The Toyota Hilux has been picked for the 2022/2023 International Pick-Up Award, joining the previous winners which were the Volkswagen Amarok and Ford Ranger (both winning on two occasions), and the Nissan Navara. The award was given by the same organisation that picks the International Van of the Year (since 1992). Every other year since 2009, it has also been picking the International Pick-Up as these vehicles are also used for business purposes like vans.
“As a multi-functional vehicle produced and sold globally, both the product and marketplace continue to evolve with many brands setting high standards in performance, safety, driver and passenger comfort,” explained Jarlath Sweeney, Chairman of the International Van of the Year Award jury which has representatives from 25 European countries.
As with the nominated vans, eligible trucks were nominated and then assessed by the expert panel at a specially organised group test. For the latest award, the event was held in Croatia in early October. The performances of the vehicles were closely matched, and it was the Toyota Hilux that finally emerged victorious just ahead of the Isuzu D-Max, with the Jeep Gladiator third.
Commenting on the Hilux winning the 2022/2023 award, Didier Gambart, Vice-President of Toyota Motor Europe Sales, Marketing & Customer Experience, said: “With more than 50 years heritage, the Hilux has always stood for outstanding Quality, Durability and Reliability as well as very capable off-road performance. Now with the new Hilux, we have expanded the engine line-up with a new 2.8 D that offers even more refinement and power capability, allowing us to meet the needs of customers willing not only a workhorse, but also a leisure vehicle. So this award is for us a recognition of all the inherent qualities of Hilux, with even more capabilities.”
Sold all over the world
The Hilux is sold in almost every country on the planet and being the bestselling model in its segment in many countries. It has been assembled and sold in Malaysia since the first generation which was introduced in 1968. With its proven durability and reliability, the model has been very popular in East Malaysia, especially with those in the logging industry who venture deep into the jungles. In fact, it is so popular that its name is used to refer to any pick-up truck!
When the regulations changed in Malaysia in the late 1990s to allow private use of pick-up trucks (they could only be registered for commercial use before), the Hilux also underwent a change in image to become more ‘lifestyle-oriented’. The interior was more comfortable and equipped like a passenger car with many convenience features – and even air-conditioning. Safety levels were also improved as the vehicle was being driven more on roads than off-road by many owners, and cruising speeds were higher.
The IMV project
In 2004, the Hilux had its most significant change as the new 7th generation was the outcome of the Innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicle (IMV) project. It was developed as one of the 3 different model lines – with the Fortuner SUV and Innova MPV being new – on a single platform and for the first time, production and almost all development was done outside Japan.
Toyota developed optimal production and supply systems on a global scale, with production at three production hubs – in Thailand, South Africa and Argentina. The vehicles from these hubs were exported to other markets in completed form (CBU) or as completely knocked-down (CKD) units for local assembly in countries like Malaysia.
Bestselling pick-up in Malaysia
The 7th generation was introduced in Malaysia in 2005 and has been the bestselling pick-up truck in the market for over 15 years. The current range is available in 5 variants with a choice of turbodiesel 4-cylinder engines with 2.4-litre and 2.8- litre displacements, and 6-speed automatic or manual transmissions.
To know more about the Hilux and other Toyota models in Malaysia, visit www.toyota.com.my.