& VW Taro
This generation Hilux incorporated an all
new body and interior as well as updated
engines.   This generation is considered by
many to be the best all time Hilux and
indeed the best Toyota compact truck of all
time.   It was the last generation to
incorporate a solid front axle and
combined that with a more modern body
and interior and more powerful engines.   It
was this generation and model that retained
the solid front axle through 1997.   12 years
after it was discontinued in North America.
Wayne Peterken's 1990 Hilux SR5 from Australia
Click on image for larger view
When Toyota redesigned the Hilux for the 1989 model year, it
used the same new body and interior as the compact trucks sold
in North America.   In fact, without a closer look, it might be
hard to distinquish a North American Toyota from a Hilux of
this generation.  But there is one striking difference.   The
North American Toyotas have IFS (independent front
suspension) while the Hilux retains the same solid front axle
suspension first introduced in 1978. The frames of the two
trucks are nearly identical, which is why Toyota had no problem
installing the same body on both models.   The Hilux would
retain the solid front axle through the end of this generation in
1997, before finally giving way to IFS.  Some Hilux models did
go to an IFS suspension before 1997.  The Hilux Surf (Toytoa
4Runner in other markets) went to IFS long before and retains
pretty much the exact same configuration as the North
American models.  And some Hilux 4X4 trucks, including some
SR5 models may have gone to IFS prior to 1997.   Other
options that distinquished the Hilux from the North American
market trucks was an optional dual cab (4 door) body, factory
limited slip and diesel engines.  

There are several very interesting facts about this generation.   
It was never offered in South Africa.  South Africa continued to
produce the 1984-1988 generation through 1997.  More info on
Hilux page.

Also, Toyota struck a deal with VW to build all of it's Hiluxs
destined for Europe at the Hanover VW plant and call them
VW Taros.  This continued from 1989 to 1997, the entire
production length of this generation.  More info on this amazing
fact below.
The Toyota Hilux 4x4s made from 1989 through 1997 used a variety of diesel and petrol engines.   Too many
to describe on this page alone.   To learn more about the engines and transmissions used on the Hilux 4X4
please visit my:
Note: My Hilux Engine Page is still under construction and only partly complete.
Hilux 4X4 Interior and dash
Click on image for larger view
The interior, dash and trim of this generation Hilux is nearly indentical to it's North American
couterpart.  The only major difference being right hand drive for some markets.   Click on images
for larger view.
1996 Hilux pick-up 4X4
with a non-factory
steering  wheel
1996 SR5 Hilux 4X4.
Note the leather steering
1996 basic Hilux 4X4.
Most Hiluxs came with
standard tach and gauges
1992 Hilux Surf 4X4
1994 Japanese Hilux Surf.
1992 Japanese Hilux
1991 Japanese Hilux Surf.
Hilux Pictures 1989-1997 (Japan home market)
Click on images for larger view
These pictures are courtisy of Manabee of Japan.   His website has a ton of
information and Hilux pictures and be found at

