5 midsize pickup alternatives to the Toyota Hilux

Updated May 11, 2021

Despite being a popular truck, the Hilux isn’t to everyone’s tastes.

Lording it over the local midsize pickup segment is the Toyota Hilux, with more than 10,600 units sold last year. The Hilux also has one of the highest payload capacities in its category, making it a popular choice as a workhorse in the field.

2021 Toyota Hilux front

Pinoy Toyota fans look to the Hilux as a robust and reliable workhorse

As a passenger vehicle, there are points on the Hilux which leave a little to be desired. There’s the rather stiff ride for instance, a compromise of the Hilux’s load-carrying ability.

The interior of the 2021 Toyota Hilux still looks similar to the old model but it now gets an eight-inch multimedia touchscreen that comes standard with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and it also comes with a hands-free function. The said multimedia touchscreen is standard in the following variants of the 2021 Hilux: Conquest, 4x2 G, and 4x2 E.   

It also got a new 2.8-liter diesel engine that can put out 201 hp and 500 Nm of torque. But if you’re not that sold with the new Toyota Hilux, there are other options in the segment that can scratch your pickup itch.

1. Nissan Navara (Php 1.14 million - Php 1.84 million)

2021 Nissan Navara front shot

The Nissan Navara probably has the coldest air-conditioning among local pickups

Nissan Philippines launched the facelifted Navara that features a bolder and more commanding front end. The Nissan Navarra is powered by a  2.5-liter YD25 inline-4 turbodiesel engine. Of note, there are two tunes for this engine. For all the variants except the EL, the said engine can make up to 190 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque. The EL’s 2.5-liter mill makes a bit less at 163 horsepower and 403 Nm of torque.

>>> Related: Nissan Navara for sale at best prices

2. Isuzu D-Max (Php 857,000 - Php 1.82 million)

2021 Isuzu D-Max front

The Isuzu D-Max boasts plenty of storage spaces in the cabin

Filipinos have associated Isuzu with diesel since the days of the Gemini sedan, if not farther back. The PH-spec Isuzu D-Max sports nine variants, ensuring that there’s a pickup that’s just right for your purposes, whether it’s hauling construction materials or setting up a party on wheels when the sun goes down. 

The 2021 Isuzu D-Max is powered by two engine options depending on the variant. It can be equipped with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine that delivers 188 hp and 450 Nm of torque. There’s also the 1.9-liter RZ4E diesel engine that puts out 148 hp and 350 Nm. The 2021 D-Max comes with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

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3. Ford Ranger (Php 1.06 million - Php 1.99 million)

2021 Ford Ranger front

The Ford Ranger's revamped front end

Ford Philippines launched the facelifted Ranger last February 2021. It retains the familiar strong silhouette that has defined this generation in the last decade, with bulging fenders punctuating the truck’s four corners.

A revamped grille with Saber accents now dominates the fascia, doing away with the twin horizontal bars in favor of a cleaner black aesthetic, and flanked by dual ports loosely based on the U.S.-spec XL variant.

There are three engine options for the Ford Ranger, depending on the variants. It can be equipped with a 2.2L turbodiesel mill good for 158 hp and 385 Nm of torque. Moving up the range is a 2.0L version packing 178 horses and 420 Nm of twist. Both engines are mated to either a manual or automatic transmission, both with six forward gears.

Under the hood of the Wildtrak lies a 2.0L bi-turbo oil burner capable of 210 hp and 500 Nm of torque. This works in concert with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The Ranger lineup is available in both 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains.

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4. Mitsubishi Strada (Php 815,000 - Php 1.76 million)

Probably the most futuristic-looking pickup, the Mitsubishi Strada adopts Mitsubishi’s Dynamic Shield 2.0 design for a striking countenance, complemented by large fenders. Rear combination LED lamps to provide increased visibility, especially during low-light conditions.

Despite its relatively short wheelbase, the Strada boasts a cabin with best-in-class legroom, the better to ferry passengers even on longer journeys.

Mitsubishi Strada

A head-turning exterior and generous interior are among the Mitsubishi Strada's strengths

Propelling the Mitsubishi Strada Philippines forward is a 2.4L 4N15 MIVEC Clean Diesel engine with variable geometry turbo, the same one found on the Montero Sport. Output is rated at 177 hp and 430 Nm of torque.

For unpredictable driving conditions, the Strada is equipped with the rally-proven Super Select 4WD II with center differential lock, for optimum traction even in less-than-ideal terrain. Seven airbags complement the Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution (RISE) body, while a blind-spot warning system alerts drivers to sudden unseen hazards.

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5. Ssangyong Musso (Php 1.18 million  - Php 1.65 million)

Ssangyong carried over the Musso name from its previous line of SUVs. The exterior may be more conservatively-styled compared to those on its rivals, but the roof rails readily complement the relatively small cargo bed in terms of utility.

Occupants are treated to Napa leather on the spacious interior, along with heated and ventilated front seats. As on many of its competitors, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard on the Musso’s 8-inch touchscreen head unit. 

>>> Related: 2020 SsangYong Musso Grand vs Nissan Navara Comparison: Spec Sheet Battle

Ssangyong Musso

Ssangyong's new pickup range inherits the Musso name from the former SUV

The Musso runs on a 2.0L e-XDi diesel power plant with 178 hp and 420 Nm of torque. A double-wishbone front and 5-link rear suspension enable the pickup to support a variety of passenger and cargo loads. Safety kit includes six airbags, antilock brakes, and a rearview camera.

Visit Philkotse.com for more market alternatives available for your budget and purposes.  

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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