|The generation Hilux was an
all new model and body style
but the same basic frame
layout and drivetrain of the
original Hilux 4X4 was
retained. An extra cab
option was added and 4 door
crew cabs became much
|When Toyota introduced an all new model for 1984, it redesigned both the overseas Hilux and the North
American pick-up truck at the same time. Both models were also nearly identical, except for one very
notable difference. Toyota introduced an all new double cab design for the overseas foreign Hilux, but
never did bring this design into North America. The reasons are unclear, but the 4 door cab was extremely
popular overseas. One could only imagine if it would have been just as popular here. There are several
possible explainations. One being that the 4 door cab was an optional primarily intended for commercial
customers, of which Toyota had almost none in North America. Another very notable difference in this
generation was the introduction of IFS on North American models beginning in 1986. The foreign Hilux
never did use IFS on this generation. The solid axle was retained through the end of the production run on
all models, except the Surf (4Runner). All foreign models of the Hilux Surf did go to the IFS in 1986 just
like the North American counterpart. This generation introduced a 5 speed transmission and a 4 speed
automatic in some markets. Some markets, such as Australia would never see an optional automatic
transmission until the current 2003 model. Engine options for the Hilux continued to include both diesel and
petrol for all models, including those sold in North America. However, the diesel was dropped in North
American after 1985 and has never returned since. Petrol engines included the Y series and the R series.
The Y series made far less power than the R series but was sold in countries such as Japan and Europe,
where fuel economy was critical. The diesel engine used was the L series.
One of the most surprising facts about this generation is that while it was replaced in most markets in 1989
with an all new body style, South Africa continued production of this generation through 1997. They were
produced in South Africa, exclusively for the South African market, although many were sold in other
African nations. These trucks retained the same basic frame, body and suspension of the 1984 trucks
through 1997, with minor updates. Even some of the old engines, such as the 22R remained in production
through 1997. Toyota built the Hiluxs at a South African manufacturing plant, exclusively for the South
African market. The reason Toyota never introduced the all new body and interior in South Africa in 1989
was because of the "vehicle content laws" in South Africa at the time. These dictated that a certain
percentage of the vehicle must be made in South Africa before it could be sold there. As a result, it was
cheaper for Toyota to continue producing the older body style rather than try to introduce an all new body
style and all new tooling. It's also interesting to note that Toyota did not use all of the same parts we are
familier with on other Toyotas. For example a different type of rear diff made by G-max was used as well as
possibly other parts. This G-max diff (see below for pictures) was also used in other import trucks
produced in South Africa. Because the axle was produced in South Africa it helped Toyota and other
manufactures to comply with the domestic content laws.
|Pictures of 1984 through 1988 foreign Hilux 4X4s. All pictures are of foreign Hiluxs
sold outside of North America. Click on images for larger view
|Another late 1980s Australian Hilux
playing on the rocks.
|Three pictures of a mid 1980s Toyota Hilux, playing around in the Australian dirt.
|A 1985 slightly modified extra cab Toyota. Once again, playing around in Oz.
|Some of the above are pictures of the same slighly modified 1987 Hilux 4X4 from the Netherlands. As can be seen, just
as with the Hiluxs in Australia and South Africa, this '87 has a factory solid front axle and 4 door cab.
|A late 1980s Toyota Hilux.
|Hilux Surf (4Runner) pictures 1984-1989
Click on images for larger view
|A pair of 1985 4Runners from Australia. Toyota called the
4Runner the Hilux Surf in most overseas markets. The
4Runner actually switched to IFS in 1986 in all global
markets, including North America. So the last factory solid
front axle 4runner, surf was made in 1985.
|A late 1980s IFS Hilux Surf
|A Hilux Surf from Australia
|A 1997 Hilux of this generation? That's right, South Africa produced these through 1997.
Click on images for larger view
|The front of the G-Max
|G-Max rear diff with
|G-Max rear diff without
|These are pictures of 1997 Toyota Hiluxs, but notice the body style? It's the same generation that was
abandoned by Toyota over 9 nears earlier in other markets. Toyota of South Africa continued to produce this
generation Hilux well past 1988 all the way through 1997 until the current generation Hilux replaced it in 1998.
There are several other things of note on these Hiluxes. Note the factory carburated 22R. That's a factory
22R carb engine in a 1997 Toyota! Also notice the rear diff is not the same Toyota diff we all know. Instead
it's a G-Max electric locker differential. Toyota continued producing the 1984 body style though 1997 to
save money and to prevent having to ship all new tooling into South Africa to build the Hilux. Here's the
statement from Toyota as to why they didn't produce the 1989 body style in South Africa. "In 1988 Toyota
released the fifth generation Hilux, a model that was not released in South Africa due to high local content
Another Source of information about South African Hiluxs is this website send in to
me by Johan van den Berg: 4xForum Hilux Guide
If you have further information about these South African Toyotas, please let me know. You can email me HERE.
|This body style was actually produced
in South Africa for that market,
through 1997. See below for more