Ever since Jeremy Clarkson tried to destroy a Toyota Hilux on Top Gear (and failed), it’s gained something of a reputation as being unbreakable. Toyota’s marketing people were quick to pick up on the show’s endorsement and have subsequently made it a key theme of their ads.
As each new Hilux is launched, the task gets harder and harder to convey just how tough and indestructible it has become – but they’ve pulled out all the stops for this latest Hilux. The 2012 model has been given a comprehensive re-style from the A-pillar forwards, with a new bonnet, radiator grille, headlamps and bumper, plus new wheel designs and new side bars and steps for the top-of-the-range Hilux Invincible.
Interior materials have been improved, CO2 emissions have been reduced (194 g/km for 2.5-litre Double Cab) and of course Toyota reckon it’s even more unbreakable than ever. It will be on sale here in the UK from October, priced at £16,090 for the entry-level Single Cab HL2 4WD 2.5-litre.
So, how unbreakable is it now? Well, Toyota’s Australian, New Zealand and South African teams have kicked off their campaigns with the following ads. They’re good, but are they as good as our all-time favourite Toyota Hilux ad (“Bugger”)? – which up until now has reigned supreme.
Take a look below and let us know what you think. We’ve also included the original Top Gear episodes to remind you why the Hilux has such an enviable reputation.
Toyota Australia – ‘Unbreakable’
Toyota New Zealand – ‘Tougher Than You Can Imagine’
Toyota South Africa – ‘Toughness Rubs Off’
Toyota New Zealand – ‘Bugger’
Made as a follow up to the beloved Barry Crump/Lloyd Scott Toyota ads, “Bugger” follows a series of farming mishaps each provoke the laconic comment — “bugger”. The role of ‘Hercules’ the dog plus the performance of the hapless farmer made for one of New Zealand’s most iconic advertisements and a symbol of Kiwi pop culture.
The Advertising Standards Authority received 120 complaints about the ad, but subsequently ruled that it was not in breach of the advertising codes and was unlikely to cause serious offence. It was originally released in August 1999.
Killing a Toyota Top Gear – BBC
Jeremy Clarkson drives a Toyota Hilux around in the hope of disproving the manufacturer’s claims about its indestructibility. He crashes the Hilux into bits of Bristol and trees, parks it in the sea and then drives it through a shed and drops a caravan on it. His final act involved parking it on a tower block before it is raised to the ground by a demolition team. Did he manage to kill the Hilux? Nope. Eventually he concedes that it might, just might, actually be indestructible.