Why The Toyota Hilux Is Considered The Most Indestructible Truck Ever Made

The Toyota Hilux might be the toughest truck ever built. The unassuming mid-sized pickup has built something of a legend among auto fanciers, tackling everything from hard work on farms in Australia and South Africa to combat use in the Middle East. These days Hilux build quality is something of a meme: the boys at Top Gear famously sank a 1988 model into the sea, whacked it with a wrecking ball, set it on fire, and even detonated a 23-story apartment building under it. The Hilux took it all – flames, surging seas, a 240-foot drop amongst 12,000 metric tons of concrete shrapnel – and smiled.

Heck, it's even economically resilient, having spent decades as a major player in the global pickup truck marketplace despite not even being offered for sale in the country that buys the most pickups (Americans probably wouldn't like it anyway).

The secret to Hilux immortality is partly Toyota engineering and partly build quality, but the X factor may well be the same thing that keeps it off the American market.

Nothing extra means nothing to break

The Hilux, from its 1960s debut to now, has been simple. Toyota designed the pickup according to the classic engineer's maxim: it's not done when there's nothing to add. It's done when there's nothing to take away. Early models didn't even have airbags and even the 2022 Hilux lacked automatic driver assists and other common extras. That put the Hilux at odds with American expectations, informed by mighty SUVs and ubiquitous F-150s full of creature comforts, but also reduced the number of things that could go wrong.

Toyota is also committed to the Hilux's invincible rep. Used Hiluxes that are either 10 or fewer years old or have under 100,000 miles on the clock are eligible for a manufacturer's warranty. Car Buyer notably gave the Hilux its Best Used Pickup award in 2022 for that very reason. To quote editor Richard Ingram:

"Pick-up buyers need a vehicle that is practical, versatile, and easy to live with. With up to 10 years warranty, this is a truck you can depend on."

It's a simple summation of what makes the Hilux great. Compact and straightforward with relentlessly rugged build quality, the Hilux is an excellent – and virtually indestructible – working truck.