After the 5th generation Hilux had been blown up by Top Gear, Toyota decided it was time for something new. In came the 6th generation, it was introduced in September 1997 and produced until 2004. It had equipment and devices suitable for a multi purpose vehicle, featuring an extended cabin height and length, as well as improved quietness.
This Hilux would be the last that would be built in Japan, and the last for the Japanese market. The 6th generation were still based on the earlier models and although the bodywork was restyled a couple of times and the engines changed, it was a case of “If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it”.
The interior was upgraded quite significantly and was much more "car" like. You could even specify leather seats if your pocket allowed. It was one of the first pick up's to have airbags as a safety feature as standard.
The smallest engine fitted was the 2.0 liter SOHC inline four cylinder which was used for the South African market. It was fitted to the 4x2 models.
The next petrol engine up from that was the 2.4 liter inline four cylinder equipped with double-valves in each cylinder producing 142 hp. Up from that was the 2.7 liter inline four double-valve engine producing 150 hp and used exclusively in 4x4 models. The largest petrol engine was the 3.4 liter double-valve V6 producing 190 hp. The only thing it couldn't pass was a fuel pump!
Two diesel engines were offered for the 6th generation, the first being the 3.0 liter inline four cylinder producing 97 hp, and the second being the 2.4 liter turbocharged engine producing a rather modest 62 hp. Don't know what happened with that one? Toyota also fitted the 3.0 liter KZ-TE engine in some countries. This engine earned its mettle by being virtually indestructible, often given the title of being "bulletproof".
This is our sixth instalment in an eight part series of blogs about the history of the Toyota Hilux right up to the current model. So follow along right here or on our Facebook page. Please share if you're a Toyota Hilux fan.
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