Toyota's latest 4X4 compact
pick-up offering for markets
other than here in North
America.   The biggest
changes in this generation
include a complete body style
change and IFS on all
models.  The solid front axle
is finally dropped forever.
When Toyota elected to update the Toyota Hilux for the 1998 model year, it did much more than that.   The '98
through current Hilux  body style and interior were all new and so was the front suspension.   Actually, the frame
and front suspension were not new at all.   For the Hilux, Toyota used the same torsion bar IFS frame and
suspension used on the older North American Toyotas built from  1986 through 1995.   While the Hilux resembles
the current North American Toyota Tacoma, it only shares the Tacoma interior and 2.7 liter petrol optional engine.
  Nothing else on the Tacoma  can be found  on the Hilux.   The reason the Tacoma frame and suspension were not
used, is because the Hilux is classed as a 1 ton truck.  While many models are only 1/2 ton, the basic frame and
suspension must be required to carry up to 1 ton with minor upgrades.  The Tacoma (and even the Tundra)  does
not meet these requirements.  The Tacoma was never designed with the intention of 1 ton capacity, but the older
IFS frame was.  The Tacoma uses an arguably weaker partly boxed frame to save cost and is not as durable off
road as the truck it replaced and the current generation Toyota Hilux.   But the Tacoma does ride and handle
better on the street.  The Tacoma is an all around good truck, but the Hilux and older Toyotas are simply more
durable and have a much better load capacity.

Perhaps to some, the most striking change was the discontinued use of the solid front axle.  Favored by many off
roaders over the lesser traveling and somewhat weaker IFS suspension, the solid front axle stayed with the Hilux
on most models for 12 years longer than it did with the North American market Toyotas.  With it's passing in 1997,
it's not likely to ever appear on a compact pick-up again.  Toyota does still retain the solid front axle on the current
Landcruiser 78 series.

So why did Toyota drop such an off road capable and proven durable suspension in favor of IFS?  The fact is,
Toyota was actually losing sales to Isuzu in the commercial truck market during the last years of the prior
generation.  Despite the superior off road suspension, customers were lured to Isuzu by an all new body, IFS and
more powerful engines.   But once Toyota introduced the new IFS Hilux in 1998, it regained the lead in the
commerical 1 ton truck market and has stayed there ever since.
Currently, Toyota produces Hiluxs all over the world for various markets with many coming from Japan itself. But soon
that will all change.  In Toyota's new global market outlook, the Hilux will come from three major assembly areas
outside of Japan.  For Asian markets, including Australia and New Zealand, the Hilux assembly will be based in Thailand.
 For the Central and South American markets, assembly will be based in Argentina.  For Europe, African and Middle
Eastern markets, assembly will be based in South Africa.   The above mentioned countries already have long standing
assembly experience, but were usually augmented by other manufacturing plants or by Japan.   Now production will
dramaticly increase in those mentioned plants.
Toyota offered multiple engines for this generation and the changes continue to this day.   Toyota has offered
approximately a half dozen different types of diesel engines for this generation, but not all in the same market.   
As for petrol engines, Toyota only offered the same 2.7 3RZ found in the Tacoma.  In 2003, Toyota finally
offered the 3.4 V-6 that was originally introduced in the U.S. in 1995.  For the second half of 2003, Toyota did a
strange thing.  They dropped the 2.7 3RZ motor in the Hilux in some major markets, like Australia, making the
3.4 V-6 the only petrol engine available.  However, currently the 2.7 still lives on in some markets like South
2002 Australian Hilux Specs sheets.
Click on images for larger, readable view.
Hilux Interior and dash
The interior of the 4th generation
Hilux looks similier to the North
American Toyota Tacoma.  It's in
fact the only part of the Hilux that
can claim any heritage to the
Tacoma.   As can been seen the
Hilux is made in both a left and
right hand drive version.  Most
European and South American
countries are left hand drive, while
most African countries, United
Kindom and Australia are right
hand drive.
2002 German Toyota Hilux interior.  Note the extra storage
box, where an airbag would otherwise go.
Click on image for larger view
Hilux Engines and Transmissions
The engine options on the 1998 and newer Hilux were orginally the 2.7
liter petrol (same engine found on the base Tacoma 4X4) and a 4
cylinder diesel.   There were several different diesel engine options
between 1998 and 2003 and there even different models for different
markets.   For 2003, Toyota introduced for the first time, the 3.4 liter
V-6 (also found on the Tacoma since 1995) and an option.   Toyota used
many of the same transmissions found on the prior generations,
including the W56 and G54 5 speeds and well as the highly desireable
R151 5 speed.  Automatic transmissions were not an option until 2003,
when an automatic could be had with the new 3.4 liter V-6.  For more
Hilux engine details, please visit my
Hilux Engine Page.
