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The Toyota Hilux, 3rd Generation

Updated: Apr 29, 2020

3rd Generation Toyota Hilux
3rd Generation Toyota Hilux

Yesterday we discussed the 2nd generation Hilux. By now the Hilux was gaining a huge following worldwide. It had proved to be a tough and reliable workhorse. The 3rd generation was launched in 1978 and produced up to 1983. I can remember my dad bringing one home as his new company car! His model was known as the "Stout".

Toyota launched it in a 4x4 version and replaced the front independent suspension with a solid beam live axle and leaf springs.

It was fitted with a low ratio transfer case and it gained a reputation for being able to climb mountains all by itself.

Toyota also introduced the double cab option so the vehicle not only had a decent load space on the back but also became a quite comfortable five seater four door passenger car.

The 4x4 Hilux was fitted with the larger 2.0 liter SOHC engine at minimum. Three other engines were progressively made available for the 4x4 and 4x2 models beginning with then 2.2 liter SOHC four cylinder carried over from the second generation model.

Modified Toyota Hilux
Modified Toyota Hilux

In 1981 the 2.4 liter SOHC four cylinder petrol engine made its debut producing 97 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 129 lb/ft of torque @ 2,800 rpm. That same year the Hilux received its first diesel engine option, the 2.2 liter four cylinder producing 62 hp @ 4,200 rpm and 93 lb/ft of torque.

The standard gearbox remained the four speed all synchromesh manual with the five speed manual and three speed automatic being optional.

This is our third instalment in an eight part series of blogs about the history of the 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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