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Toyota manufactures several valuable car models. However, nothing comes close to its legendary pickup trucks. The Hilux is one of the most popular pickup trucks in the world. However, it has not been sold in the U.S. since the early 1990s due to taxes and differences in demographics.
In its place, Toyota created the Tacoma line, which it boasts as indestructible. Both pickup trucks are highly practical, rugged, and kings of off-road terrain. However, there are several differences in body design, size, and engine options.
The Hilux vs. Tacoma: body design and size
You expect everything in America to be big, and that is true for the Tacoma. However, the difference between the Hilux and Tacoma is not that huge.
The double cab Tacoma is just about 2 inches wider than a Hilux of the same class, according to Driving Line. These dimensions befit the Tacoma, as American roads are a little larger than in many other countries.
The latest Hilux looks similar to the Tacoma in terms of the trapezoidal design, but the Hilux has a more streamlined front and sleeker headlights. It also has sharper body lines, and the wheel design is more pronounced. However, there are options for a rugged exterior that comes with lots of cladding.
On the other hand, the Tacoma has a block design with squinting headlights, a bulging fender, and a squared-off body shape.
The Hilux vs. Tacoma: engine options
Autoweek reported that the new Hilux comes with an upgraded 2.8-liter turbodiesel inline-four engine. This delivers 201 horsepower with 369 lb-ft of torque.
According to U.S. News & World Report, Tacoma buyers can go with the 159-horsepower 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that delivers 278 horsepower. The manual transmission option is only available on TRD trim levels. Everything else comes with a six-speed automatic transmission.
There are two- and four-wheel drive options for the Tacoma. Both the Hilux and Tacoma have two- and four-door options, with either long or short pickup beds.
Toyota built the Tacoma with towing in mind, while the Hilux favors a heavier payload. The Tacoma tows up to 6,800 pounds against 1,650 for a non-chassis cab Hilux. However, the Hilux can carry up to 2,240 pounds against Tacoma's 1,685 pounds.
Which truck is better?
Neither truck is better than the other. The Hilux and Tacoma are light trucks built for different markets. What may appeal to car owners deep in the Sahara desert may not be what a Texas hitchhiker is looking for in a truck.
The Hilux has gone through more changes than the Tacoma. However, Driving Line believes that the two models will start to look more similar in the future as we transition to electric vehicles. Since the Tacoma targets the U.S. market, it may catch up with new technologies in engine design, such as hybrid tech or electric options, faster than the Hilux.
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