Classic Trucks: 1985 Toyota Hilux

The Toyota Hilux is a classic truck. The 1985 version is part of the fourth generation and has appeared in pop culture, including “Back to the Future.” Like all other Hilux models, the 1985 year was light duty. This was actually the last year to feature the name “Hilux.” Starting in 1976, it was simply known as the Toyota Truck, Compact Truck, or Pickup Truck.

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Part of the 4th Generation

As mentioned, the 1985 Hilux was part of the truck’s fourth generation, which began in 1983. That year, which was the 1984 model in North America, brought the Xtracab, an extended cab, to the lineup. It had a full 6 inches behind the seat designed to deliver in-cab storage. It kept the 22R carbureted engine but introduced fuel injection 22R-E. The fourth generation also offered two diesels, a 2-liter and a version with a turbocharger. However, those diesels disappeared after 1986 due to drivers in the United States wanting greater engine output.

The Hilux from ‘Back to the Future’

Many people associate the 1985 Hilux with “Back to the Future” since Marty McFly pointed one out in the movie. The version that appeared in this famous movie was a Deluxe trim 4×4 Xtracab with a solid front axle, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder 22R-E, and 5-speed manual. It had tubular bumpers built by Smitty, KC day lighters, and Goodyear Wrangler radials. It was black on the outside and gray inside with a rear slider window, black headlight doors with chrome accents, and a black grille.

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Later Changes within the Generation

If you compare the 1985 Hilux to later models in the same generation, you will notice that 1986 versions lost their solid front axle in favor of an independent front suspension and torsion bar for 4×4 models. This year also added the option of an automatic differential disconnect in front and an electronic transfer case. In 1988, a V6 engine joined the lineup. The 4Runner, which was based on the Hilux, arrived that same year.

Finding a Hilux

You should have no problem finding a Toyota Hilux used by you. This pickup was not only incredibly popular but reliable, as well. Of course, you will have more choices if you consider other model years, as well. Because it is so old and not considered a collector’s vehicle by most people’s standards, you will typically only have to pay a few thousand dollars for it. However, the price clearly depends on the configuration you find, as well as the mileage. Some sell for just $3,000 or less, while others will cost closer to $6,500. Because of their age, expect at least 100,000 miles on any model you spot for sale.

The good news is that the Hilux was incredibly popular. This means you should be able to find parts fairly easily, particularly from stores and websites that cater to those with older trucks. That should keep repair costs down, making this a reasonable model to buy if you want a pickup that’s a few decades old.


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