Toyota Hilux Buying Guide for Overlanding

The Hilux has been around for decades, having been used in a variety of applications, including pickup overlanding. If you're in the market for one, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Vehicle info & features
1. Sep 2022
Toyota Hilux Buying Guide for Overlanding

If you're in the market for a tough and reliable vehicle, the Toyota Hilux is a great option. This compact workhorse is perfect for those who need a vehicle that can handle tough terrain and haul heavy loads. The Hilux has been around for decades, having been used in a variety of applications, including pickup overlanding. If you're in the market for one, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Here's a buying guide to help you choose the right Hilux for your needs:

Inspecting a Hilux


We’ll first take a look at the different engine options. The Hilux comes with either a four-cylinder or a six-cylinder engine. The six-cylinder is more powerful and is better for hauling, but it also uses more fuel. If running costs are a problem, then the 4-cylinder should be powerful enough for your needs.

The Hilux comes with either a manual or an automatic transmission. Sure, the automatic is easier to drive. But since we’re talking about overlanding here, the manual is the better option. The Toyota Hilux is available in both 2WD and 4WD models. The 4WD is the better choice for trailblazing and towing.

Start up the vehicle that you’re checking out and drive it around. Observe for any unusual sounds or noises. Make sure that there are no leakages either.


The general guideline is that you should look for any signs of corrosion or dents on the vehicle. Ensure that it hasn’t been in a heavy accident. You can tell a lot about an off-roader by looking at the condition of its overhangs. Look at the suspension and the condition of the bushings.


The Hilux comes in two different wheelbase options: the standard wheelbase and the extra-long wheelbase. The standard wheelbase is ideal for most people, but if you need a little extra room for hauling larger loads, the extra-long wheelbase is a good choice.


You’re offered the Single Cab, Extra Cab, and Double Cab. The latter two models come with additional features and space, making them better suited for overlanders.


The Hilux comes with a variety of features, from aircon to power windows. Decide which features are must-haves and which you can live without. You can also get power windows and locks, cruise control, and a CD player. Choose the features that you'll use the most and that will make your life easier.

Just remember, if you’re getting a used Hilux with all the options ticked, ensure that everything works. As far as the interior is concerned, look at the state of the upholstery and that there is no rust underneath the carpets or on the door sills.


Finally, take a look at the price. The Hilux is an affordable vehicle, but the price can vary depending on the model and the features you choose. Compare prices from different dealers before you make your final decision.

What are the Toyota Hilux's common problems?

Despite being known for its reliability, there are some bad issues that try to spoil the Hilux’s good name. These include starting troubles, misfires and power losses, leakages and some transmission problems. However, they are only found in a small number of trucks.  

Hilux Years to Avoid

According to the research done by Motor and Wheels, 2003-2005 are the years to avoid if you’re getting a Hilux. These are known to trouble their owners with corrosion-related issues such as rusting of the truck’s chassis.

No matter what your needs are, there is a Toyota Hilux model that is right for you. With a variety of model types, engine sizes, and trim levels to choose from, you can find the perfect Hilux for your needs.

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