The 2019 Toyota Tacoma and the 2019 Toyota Hilux are both midsize pickup trucks.
The Tacoma is available in the U.S. and the Hilus is for international markets.
Both Toyota trucks are famous for their toughness and reliability.
Toyota truck fans here in the U.S. love the Tacoma midsize pickup, but they all also have at least a little bit of envy for the Hilux. We’d understand if you’ve never heard of the Hilux — it’s another midsize truck by Toyota, but it’s sold in international markets that don’t include the U.S.
The Hilux is a bit of a mystery considering it’s in the same segment and uses a very similar platform as the Tacoma, but isn’t sold here. Let’s take a look at some of the similarities and differences between these two trucks.
The sizing of the Tacoma and the Hilux are very similar. One key difference is that the Tacoma is a bit wider, giving passengers a little more room on the inside. Aesthetically, the Tacoma has a bit more of a mean and rugged look to it while the Hilux actually has more of a resemblance to the Highlander SUV.
Another big exterior difference is the fact that the Hilux can be optioned in a single cab configuration, but the Tacoma can’t. The single cab Hilux is a chassis cab, meaning it’s very customizable and mainly for commercial use. Chassis cab midsize trucks are pretty uncommon in the U.S., but the Hilux in international markets can be had as a single cab, extended cab, or crew cab all with a ladder frame behind the cabin rather than a bed.
The Tacoma is a bit more conventional in its available configurations. You have your choice of a 4-seater extended cab, which Toyota calls an "access cab," or a crew cab with four doors and five seats. See the 2019 Toyota Tacoma models for sale near you
The interior of the Hilux has traditionally been pretty spartan over the years, but it’s actually pretty nice in its current generation. The 2019 Hilux has a very welcoming interior with modern technology that makes it much nicer than what you’d expect from such a workhorse.
The 2019 Tacoma has a rugged interior to match its rugged capability. A few of its competitors stateside might be a little more upscale on the inside, but the Tacoma has a nice enough interior with some great available features like leather seats, a moonroof, JBL premium audio, and even a built-in GoPro mount. It has comfortable and supportive seats that make the Tacoma nice for off-road adventures, commuting to work, and just about anything in between.
From behind the wheel of both trucks, you’ll never forget that you’re driving a truck. Both interiors are fairly well-appointed, but they aren’t as nice as what you can get in some higher-end SUVs.
The Tacoma has two available engines and the Hilux has three. Both come standard with rear-wheel drive and are available with 4-wheel drive. Unfortunately, since the EPA doesn’t give fuel economy ratings to trucks that aren’t sold in the U.S., we don’t have official mpg numbers for the Hilux measured the same way as the Tacoma.
2019 Toyota Tacoma Engines
2.7-liter inline-four; 159 horsepower, 180 lb-ft of torque; 20 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway
3.5-liter V6; 278 hp, 265 lb-ft of torque; 19 mpg city/24 mpg hwy
2019 Toyota Hilux Engines
2.4-liter turbodiesel inline-four; 150 hp, 300 lb-ft of torque
2.7-liter inline-four; 160 hp, 181 lb-ft of torque
2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-four; 177 hp, 330 lb-ft of torque
Other than sharing the 2.7-liter gas engine, the Tacoma and the Hilux are quite different under the hood. You can’t get a diesel in the Tacoma and you can’t get a V6 in the Hilux. Obviously, the Hilux is a bit more of a work truck with those amazing torque numbers from the available diesel engines while the Tacoma was designed more for the American highway.
Both of these trucks are quite competent off-road when equipped with 4WD. The Tacoma offers more advanced off-road suspension in its more off-road-oriented trims and the Hilux offers a special heavy-duty suspension along with standard and comfort suspension options.
Both Toyota trucks are versatile for both off-roading and everyday driving, but the Hilux is more about torque and the Tacoma is more about horsepower.
Obviously, it’s hard to say what exactly the Hilux would cost if it were available in the States, but we can make guesses based on what it costs in other parts of the world. If we look at Australian pricing for the Hilux and convert it to USD, we can guess that the Hilux would start at around the $15k mark and can go up to the mid-$40k range in the higher trims. As for the Tacoma, it has a starting MSRP of $25,850 and can also go into the mid-$40k range with the likes of the TRD Pro model. The main reason the Hilux is so much cheaper at the base level is because of its bare-bones single cab chassis cab configuration of which the Tacoma has no equivalent.
The big difference between the Tacoma and the Hilux is that the Tacoma was designed with American tastes in mind and the Hilux is made for other parts of the world. We see this in the differences of engine choices to the styling to the availability of the Hilux as a commercial vehicle. They both offer the toughness that Toyota trucks have grown a reputation for, just in two different flavors. Find a Toyota Tacoma for sale