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How To Import a Toyota Hilux Into The USA

Wondering how to import the Toyota Hilux into the USA? Really wanting a virtually indestructible compact pickup with a turbo diesel? Sorry to disappoint, but after talking with many importers the truth is you can’t. However, you can still get a diesel engine into your Tacoma.

How To Import a Toyota Hilux Into The USA

Looking to import a Toyota Hilux into the USA? Sorry, you can't. Yet, you can go diesel with your Tacoma.

First why the Hilux? The Toyota Hilux is a very popular truck worldwide and as the BBC show TopGear showed, it is virtually indestructible. Combine that with its compact size and the turbo diesel under the hood, it has become very appealing. The problem is that it does have the turbo diesel under the hood.

According to several importers, they don’t know anyone who would even attempt to import it. The Environmental Protection Agency’s rules for air pollution literally makes this truck impossible to legally be imported. The truck would have to go through so much modification that it isn’t financially feasible with some estimates that you would double the sticker price.

Now that doesn’t mean you won’t see them from time to time. There are many forum posts out there where people have spotted them. They are most likely driven across the border and are not permanent U.S. vehicles, meaning they can’t be licensed and plated like other vehicles.


This is a 1989 Toyota 4runner with a 617 Mercedes Diesel engine.

How do you then get a diesel engine into your Tacoma? Well, it isn’t so simple, but it is possible with a used Mercedes Diesel engine. Many truck owners looking for more low-end torque and the ability to run on bio-diesel are finding relatively cheap, used Mercedes Diesel engines and swapping out there gas engines. The process is pretty advanced, however, if you are handy as a mechanic, you can make it work.

While you probably will never get to import a Toyota Hilux into the USA, adding a diesel engine is a possibility. What do you think, is the desire to have a diesel so strong that you would consider switching out your engine?

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