As an avid 4WDer who owns a Hilux, I’ve seen hundreds of different Hilux suspension setups and I’ve come to the realisation that all drivers fall into one of the following 4 categories: those happy with the factory suspension setup, price conscious drivers who want a small lift for increased clearance, those who want a lift for reliability and a better quality touring style kit, and those who want a lift so they can put larger tyres.
Regardless which group of people you belong to, lifting your Hilux usually means that it will end up exposed to more damages, as there will be a wider area that can be impacted. One of the first lines of defense all HiLux owners should consider is the Toyota HiLux steel bull bar. Granted, there are bull bars made of other materials as well, such as plastic and aluminium, but steel offers most protection by far.
The Toyota HiLux steel bull bar is able to withstand most animal collisions, including kangaroos, which makes them ideal for those who are driving in the open Australian terrain. Moreover, steel requires little maintenance, aside from the occasional wash. Once you buy a steel bull bar, you’re likely to never buy another bull bar again for your Hilux.
When looking to buy a bull bar, a lot of it will come down to the looks. It’s important to find one that enhances the look of your Hilux. Moreover, it’s important to select one that is made of high-quality materials and has decent bends and welds. Do your homework on the manufacturer, read reviews and compare before you make your final decision. You should buy one only if you’re 100% confident in it.
Furthermore, check whether you can attach extra add-ons to the bull bar, such as rated recovery points. If a bull bar has a rated recovery point, that means the manufacturer has had an engineer come down and test it to a chosen limit and give them a rating. That’s definitely a big bonus while out in the wild, so if you’re comparing identical bull bars, but one has a rated recovery point and the other doesn’t, always go with the recovery point.
Lastly, only buy a bull bar that’s in compliance with the Australian Design Standards. These standards relate to the ability of the bull bar to absorb impact and its shape and form. The bull bar should never forward facing bars, it shouldn’t block your headlights and it shouldn’t have sharp edges. Additionally, the airbags should also be able to deploy appropriately, and if you hit someone, you should push them instead of running them over.