How did the Toyota Hilux get its name? The reasons might shock you

Jerrica · Dec 25, 2019 09:05 AM

Toyota Hilux origin of the name

Toyota’s pickup truck, Hilux, is well known for its famed reliability, ease of ownership amongst other not so positive reviews of the pickup.

But the truck’s name itself is also well-known as it has inspired many funny memes on the internet. Most of the time the name has been translated into double meanings as well.

Toyota Hilux meme

Before you go and search up more funny memes of the Hilux, here’s a short story of how Toyota came up with the Hilux’s name and the reason might shock you.

In the height of the pick-up truck demand back in the 60s, Toyota too was trying hard to have a slice of the pick-up truck market.

Toyota Light Stout

Toyota Light Stout

The brand found that they were in need of a smaller pick-up truck as their existing pick-up truck model, the Stout, was growing larger in size and in engine capacity.

The solution that engineers came up with was the Light Stout, which had a capacity of 1-ton, shorter body length and double wishbone front suspensions something that was previously only seen in cars. The Light Stout was sold between 1963 to 1968.

Toyota Light Stout catalogue from 1963

Toyota Light Stout brochure from 1963

When it came time to upgrade their only pick-up truck model, Toyota teamed up with their new partners, Hino Motors, to develop a new pick-up truck while Toyota updated the existing Hino Briska with more improvements with Toyota parts.

Toyota Briska catalogue and car

Toyota Briska was also known as the Hino Briska

So, for a year, Toyota had 2 pick-up truck contenders on the market, the Toyota Light Stout and the Toyota Briska, while Hino developed a whole new pick-up truck that was introduced as the Toyota Hilux in March 1968.

The first ever Toyota Hilux runs on a 1.5-litre engine that produces only 70 PS mated to a 4-speed manual. And the name Hilux was a combination of the words “high” and “luxury”.

Toyota Hilux first generation to fourth generation

While you guys give a resounding “what?!”, this was really how the Hilux name originated from even though it took years for the pick-up’s refinement to match its name as a “luxury”-feeling vehicle. Note: luxury-feeling is very different from luxury vehicle.

Toyota Hilux 90s and 2000s

Fast forward to 2019, the Toyota Hilux is enjoying the top spot as the best-selling pick-up truck in Malaysia. No other pick-up truck can even come close to the pick-up’s success in Malaysia. And with the latest offerings Toyota has updated the Hilux with, it's not hard to see why! 

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2018 Toyota Hilux Double Cab 2.4 MT 4x2

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