The Toyota Truck: Weapon of Choice


Car enthusiasts have long noticed that news footage from war-torn regions inevitably result in grainy shots of heavily armed men overflowing from the beds of Toyota pickups. Whether it’s rebels, guerillas, insurgents, counterinsurgents or, on occasion, the US Special Forces, the Toyota truck has become as ubiquitous on the battle field as the AK-47. Now Newsweek is taking an in-depth look at the history of Toyotas on the war front.


It could be a 35-year-old Hilux or a 50-caliber-machine-gun-equipped Land Cruiser, but it’s the ride of choice in hostlie environments around the globe. It’s not necessarily bad guys either — we’ve seen a US Marine Corps FJ45V at Toyotafest. There was even an entire conflict called the Toyota War.


The article about the indestructible ute even quotes a former Army Ranger who says, “It kicks the hell out of the Humvee.”

[Newsweek, Images: Newsweek]

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8 Responses to The Toyota Truck: Weapon of Choice

  1. Nigel said:

    Being born in South Africa I saw these trucks in a lot of family photos.
    It is not an SUV like here in Canada. In some places it is the only way to get around !

  2. Kevin Lee said:

    top gear used to try to destroy the ute, but fantastically this vehicle survives, one of a kind toyota overengineering

  3. bert said:

    If the japanese had the HiLux/Landcruiser during WW2, this world would be VERY different!!

  4. bert said:

    Kevin Lee- The only thing the blokes from Top Gear didn’t do was throw bullets at the truck!

  5. Charliebucket said:

    I have always noticed the Toyota’s while watching news. Also you will see Toyota trucks on countless nature programs. Seems to be the best vehicles for the most remote places in the world.

  6. RXFURY said:

    A mate of mine sold his 500,000km + Hilux to a guy who used to export them to Africa, for undisclosed purposes.

    I once saw a Hilux on the news in East Timor full of dudes with guns. It had Australian, News South Wales number plates on it.

    It just shows that if you are trying to over throw a government or rebel force. you don’t want to be stuck fixing problems on the side of the road.

    Toyota is your only choice.

  7. Tyler said:

    I too have seen these on the news all the time. Now the Ford/Chevy/Dodge guys can give the Toyotas a little respect, right? Nope.

  8. BluFalcon said:

    I drove a few of these exported Toyota trucks when I deployed to Afghanistan. Our workcenter had two of them assigned for our use and I mostly got to drive a RHD HiLux 4WD to run errands on the base. Besides having to get used to driving on the “wrong” side of the truck, I noticed that it was equipped with a few aftermarket items. A MOMO steering wheel, what looked like a Greddy shift knob and aftermarket rims. The environment was very hard on the vehicles, with the fine sand and dust getting pretty much everywhere it could. The Toyotas were the most reliable vehicles we had assigned to us and I could always count on them to start when needed.