Why is the Toyota Hilux Banned in the US: A Detailed Answer

Why is the Toyota Hilux banned in the US? This is a question that most people consider when they are trying to buy this popular and versatile vehicle, only to realize that it is not available in the United States.

Toyota Hilux Trucks ~ Ran When Parked

The Hilux can be found in different countries around the world but the United States, although the Tacoma is available as an alternative. In this guide, we take a closer look at why the Hilux is banned and other things you should know.

Why Is the Toyota Hilux Banned in the United States?

The Toyota Hilux is banned in the United States because it does not meet the safety standards provided by the government. The Hilux is a non-conforming vehicle according to the law, and so it is not allowed to be sold in the country.

The Hilux was introduced to the Japanese market in March 1968, and it achieved a lot of success when it was launched. This moved it towards the international market, and it finally arrived in the North American market in 1972.

When the Hilux was released in the North American market, it was the second generation. It came with an upgraded interior and combined its versatile truck function with a comfortable cabin. It was called the Truck or Pickup Truck in 1976 and sold in America.

But by 1995, the Hilux was no longer available in the American market. The reasons behind Toyota’s decision to remove Hilux from the American market might be because of safety and emission standards. It was also banned because of the Chicken Tax.

Why Is The Toyota Hilux So Popular?

The Toyota Hilux is so popular because it is a versatile truck that can be used for off-roading, towing and hauling. The Hilux is known for being a reliable truck with high durability and long-term use. Even classic Hilux models are still strong.

The Hilux was different from other pickup trucks when it was released, as it came with an independent suspension and a longer wheelbase. This made the Hilux more comfortable for driving on the road, and it was also more stable when speeding on the highway or driving on rocky roads.

Popular Toyota Hilux ~ Ran When Parked

The pickup also came with a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine, capable of producing 100 horsepower or 150 horsepower, respectively. It was also available with manual or automatic transmission, with the latter being easy to use and the former being more reliable. It is often compared to the Ford Ranger and Nissan Skyline.

Even if the Hilux has been banned from the United States, it is still a highly sought-after vehicle around the world. It is still available in South Africa, Australia, and Thailand.

Those in the United States also want this truck but have to settle for other Toyota pickups. If you want a pickup truck that is reliable and strong, the Hilux is worth considering, but not available in the US.

Can The Toyota Hilux Come Back to the US?

The Toyota Hilux can come back to the US as there is a possibility that it can make a comeback in the future, although it remains banned. There have been rumors that Toyota is planning to release the Hilux in the United States, but nothing has been confirmed, and there has been no progress.

Many car owners are also looking forward to having the Hilux, especially as a new generation for 2024. But for now, it seems like the modern Hilux would remain an unattainable car in the United States. If Toyota decides to bring the Hilux back to the US, it would be a different version from what can be found in other parts of the world.

Also, the Hilux would have to meet all the safety standards that have been set by the government. That is one of the main reasons why it was banned in 1995, due to the safety and emissions laws. If Toyota releases the Hilux, it would be more expensive to produce.

It is also possible that if it is released, it would only be sold in a limited number of states, such as California. For now, there is no sign of a new generation of Hilux getting launched in the United States.

Is It Illegal to Own a Toyota Hilux In The United States?

It is not illegal to own a Toyota Hilux in the United States. Owning a Hilux is legal in the United States under the right conditions, and so it is not banned outright. Your best bet to owning a Hilux is to import one, or you can look to buy a second-hand model.

Buying a Hilux is not illegal, and you won’t be breaking any laws by buying it for yourself. The only reason why you cannot get the Hilux is because Toyota does not provide it in the United States. It is possible to import the Hilux into the US without breaking any laws, but it would be very expensive.

Driving Toyota Hilux ~ Ran When Parked

If you’re a fan of Toyota pickups and you want to add the Hilux to your collection, you can import it at a very high price. But the 25% chicken tax affects the import of the car, making it costly. Also, you can import one with the 25-year rule, which states that the car must be 25 years old or older to import it into the US.

How Can You Own A Toyota Hilux?

You can own a Toyota Hilux by importing it or looking for a second-hand model. If you can get a Hilux, you can drive it in the United States without breaking any laws. Unfortunately, the easiest way to do this is to import the vehicle at a very high price.

If you want a newer Hilux model, you can import one using the 25-year rule. The vehicle must be 25 years old or older to be imported to the United States. You would also have to pay the 25% tax on the importation and other fees like shipping. If you really want the pickup, you should ensure it is worth it.

Toyota Hilux on Road ~ Ran When Parked

Another way you can own a Hilux is to get the vintage truck instead. You can search for any Hilux model that was released when it was available in the United States.

This would be really hard since they were no longer available by 1995. Also, the truck would not have been taken care of, so you would have to restore it, and it wouldn’t be the same.

There are other ways you can get the truck. In 2020, The Drive reported that someone listed a Hilux for sale on Craigslist after acquiring it from Mexico. But, it’s important to avoid shady ways of getting the truck because it would be hard to register it. It might have also been illegally imported and does not meet the 25-year import law.

What Replaced The Toyota Hilux in the US?

The Toyota Tacoma replaced the Toyota Hilux in the US in 1995. Since the Hilux did not meet the safety and emission standards, the Tacoma was provided as a replacement, and it met the safety standards. It is now the only pickup truck from Toyota in the United States.

The Tacoma is a reliable and safe truck that is available in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive options. It also comes with multiple engine options, including a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. There is also a six-cylinder and diesel engine, and drivers can choose between manual and automatic transmission.

Driving Toyota Tacoma ~ Ran When Parked

There are a lot of features that make the Toyota Tacoma a top truck. The four-wheel-drive system makes it possible for you to drive the car off-road. There are several safety features like side curtain airbags and stability control. It also comes with a 7.0-inch display in the base model and an 8.0-inch screen in other models.

The Tacoma and Hilux have some slight differences. The Tacoma is more expensive than the Hilux and makes up for this with additional features. The Hilux also comes with a longer wheelbase that makes it more stable, and it is only available with a four-cylinder engine.

If you want an alternative to the Hilux, you should consider the Tacoma.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is The Toyota Hilux So Rugged?

The Toyota Hilux is rugged because it is made with high-quality materials that extend its longevity. The ball joints, axles, and other components used to construct the car and its engine make it a tough and durable pickup.

Why Is The Toyota Hilux Popular in South Africa?

The Toyota Hilux is popular in South Africa because of its durability and toughness. The car is able to drive over the rough roads and terrains in the country and can also handle the harsh weather.

Hilux in South Africa ~ Ran When Parked

This makes it a top choice for those who need a sturdy car.

Can You Buy The Toyota Hilux in Mexico?

You can buy the Toyota Hilux in Mexico, as it is available at Toyota dealerships around the country. There are also different used models in the Mexican market.


Now that we’ve answered the question, why is the Toyota Hilux banned in the US, you know where you can get this popular pickup. Here’s a summary of our article on the Hilux:

  • The Toyota Hilux is banned in the US because of safety and emissions issues.
  • It left the American market in 1995 and was replaced with the Tacoma, the only pickup from Toyota in America.
  • The Hilux is popular because it is versatile and sturdy and can be used for off-roading and speeding on the highway.
  • You can get the Hilux by importing it into the United States or look for a vintage model that was already in the US.

If you’re interested in the Hilux, you should look for dealerships that can import the car into the US or search for second-hand models online.


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