Ultimate Toyota Hilux Overland Build from Japan on 35″ Off Road Tires

  • Model: Toyota Hilux
  • Wheels: 35"
  • Category: Overland Build
  • Capability Score: 60/70
  • Build Level: Pro
  • Mods Budget: $$$$$
Lifted Toyota Hilux overland truck On 35” Off-Road Wheels from Japan
Toyota Hilux with a bed rack and Roof top tent for overlanding
Lifted Toyota Hilux overland truck On 35” Off-Road Wheels from Japan
Toyota Hilux Overlanding in the mountains +2
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For those in the know, the Toyota Hilux has always been a nameplate synonymous with rugged reliability and impressive off-road capabilities. Thanks to it’s Land Cruiser-worthy capabilities and spacious bed, it’s become one of the most popular platforms for overlanding globally. Out today’s feature is dedicated to the Pro Level Toyota Hilux overland build outfitted with the best mods and upgrades you could possibly want.

Hilux Overland Build: Mods & Upgrades


  • OLDMAN EMU BP-51 Shock Absorbers
  • Garage Minutz 2 inch body lift kit


  • 16” SCS BR6 Gunmetallic rims 8J, -12ET


  • IPF XTREME 900 XLRT2 Spot beam
  • Stone Guard for IPF 900
  • IPF fog lamp LED 154FLB
  • EALE LED light bar BL series 28inch
  • IPF S-632 Driving Lamp
  • RGB LED rock light


  • YAKIMA Overhaul Bad Rack
  • YAKIMA HD Bar Loadbars
  • YAKIMA Sidebar
  • YAKIMA Tonneau Cover Kit
  • YAKIMA Rock’n’Road
  • YAKIMA Crossbar Clamp
  • YAKIMA Wisp Bar
Lifted Toyota Hilux overland truck in Japan with RHD


  • TOYOTA genuine door molding
  • Auto retractable mirror kit typeA
  • Clazzio Prime seat cover
  • Weathertech floor mats
  • MAXWIN digital inner mirror
  • ALPINE BIG X 11 inch floating navigation
  • TOYOTA genuine leather armrest
  • Cigarette socket USB port
  • Mini usb lamp
  • Center console box
  • Backman V Answerback


  • Fuel cap cover
  • Grill Emblem Badge Gold
  • Valenti blinker position kit
  • DUSTSTORM exclusive bracket
  • DRAW-TITE hitch member
  • Thailand Toyota genuine over fender
  • EZ Flare Rubber Fender 2”
  • One-off genuine processing side exit muffler
  • UV clear film front 3 sides
  • GME antenna short
  • ARB side awning 1250×2000
  • ROTOPAX Traction Boards
  • Australian TOYOTA genuine snorkel
  • JAPAN4×4 rock slider
  • Clearance sonar relocation
  • C.L.LINKS Hitch Cargo Carrier
  • ARB Summit Bumper
  • ARB recovery points
Toyota Hilux Overland-adventure build with Yakima Bed rack, ARB awning, and wide fender flares

⚙️ Technical Details

Model: Toyota Hilux (8th Gen)

Production years: 2015-Present

Approximate prices on the market (Used): $15,00-$55,000

Engine: 2.5L Diesel

Drivetrain: Four-Wheel-Drive

Construction: Body On Frame

Traction Enhancement Devices: Active Traction Control (A-TRC), Rear Locking Differential

Low Range: Yes

Stock wheel size: 265/65R17 – 31″

Offroad Wheel Size: Up to 35″

Build Level: Pro

Budget: $$$$$

Off-road Capability Score: 60/70

How did we get this score?

Feature Specification
Engine 2.4 l D-4D
Drive 4WD
Transmission 6 M/T
Suspension (Front) Double wishbone
Suspension (Rear) Leaf spring rigid axle
Brakes (Front) Ventilated disc
Brakes (Rear) Drums
Turning Circle 3m
Power 150 DIN hp
Fuel Consumption* 29.1–32.4 mpg (manual), 28.8–30.3 mpg (auto)
CO emissions* 174–177 g/km (manual), 183 g/km (auto)
Acceleration (0–62 mph) 13.2 seconds (manual), 12.8 seconds (auto)
Payload 1105* kg
Gross Vehicle Weight 3080* kg
Bed Size (Single Cab) 2315 mm (length), 1575 mm (width)
Bed Size (Extra Cab) 1808 mm (length), 1540 mm (width)
Bed Size (Double Cab) 1525 mm (length), 1540 mm (width)
Towing Capacity 3.5 tonnes

Production Years

6th gen:

  • 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005;

7th gen:

  • 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015;

8th gen:

  • 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023, 2024;

About The Hilux Model

Despite its well-earned reputation, the Hilux has never officially made its way across the Pacific to the U.S. mainland. The reason for that is quite simple – Toyota has its domestic workhorse, the Tacoma.

