In the words of the always hilarious Barney Stinson from the hit sitcom, ‘How I Met Your Mother’…
LEGEN…(wait for it),DARY!
If you ever needed a single word to describe the Hilux that’s it. Just like its stable mate the LandCruiser, the Toyota Hilux has attained cult-like status globally. All due to its robust, go-anywhere capabilities. You can easily find one doing the school run in Zimbabwe; and yet simultaneously see it hauling grenade launchers and militant troops in conflict-torn regions of the world.
With longevity comes heritage though it can be argued that the Hilux is the exception to the rule. It really didn’t have to stick around long for its legacy and reputation to be etched in the minds of many witnesses who’ve seen what it can REALLY do, and then some. There is no doubt that whether the Hilux sticks around or somehow vanishes, the iconic nameplate will forever be glorified.
Throughout its eight generation run, the Hilux has done nothing but best the Ford Ranger, Isuzu KB and other competition in various categories throughout the decades.
Now in its 8th iteration, we felt the need to bend the knee and tip our hats in respect to the living icon. In Zimbabwe, there is a healthy population of them running about in single cab, extended cab and double cab forms. It’s safe to say that we have been well acquainted with the legend.
This current generation was officially launched in 2015 and came with an array of engine options; from a 2Litre to a 2.8Litre inline four-cylinder engine. Transmission choices range from either a 5 or 6 speed automatic or manual with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
Two sides of a coin
If you ask me, this latest version is a big step forward in terms of form and function. It looks ‘premium’ enough for Zimbos to flex (show off) with; whilst simultaneously, since it’s a truck, after all, conquer tough terrain from the Namib desert, to the rainforests of South America and of course the TRECHEROUS Zimbabwean roads.
To sum up the Hilux, at least in my opinion is bipolar. To put that in perspective; the same truck used by NGO’s like UNICEF is the same truck favoured by radical militant groups. That really is a spectacle!
Whilst all this is happening, back here in Zimbabwe Hiluxes are used as status symbols to represent how well one is doing in life.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it goes to show that just like the multi award-winning actor Denzel Washington, it too can play numerous roles to perfection much to the delight of us, the consumers. Take care of one well and a Hilux is more than capable of lasting a lifetime or several. It retains its value relatively well too hence why it is a sought after commodity. I surely see a Hilux in my future because it is worth every USD or ZWL (if that’s still a thing), and will stay that way for many years to come.