1998 British Toyota Hilux 2.4liter Diesel.
Click on image for larger view
Press Releases on the latest Hilux from Toyota Australia
All press releases were posted onto this website for easier access.  Click on link below.
Toyota Hilux Online Brochures
All press releases were posted onto this website for easier access.  Click on link below.
Close up images of a 2002 Hilux from Australia
click on image for larger view.
This 2001 Hilux owned by Alan "Skip" Heppell of Australia and borrowed from his website:
Reviews of the 1998-2002 Hilux from online sources.
All pages were posted onto this website for easier access.  Click on link below.
1998-2003 Hilux Pictures
Click on images for larger view
Body style 1998-2001
Body style 2002-2003
Thailand built Hilux Tiger & Sport Rider
In Southeast Asia, the Hilux is known as the Hilux Tiger
and is manufactured in Thailand.  Toyota has been
building cars and trucks in Thailand since 1956 and now
owns three major assembly plants there, with many parts
being exported to other countries.  Recently, the Hilux
Tiger, which was essentially an asian only market truck,
has been exported to Australia, in place of Japanese built
Hiluxs.   The Hilux Tiger is nearly identical to most other
Hiluxs of this generation, with the exception that it uses
the newer D4D engine, not yet found in Australia, New
Zealand and South African markets.  In addition, Toyota
manufactures several unique models from Thailand,
including the sport-rider, among others.
In 1998, Toyota introduced an all new model for a select few markets.  The Hilux Sport Rider.   Clearly based on
the Hilux, both in style and suspension, it is nothing like the North American 4Runner, but it serves the same
purpose and same type of customer.  The frame and suspension are all Hilux, including the Hilux front IFS and rear
leaf springs (not coils). This vehicle is fairly rare and is only sold in a select few markets, including Thailand, Nepal
and a few other Asian countries.   The Hilux Sports Riders were modified on arrival in Thailand by Thai Auto Works
Co, a majority Thai-owned company in which Toyota has a 20% stake. The vehicles were distributed by Toyota
Tsusho Thailand Co, the importer of Toyota forklifts.
An interestion variation of the 2003 Hilux 4X4  from Belize.
Note the new grill and hood found on other 2003 Hiluxs, but
the retention of the old style headlights.  This model is also
left hand drive and would fit nicely on US highways if anyone
could ever figure out a way to import one.
South African Hilux Camper
Click on images for larger view
This is a 1999 Toyota Hilux 4X4 from South Africa.  Photos were taken by Luke Miller on a recent trip to South Africa.  This is
rental camper Hilux and contains provision for a long trip into the back country of South Africa and other nearby African nations.    
 Note that the IFS system on this 1999 Hilux is identical to the North American model 86-95 Toyota trucks.
This is a view of what another South African Hilux Camper 4x4 looks like, with the tents folded out and the camp set
up.  These are images off of a South African 4x4 rental agency site.
Pictures of the current generation Hilux in off road action.
Current generation Toyota Hilux 4 doors playing in the Australian mud.   This truck has the same IFS system as the US
version Toyota produced from '86-'95.   Click on images for larger view.
Pictures of lifted and modified Hiluxs
All models of this generation use IFS, but the IFS used is the 1st generation IFS, first introduced on
U.S. models in 1986.  Most models shown here use some version of a 4" IFS kit, such as those used on
'86 through '95 U.S. IFS Toyotas.  Most pictures are of Japanese market trucks.
This is a late model Hilux outfitted by Gibrater Holdings as a radio van.  Gibrator Holdings is a major
global Toyota dealer that specializes in building and selling new Toyotas to government and UN aid
agencies as well as other companies around the world.
Alan Teh sent in these pictures of his brand new 2003 Hilux from Malaysia.
2002 South African Hilux interior
Click on image for larger view
Current Generation Hilux
Hilux Sport-rider
In 2003, Toyota introduced the all new Toyota 4Runner
and Surf.  The styling of the new 4Runner is based
heavily on the Sport Rider and in fact, other than the
front end, the two appear almost identical.  It's not quite
clear what other relations the two models have.  The Surf
and 4Runner (which are the same vehicle, but with
different names) appear to only be offered in North
America and Japan at the present date.  The Sport
Runner appears to be exclusively a Southeast Asian
market vehicle, with most sales going to Thailand and
Nepal.   The vehicles appear to start out originally as 4
door Hiluxes, which are then converted into the sport
utility vehicles, but details on this are unclear.  Niether
the 4Runner/Surf or the Sport Runner appear to be
current available in Toyota's other major markets, such
as Australia, South Africa or Europe.
The Toyota Hilux 8"
rear diff factory
limited slip.  A limited
slip has been an
option and sometime
standard on Hiluxs
dating back to the mid
1980s.  It was never an
option on U.S. Toyotas
The underside of a 2002 South African long wheelbase Hilux 4x4.