the word ‘INVINCIBLE’ proudly stamped across the tailgate. 

How are the Toyota Hilux and Tacoma Different? 

The Toyota Hilux is a few inches shorter than the Toyota Tacoma. The Hilux is also available in a single cab configuration while the Toyota Tacoma isn’t. Also, the Toyota Tacoma has a 3.5-liter V6 engine available while the Hilux does not. Also, the Toyota Tacoma doesn’t have a diesel option. 

Toyota Hilux pick-up truck on display at Brussels Expo
The Toyota Hilux | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

In terms of muscle, the Toyota Hilux takes the crown with the ability to tow up to 7,700 lb. It can also carry a payload of up to 2,200 lb. Meanwhile, the Toyota Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 lb and carry a payload of up to 1,620 lb. 
The Toyota Hilux and Toyota Tacoma both have modern interiors with infotainment centers that can connect to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Carlex Desgin's modified Toyota Hilux
Carlex Design Toyota Hilux Hilly Limited Edition | Carlex Design

As automakers continue trending toward making smaller trucks like the Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Maverick, and Ram 700, the Toyota Hilux would have a great chance to do well here. It’s already trying to dominate the global market, so why not let us have this indestructible workhorse here? Too bad it has some work to do in order to meet the emission standards in the US.