Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

2021 Toyota HiLux Invincible: Why Australia doesn't get famous pick-up name to rival Ford Ranger Raptor and Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior

The Invincible sub-brand is so popular in Europe that the new 2021 HiLux Invincible X has it spelled out across its tailgate.

Toyota is one of the richest and most profitable companies in the world, and much of that can be attributed to the reliability, durability and flexibility of the HiLux pick-up.

Now in its seventh decade, the nameplate’s reputation is rock solid. You could even say almost invincible.  

So, with the ever-present menace of the Ford Ranger Raptor and growing threat of other rivals like the Nissan Navara Warrior, why can’t Australians buy a HiLux Invincible?

This is a question that has dogged many industry observers in Australia for quite some time, especially as the Invincible branding has become a byword for tough Toyota trucks in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The official line is that right now, there is no requirement to introduce such branding on the HiLux in Australia.

“As far as the use of the Invincible name on HiLux in Australia is concerned, it is something that has not been considered for use up to this point,” is how Toyota Australia senior product and public affairs specialist Orlando Rodriguez put it to us.

However, we understand that there has been widespread discussion and even debate about the viability of the Invincible badge on the HiLux for our market, but the cons have so far outweighed the pros, particularly as Toyota does very well already with the 40 year-old-plus SR5 (fun fact: for Sport Rally five-speed manual), Rogue and Rugged X variants.

Chief among the reasons not to use the Invincible name is its literal implication that the HiLux is actually indestructible, which may have legal consequences that could land Toyota in hot water in Australia. 

As one anonymous company insider said to us, "Some people with nothing better to do might take it as a challenge to see if it can be destroyed, and then come after us!”

This sentiment doesn’t seem to be shared with other branches in Toyota’s vast global network, but with Raptor, N-Trek Warrior and others stepping up to take on Australia’s bestselling vehicle, it would be foolish to rule out Invincible landing on the rump of a HiLux in the future.

The Invincible name came about following a 2003 episode of the hit BBC television motoring program Top Gear, which saw the cast unsuccessfully attempt to destroy a 1988 N50-series HiLux diesel by letting it fall with a demolished multi-story building, parked on a beach for the tide to take it out to sea, and then set on fire. Even after such punishments, the Toyota was started and drivable with only the aid of basic toolshed items.

This wreck is actually a 1988 HiLux destroyed by BBC TV's Top Gear in 2003. It was still drivable (Image credit: Toyota UK) This wreck is actually a 1988 HiLux destroyed by BBC TV's Top Gear in 2003. It was still drivable (Image credit: Toyota UK)

As Toyota’s UK website puts it, by July 2004, the HiLux range was “…expanded to include a new high-spec Invincible model, though that may have had something to do with the recent airing of the Top Gear programme”.

Nowadays, Invincible isn’t even the top-tier HiLux in the UK, with a newly-added ‘X’ suffix to denote the flagship. Changes to the grille, bumper, skid plates, wheelarch extensions and badging – with ‘INVINCIBLE’ sprawled across the tailgate – give it away.

So, with Rogue and Rugged stepping in and the highly anticipated GR HiLux V6 diesel rumoured to be in the pipeline for 2023, we’re not likely to see the HiLux Invincible in Australia any time soon.

But as buyers are lavished with ever-growing choice in the upper-end of the mid-size pick-up market, we wouldn’t put it past Toyota to pull out all stops if push comes to shove. And, for large swathes of the rest of the world, HiLux and Invincible are synonymous.