Home Arts and Culture Here Is The 50-Year Progressive Evolution of Toyota Hilux

Here Is The 50-Year Progressive Evolution of Toyota Hilux

The Toyota Hilux that we know today did not just become that overnight. It is a state-of-art work that included sweat, skill and talent that has been evolving for over 50 years. This piece takes you down the memory lane of where the Toyota Hilux was born. 


The idea was born here. Call them the first-generation Hilux. The first Toyota Hilux was manufactured by Hino Motors, Ltd with the term “Hilux” being an acronym of “high” and “luxury”. It had an engine capacity of 1.5 liters with a four-speed manual transmission. It had up to three occupants with a payload of 1,000 kilograms. The engine was upgraded from 1.5-liter capacity to 1.6 in 1971.

1972 – 1978

In May 1972, a new Hilux was born. It was more developed that the first-generation and had significant design updates. The safety features were more enhanced as compared to the 1.5-liter come 1.6-liter capacity one. The new safety features included servo-assisted dual brake cylinders as well load-sensing brake proportioning. It also came with a 2.0-liter 105 hp engine mated to a three-speed automatic. This was the second generation.



Here is where comfort was born. Those who understand the language of cars will tell you in most cases, it is about the interior space that gives you a chance to be in contact with the world outside. The third-generation Hilux, born in September 1978, was a Super Deluxe model that came with a larger interior space. Three years later, a Hilux double cab with two rows of seats hit the road.


The fourth generation roared into life in November 1983. It was well enhanced with a range of engine options that made it a class of its own compared to the previous models. The engines ranged from 1.6-liter and 1.8-liter gasoline.

The designs took a different path with 2.2-liter and 2.4-liter diesel engines. To amplify it further, it came as a four-wheel-drive powered by either gasoline for 2.0-liter engine and diesel for 2.4-liter engine. The external appearance of the fourth-generation models were characterized by their blister fenders in the front and rear.


This period was characterized by the release of the fifth generation. It is the second longest-running generation of Hilux model whose body variations were reduced to one featuring pressed doors with integrated window sashes.

“A major difference between rear-wheel-drive (RWD) and 4-wheel-drive (4WD) models was the wheel arch flares: RWD models had fenders without flares, whereas 4WD models came with sturdy-looking over fenders with flares,” says Toyota on their website.

For this reason, the width of 4WD models became 1,690 mm, or 40 mm wider than that of RWD models. The design of the dashboard and other interior equipment became even more sedan-like than before.


Welcome to the sixth-generation Hilux launched in September 1997. This model was well crafted and enhanced to fit people’s personalities as well as maintaining that class of beauty. It came with two typed of bodies designed both for business and for personal use in either two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive.

The tow-wheel-drive came with equipment and devices suitable for a multi-purpose vehicle, featuring extended cabin height and length as well as improved quietness. The extra cab model, introduced in November with the body width extended by 100 mm, was an open-deck multi-purpose vehicle featuring an adequately long cargo bed while adding two auxiliary seats to the rear of the cabin


This period marked the seventh-generation. It was launched in August 2004 and went down in history as the first Hilux model to be produced outside Japan with its bulk being produced in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina.

Sold in more than 140 countries, the seventh-generation Hilux retained some features such as the rugged beauty from the sixth-generation model while offering the customer of the 21st Century a high level of comfortability, durability coupled with lots of interior space, improved comfort and relaxation.

This generation saw Toyota developing five new models on a single platform, that is three pickup truck models (Hilux), one minivan model (Innova) and one sports utility model (Fortuner).

2015 – Now

This is the eighth-generation Hilux model launched in May 2015. It is defined with improved safety and comfort.

The vehicle has an enhanced off-road performance brought about by the upgraded leaf spring suspension and shock absorbers.

The eighth-generation Hilux design was not only tougher but also reduced stress as much as possible. Above and beyond conventional ideas of toughness, it boasted ride comfort that made long, tough drives less grueling, a quiet cabin that allowed communication in any conditions, and enhanced cruising range thanks to improved fuel efficiency. It could also be relied on to provide the legendary ruggedness, performance, responsiveness and safety expected from the model. (source: Toyota)

Toyota Kenya believes the Hilux is a vehicle that embodies the joy of owning something special, due in part to its dignified appearance, together with a toughness forged in the real world. Bringing the joy and freedom of movement to all people is Toyota’s vision for the future mobility society. Toyota is confident in leading the future mobility society, enriching lives around the world with the safest and most responsible ways of moving people. Through a commitment to quality, ceaseless innovation, and respect for the planet, the firm strives to exceed expectations and be rewarded with a smile.

To show appreciation to our customers we have a special offer to the customer where we will be offering the unit with free accessories


  • Fog Lamps- Better visibility during this rainy season and in foggy areas
  • Side steps- more comfortable access into the vehicle due to ground clearance
  • Weather shields- protect the side panels from getting wet in case of rain when driving with an open window
  • Tonnue cover- keep your good and belongings protected from the weather and preserves rear tray against elements of weather
  • Rear step bumper- easier to load goods onto the rear tray