Toyota’s eternal Hilux has been crowned the best ute in the world, having been handed the International Pick-up Award (IPUA) grand prize in France, following a test programme in Croatia with its fellow finalists; the Isuzu D-Max, Jeep Gladiator, and SsangYong Musso.
It’s the first time the Hilux has won the award, with past winners including the Ford Ranger, Volkswagen Amarok, and Nissan Navara. The D-Max finished second and the Gladiator third.
“Every other year since 2009, the International Pick-up Award (IPUA) is presented to the most efficient 1-tonne pick-up truck in business today,” said Jarlath Sweeney, Chairman of the International Van of the Year Award jury.
“As a multi-functional vehicle produced and sold globally, both the product and marketplace continue to evolve with many brands setting high standards in performance, safety, driver and passenger comfort.”
For 2021 the Hilux was given a reasonably comprehensive update, which included a more powerful 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine (now producing 150kW/500Nm), refinements to its ride quality, a new diesel particulate filter system, and more.
“With more than 50 years heritage, the Hilux has always stood for outstanding Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) as well as very capable off-road performance,” said Toyota Motor Europe’s Didier Gambart.
“Now with the new 2020 Hilux, we have expanded the engine line-up with a new 2.8 D that offers even more refinement and power capability, allowing us to meet the needs of customers willing not only a workhorse, but also a leisure vehicle.
“So this award is for us a recognition of all the inherent qualities of Hilux, with even more capabilities. And we would like to thank all the jury members for their recognition.
“Hilux is part of Toyota’s LCV line-up and despite of semi-conductor shortage, we will have achieve in Europe a new LCV absolute sales record with a 6-digit sales number.”