To translate from Japanese to English, you can use this website: http://babelfish.altavista.com/
General Hilux Pictures 1989-1997 (various markets)
Click on images for larger view
1990 Hilux,
Shi Lanka
1992 Hilux,
1990 Hilux, Chili
1992 Hilux,
1993 Hilux,
1991 Hilux,
1994 Hilux,
1996 Hilux, Norway
This appears to be one
of the rare IFS Hiluxs
of this generation
1989 Hilux,
1992 Hilux,
1989 Hilux,
1992 Hilux,
1992 Hilux,
Highly modified and misc. 1989-1997 Hilux pictures.
Most from Australia)
Click on images for larger view.
The five  pictures directly above  are of a  modified early 1996 Hilux from Australia.  The solid axle is stock.  Note the 22R carbed
engine.   While one of the few engine options in North America from 1979 through 1995, it is not as common on the foreign
Toyota Hiluxs.  The rear tray in place of a cargo bed is extremely common in Australia, while almost unheard of here in America.
The four  pictures directly above are of two modified 1993 Hiluxs from Australia.  The one on the left is a single cab with a 2.8
liter diesel.  The one on the right is a double cab with a 22RE.   Both have factory solid axles front and rear, but are highly
modified for lift and travel.
These pictures are of a 1993 Hilux 4 door cab from Australia.   This rig has a 22RE engine and 32" tires.
Another pair of 1993 Hiluxs from Australia.  Both are 4 door double cabs.
"My company in Frederick Md was contracted by a African government to integrate a
communication/direction finding/jamming system onto 5 separate Hilux pick-up's. We bought 4 trucks in
France and one in Africa. All had diesel's, heavy suspensions, tropical kit's, high altitude kits....The
truck's were assembled then taken apart and kitted in Frederick, MD, shipped by boat to Greece, trucked
to Bulgaria and reassembled, Then flown to East Africa via a Russian AN 124. What a trip.... I was the
company rep that followed through from design to operation in Africa."
Hilux Surfs, stock and modified 1990 - 1997 pictures.
(Various Markets)
Click on images for larger view.
The Hilux Surf is what many overseas markets call the 4Runner.  The 4Runner name is also used as well
in those markets.  The Surf has always been nearly indentical to it's U.S. counterpart.   In 1986, all
4Runners and Surfs, worldwide, switched to IFS.  But the Surf did differ from the U.S. 4Runner in that,
like the Hilux, it had optional diesel engines.  Also factory limited slips were available.  Most pictures are
of the Australian Hilux Surfs.
The 1989 - 1997 VW Taro (European Hilux)
In 1989, Toyota struck an agreement with VW to produce all of it's Toyota pick-ups and sell them in Europe.
 The deal was a win/win for both parties.  VW never had a decent pick-up and Toyota was having a hard time
selling Japanese made trucks in Europe.   To allow the trucks to be manufactured in Europe would help sales
and get by some government restrictions.  The trade off was that the trucks would not be badged as Toyotas.
 Instead they were badged as VWs.  But they were were Toyotas in every sense of the name.  The trucks
were nearly identical to their 1989-1997 Hilux counterpart and as with the Hilux they retained the solid front
axle.  All of the parts were Toyota designed and many were Toyota made.  These VW Taro trucks were sold
all over Europe, including the United Kingdom, France and Germany.   In 1998 Toyota introduced an all new
body style and suspension for the Hilux.  It was determined not to continue with the VW production and
nameplate because of lagging sales.  Today, the European Toyota is once again called the Hilux and
produced by Toyota.  It is the same 1998-2003 Hilux found in the rest of the world, except North America.  
But sales still lag.  Europe is one of the smallest Hilux markets in the world.
Note the VW badges on the below pictures of European VW Taros
The above pictures are of a 1996 VW Taro from The Netherlands.   This truck is nearly an exact copy of a 1996 Toyota
Hilux, such as might be sold in Australia.
A trio of VW Taros deep in the woods of
the Netherlands.  Note how these all
appear to be work or construction
vehicles with work lights.
The 1989 - 1997 HiluxTiger (Thailand Hilux)
This model was produced in Thailand and sold in the Thailand and surrounding markets.  However,
unlike the VW Taro, it was wholely Toyota owned and produced.   But given a distinct name because
production and assembly is in Thailand.   The Hilux Tiger is based on the Japanese market Hilux and is
nearly identical in every way.  Thailand was the first non-Japanese that Toyota began to produce
vehicles from in the 1950s.   By this generation, Toyota was producing hundreds of thousands of vehicle,
including Hilux Tigers, per year, with many Hiluxs actually being exported to other countries.  After
1997, even Austraila started to recieved Thailand made Hilux Tigers, although they aren't called Tigers
in non-SE Asian markets.
1995 Hilux,
Hiluxs Camper Vans and other Conversions 1989-1997
This section includes pictures of Hiluxs made from 1989 through 1997 that were modified into camper vans or
other major conversions.   This generation Hilux was particularly suited for extreme off road and long distance
travel into the depths of Australia and Africa.  Campervan conversions, shown here, were done by

.  A German company.
A 1996 VW Taro from Germany.
and Surf (4Runner)
Japanese market vehicles are distinquished from other markets by the use of a small rear view mirror
located on the foward front left fender.
Mike Power sent me these pictures of a 1997 or older Hilux that was bought by a U.S.
company and modified in the United States before being exported to Africa.  Here's
what he said....