The Toyota Hilux is the top-selling vehicle in Australia, and for all the right reasons. It’s a spacious, durable and capable ute that’s available in 2WD and 4WD variations. More often than not, people choose the 4WD type, as it allows them to take it off the beaten trail, and handle the rugged, rural Australian roads.
But as great as the Hilux is, many people often turn to trusted 4×4 accessories suppliers to modify their vehicles even further to enhance their capability and durability, especially if they plan on taking on the vast Australian Outback. There are many different types of accessories and even more choices for the Hilux. This is due to the Hilux’ popularity, so there are countless aftermarket parts and accessories manufacturers who make parts for just about any variation of the Hilux.
The sheer amount of choice available can leave the first-time buyer overwhelmed and may lead to spending on more stuff than you need. This article will discuss what you should pay attention to, and what you should get in preparation for your first time off the road.
Essential Hilux Accessories
Bull bars for Toyota Hilux are probably the most popular accessories you’ll come across when browsing 4×4 accessories suppliers. The bull bar plays a crucial role in protecting your Hilux even in the roughest environments. It offers much-needed protection to the front-end, where most of the vehicle vitals are located. The available bull bars for Toyota Hilux on the market are made using some type of steel or aluminium. Steel bars provide more protection than their aluminium counterparts, but they’re also heavier, adding to your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight mass. That being said, when choosing between aluminium alloy and steel bull bars, you need to consider how much protection you need versus how much you want to keep your fuel consumption and overall weight down.
Besides the material bull bars are made of, other things to keep in mind when choosing is whether the product you’re considering has rated towing points and mounting points for extra accessories. Having rated tow points means that the bull bar has been tested and certified by third-party engineers, ensuring quality and the ability to pull yourself out of virtually any situation using straps or a winch. Speaking of winches, a bull bar that comes with a winch mount should be the go-to for any serious off-road enthusiast. Winches are invaluable pieces of recovery equipment that require little to no manual effort to pull yourself out of a sticky situation. Besides a winch, other accessories you can mount on the bull bar include extra driving lights.
As briefly aforementioned, recovery equipment like winches offers assistance when you need it most. But winches can be pricey, and not everyone is willing to spend a couple of hundred dollars unless they’re dedicated off-roaders. If that’s the case with you, fret not – you can get alternative recovery equipment much cheaper.
One of the most affordable pieces of recovery equipment is recovery tracks. Recovery tracks are simply placed under your tyres, allowing your Hilux to get tyre traction and momentum. Quality recovery tracks can double down as shovels, but as you can imagine, they require quite a bit of manual effort to use. Another benefit of recovery tracks is that they require very little storage space, so you can take them with you without worrying about whether or not you’ll have enough space for your other belongings.
Alternatively, you can get a hi-lift jack. Hi-lift jacks are mechanical pieces of recovery equipment that allow you to lift your vehicle. To use one, however, you’ll need to make sure you place them on firm, even ground. Obviously, you won’t always have this luxury, but there are accessories such as a flat base you can place them on to accomplish this. Hi-lift jacks can be dangerous to use if you haven’t used on before, so make sure you practice at home before you have to use them in the middle of nowhere.
Roof racks are accessories made to solve all of your storage issues. If you’re going on lengthy adventures, you’ll need to take a lot of luggage and equipment with you, and your Hilux, while spacious, won’t be able to fit everything in it. Roof racks are quite affordable, and just like bull bars, they can be made using aluminium or steel. Again, aluminium roof racks are lighter, whereas steel racks are stronger. Aluminium roof racks are preferred by most seasoned off-roaders, as they understand the importance of keeping the weight low on top of your vehicle. Lower weight allows you to pack more things without going over your recommended gross vehicle weight mass. Abiding by the recommended GVWM is essential for your safety, the safety of your belongings and everyone else you share the road with. Similarly to bull bars, roof racks can serve as mounting points for extra accessories, such as fog lights and UHF antennas.
Side steps can be an invaluable addition to your Hilux. These are multi-purpose accessories that provide an extra step to help you get in and out of your Hilux, plus they offer side panel protection from impact. Side steps can be small pieces of steel or alloy located at the doors, or they can run the whole length of your Hilux. There are different mounting methods for side steps, the most common being bolted-on and welded-on. They also come in different designs, the most popular being single tube side steps. Besides adding protection, these accessories also improve the aesthetics of your Hilux. Some side steps also serve as mounting points for a hi-lift jack, aiding in the recovery of your vehicle.
To Sum Up
There are countless 4×4 accessories available for the Hilux, and the aforementioned four are what most off-roaders consider essential. Other accessories you can install are rear steps, bash plates, snorkels, UHF antennas, a variety of auxiliary off-road lights, kut snake flares, etc. What you modify your Hilux with will play a huge role in how it performs on and off the road. You need to pay attention to compatibility, as different accessories from different manufacturers may interfere with one another, causing problems.