Tacoma and Hilux, though similar in purpose, are distinctly different in both design and mechanical underpinnings.

But what makes the Hilux so special? Let’s delve deeper into its off-road prowess, towing capabilities, suspension set up, and overall performance, all while getting an exclusive look at a uniquely modified Japanese example.

Off-road Capabilities

The Toyota Hilux was born with an innate ability to handle rough terrain. Active Traction Control (A-TRC) and the rear differential lock work in tandem to ensure optimal traction, even in the most challenging conditions. The A-TRC intelligently distributes power to the wheels that need it most, mitigating wheelspin and maintaining forward momentum.

The differential lock further assists by equalizing power between left and right rear wheels, ensuring that no wheel is left spinning helplessly in the air or in the mud.

Toyota Hilux bed antenna mount

Complementing these systems are two very important off-road assists – Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC). HAC prevents the vehicle from rolling back on steep inclines by applying the brakes for up to 2 seconds after the brake pedal is released, ensuring a smooth start.

DAC, on the other hand, applies individual brakes to keep the vehicle stable and maintain its speed between 5 and 7 km/h when descending off-road. This requires no pedal input from the driver, making steep descents less intimidating and more controlled.

Towing Capacity

For those outdoor enthusiasts who need a vehicle to tow their boat, trailer, or even another vehicle, the Hilux has got them covered. It can effortlessly tow up to 3.5 tonnes. Additionally, it comes equipped with Trailer Sway Control (TSC), a safety feature that applies the brakes and reduces engine torque if the system detects a dangerous trailer sway.

This helps ensure the vehicle stays steady when faced with crosswinds or changing road surfaces, making the Hilux a reliable partner for those heavy hauls.

Toyota Hilux with overland style mods, ARB SIMPSON III ROOFTOP TENT, ARB side awning 1250×2000
ARB SIMPSON III ROOFTOP TENT and ARB side awning 1250×2000 are perfect for overland-style camping setup.

Suspension and Handling

The suspension setup on the Hilux is one of its key strengths when it comes to handling off-road conditions. The front suspension uses a double wishbone layout, while the rear gets a traditional leaf spring rigid axle. This combination provides excellent articulation and load-bearing capacity, crucial factors for a successful off-road vehicle.

As for brakes, it uses ventilated discs up front and drums at the rear, offering dependable stopping power. With a turning circle of just 3 meters, navigating tight spaces or making sharp turns is a breeze.


The Hilux is powered by a 2.4-liter Diesel engine mated to either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. It produces 150 horsepower, and although it’s not built for speed, its robust torque output ensures it can crawl over rocks, wade through streams, or climb steep inclines with ease.

The manual version accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 13.2 seconds, while the automatic does the same in 12.8 seconds. As for fuel efficiency, expect about 29.1–32.4 mpg for the manual and 28.8–30.3 mpg for the automatic.

2019 Toyota Hilux 8th Gen overland project with off-road mods

Hilux VS Tacoma: Key Differences

While both the Hilux and the Tacoma are built to last and are more than capable off-road, their core differences lie in their intended markets and uses. First off, the Tacoma is primarily catered to the North American market, while the Hilux is sold across Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. The reason for this geographic separation is largely due to market demands and competition. Toyota didn’t need the Hilux to compete with the Tacoma on American soil, hence its absence in the US.

“When we delve into their mechanical differences, the divergences are quite clear”.

The Tacoma often packs a bigger punch under the hood, with engine options including a 2.7-liter inline-four or a 3.5-liter V6. On the other hand, the Hilux typically features a 2.4-liter turbo diesel engine that balances power and efficiency, which is particularly favorable in regions where fuel prices are steeper.

The suspension is another key area where these two trucks deviate. The Hilux generally comes with a more rudimentary leaf spring setup on the rear axle, which is excellent for hauling heavy loads but can compromise ride comfort. The Tacoma, meanwhile, features a more refined multi-link rear suspension with coil springs designed to provide a smoother ride, particularly when unladen.

See Also
Lifted Honda Fit Battlewagon on Xxr 527 16x8 0 offset and kenda klever mud tire 245 75r16 thumb

Towing capacity is another point of divergence, with the Hilux able to tow up to 3.5 tonnes vs 3 tonnes (6,500 lb) by Tacoma.

