For over half a century now, there are things that have been constant on the face of the Earth. There’s water, air, fire, and of course, the Toyota Hilux. It has been around since 1968, which makes it an important model for the Japanese automaker, needless to say.
The Hilux is just as important in the Philippines as it is for the rest of the world. With reliability and durability to back up its fame, the midsize pickup amassed more than 20,000 units sold in 2019, making it the second bestselling Toyota that year. In fact, it is the second overall bestselling nameplate in the country in 2019, which tells us one thing – the Hilux is close to the hearts of Filipino truck buyers.
Just this year, the Hilux gets a much-needed redesign in Thailand and of course, with our units sourced from the Southeast Asian kingdom, the Philippines is next, and that time is now.
Meet the 2021 Toyota Hilux – it’s only a facelift but the changes are skin-deep, including a substantial increase in power output to keep up with the times.
Design-wise, the most noticeable change in the 2021 Hilux is the adoption of the trapezoidal grille. First seen applied in the Conquest, the rest of the Hilux range gets the massive grille up front, reminiscent of its western brother, the Toyota Tacoma.
Just like before, the bolder Hilux Conquest variant (seen in the photos here) has minimal shiny chromes for a sportier look than the standard models. What stands out, however, is the smoke gray accents on the fender flares, plus the relocation of the Conquest decal from the tailgate to the side panels. These are subtle changes, but they do matter especially when seen in the metal.
At the rear, it’s hard to miss the new C-shaped taillights – a far cry from the previous bland block-shaped styling. Another addition is the tailgate assist, which allows for easy tailgate operation. More plastic claddings come for the Conquest variant. Of note, high variants tout a full LED affair, with the top-spec Conquest and G variants getting bi-LED headlamps for maximum illumination.
Inside, the layout is quite familiar but there are subtle changes that matter. First off, the instrument cluster display is clearer than before. Higher variants also get leather upholstery, while the faux-wood trimmings accentuate the dashboard and door panels. Blue ambient lighting is also added to the top-spec variants for more pizzazz in the cabin.
Probably, the biggest update inside is the better-looking 8-inch infotainment system that now houses Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities – again, subtle changes that matter. More importantly, Toyota adds proximity sensors, reverse camera, downhill assist control, traction and stability control, hill-start assist, and trailer sway control. Cruise control makes its debut in the Conquest variants, while seven airbags are standard in the top-spec Conquest 4×4. The rest of the lineup gets the dual front type.
As the headline suggests, the Hilux gets a more powerful 2.8-liter diesel engine for the 2021 model year. Found in the Hilux Conquest 4×4 variants, the 2.8-liter engine makes 201hp and 500Nm of torque, which puts the Hilux inline with its segment rivals and allowing it to join the so-called 500 Club in reference to the pulling power. The 2.4-liter engine is largely a carryover, still making 147hp and 400Nm of torque.
The 2021 Toyota Hilux has a long list of variants and prices, which you can see below:
Toyota Hilux Cab & Chassis – P843,000
Toyota Hilux 4×2 Cargo MT – P936,000
Toyota Hilux 4×2 J 2.4L MT – 952,000
Toyota 4×2 FX 2.4L MT (Single A/C – P1,029,000
Toyota Hilux 4X2 FX 2.4L MT (Dual A/C) – P1,057,000
Toyota Hilux 4×2 E 2.4L MT – P1,113,000
Toyota Hilux 4×4 J 2.4L MT – P1,148,000
Toyota Hilux 4×2 G 2.4L MT – P1,220,000
Toyota Hilux 4×2 G 2.4L AT – P1,295,000
Toyota Hilux Conquest 4×2 MT – P1,380,000
Toyota Hilux Conquest 4×2 AT – P1,455,000
Toyota Hilux Conquest 4×4 MT – 1,755,000
Toyota Hilux Conquest 4×4 AT – 1,830,000
The 2021 Hilux will be available in all of TMP’s 70 dealerships across the country by September 14, 2020 for the Conquest, G, and E variants, while the Hilux Cargo variant will be available on October 26, 2020. The Emotional Red color that you see here is exclusive to the Conquest variants and costs an additional P20,000.