Toyota Hilux Receives a Facelift in International Markets for 2021

Toyota has given a facelift to one of its most successful four-wheel-drives, the Toyota Hilux. Although you can’t purchase a new Hilux in the United States, it doesn’t hurt to dream about a rig that could someday land on U.S. shores.

With a strong international reputation for being a tough and capable rig, the new Hilux is even more of a value than before — in Asian and Australian markets, at least. 


Photo: Toyota

Photo: Toyota

To compete with the likes of the Chevy Colorado and Ford Ranger in the midsize truck segment, the Hilux got a boost in power with the availability of a 2.8-liter diesel engine producing 201 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The original 2.4-liter remains unchanged and is available for 2021 models.

The idle speed of the 2.8 has been lowered from 850 RPM to 680 RPM, a small but likely noticeable difference in traction and fuel efficiency. Longer travel shocks and improved leaf spring packs have likely increased suspension performance in the Hilux marginally over previous model-years. 


Photo: Toyota

Photo: Toyota

The interior received a less-than-exciting boost in appearance. Much of the changes are in the form of safety improvements. Toyota will include Safety Sense on the high-trim Hilux with a pre-collision system, dynamic radar cruise control, and lane departure alert.

The 2021 Hilux gets an updated eight-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay for the new year. 

These changes continue to improve a truck that, despite its unavailability in the U.S., is still a bucket-list vehicle for many overland travelers. Maybe it’s time to make a move to Southeast Asia, drop $35,600 USD on a new Hilux, and see how the other side lives.


Header Image: Toyota

Photo by Brett Willhelm

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