2019 Toyota Hilux with 2" lift and OLDMAN EMU BP-51 Shock Absorbers with remote reservoirs.
2″ lift and OLDMAN EMU BP-51 Shock Absorbers with remote reservoirs.

Off Road Build Summary

Our feature Hilux comes to us from a gearhead in Japan. This machine has been meticulously modified to enhance its already formidable off-road capabilities.

Wheels & Tires

Beginning with the wheels, it’s shod with 16” SCS BR6 Gunmetallic rims 8J, -12ET wrapped in TOYO OPEN COUNTRY MT 315/75R16 tires (35″). These tires are not just large; they’re renowned for their off-road prowess, providing excellent grip on various terrains.

Toyota Hilux on 16” SCS BR6 Gunmetallic rims 8J, -12ETand TOYO OPEN COUNTRY MT 315/75R16
The truck sits on a set of on 16” SCS BR6 Gunmetallic rims 8J with -12ET and TOYO OPEN COUNTRY M/T 315/75R16 tires.

Suspension Lift

The suspension on this beast is a thing of beauty. Equipped with OME BP-51 Shock Absorbers and a Garage Minutz 2-inch body lift kit, this Hilux stands tall and is ready to tackle just about anything thrown at it. The CUSTOMGARAGE SLAM UPPER ARM further enhances the suspension travel and articulation, giving it more freedom to move over uneven terrain.

Exterior Mods

Externally, the Hilux is kitted out with numerous accessories including an ARB Summit Bumper, DRAW-TITE hitch member, JAPAN4x4 rock slider, and a variety of lights like the IPF XTREME 900 XLRT2 Spot beam, EALE LED light bar BL series 28inch, and RGB LED rock lights for those late-night off-road escapades.
All these enhancements culminate to create a truck that not only looks incredibly menacing but can take on any terrain with ease. It’s a testament to the Hilux’s capabilities and the owner’s vision of what an off-road vehicle can truly be.

How we test?

Offroadium Verdict & Score Explained

We have created our own rating and classification system to differentiate and evaluate the off-road capabilities of vehicles showcased on Offroadium. Based on it, we can conclude the following:

Off-road Capability Score: 60/70

With its rugged body-on-frame construction (+5 points), 4WD drivetrain with low range gears (+10 points), rear locking differential (+10 points), Steel bumpers (5 Points) and heavily oversized 35” off-road tires (+30 points) courtesy of a 4” suspension lift kit, this extensively customized Toyota Hilux overland build earns an impressive off-road capability score of 60 out of a possible 70 points.

The only deduction is for lack of front differential locker. However, the suspension, wheels, tires and integrated electronic systems like A-TRC render it highly adept at tackling tough terrain.

Complexity Level: Pro

The sheer extent of customization throughout the drivetrain, suspension, exterior accessories and camper setup qualifies this as a Pro level build. No expense has been spared to optimize it for long-term overland expeditions to remote areas, using top-tier components like Old Man Emu shocks and Toyo M/T tires.

Budget: $$$$$

Given the professional nature of the modifications performed and use of premium accessories from brands like ARB, IPF, and Yakima, we estimate the total budget invested likely falls within the $$$$-$$$$$ range.

While not cheap, it delivers immense capability and self-sufficiency for embarking on off-the-grid adventures far into the wilderness. This Hilux overland rig is built to endure thousands of grueling miles crisscrossing the continents in search of new destinations.

Lifted Toyota Hilux on 35x12.5R16 Mud tires
ARB Summit Bumper with grille guard, brush guards and recovery points.
ARB Summit Bumper with grille guard, brush guards, built-in IPF lights, LED lightbar and recovery points.


The Toyota Hilux remains one of the toughest and most capable off-road pickup trucks in this segment. With a reliable diesel engine, robust suspension, and a host of off-road aids, it continues to be a favorite among off-road enthusiasts worldwide. And as our featured vehicle shows, with the right modifications, it can be transformed into an even more serious off-road machine. It’s no wonder then that the Hilux continues to be a symbol of endurance, durability, and the spirit of adventure.

Japanese 4x4 trucks with offroad modifications - lifted Toyota Hilux

Watch the progress and find out more about this Toyota Hilux project by visiting the Instagram profile of the owner: @wagamama_hilux77!

Stay tuned for more project reviews on Offroadium.com – Follow us on social media, and share this write-up if you enjoyed reading it!

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