Toyota’s Hilux needs no introduction, an icon of the South African motoring landscape it’s sold over one million vehicles locally and recorded the highest sales volume of 4 770 units sold for the month of June. The first Hilux arrived on our shores in 1969, in 2004 Toyota South Africa celebrated 35 years of Hilux legendary-ness in a tailor-made limited-edition model, the Legend 35. Every five years since then Toyota has brought about a new Legend model, this year Toyota celebrates 50 years of Hilux; 50 years of providing on the ground support in the leisure, construction, farming, safety and security sectors.
To celebrate Hilux’s latest milestone, we headed north of our borders where tar roads are not the rule and elephants wandering on the shoulder are not the exception but the rule. Driving down narrow dirt roads filled with ruts, low-water crossings, dongas and small villages with smaller people lining the road the Legend 50 needs no ode to its off-road abilities, it’s beyond capable. Based on the current Raider models there is no change in underpinnings or performance, the Legend 50 is an extensive cosmetic upgrade available in all three body shapes.
The exterior styling cues for the Legend 50 mainly feature silver accents complemented by blacked-out detailing cues and Legend 50 badging. Noticeable exterior styling features are the upper and lower grille finished in black gloss with offset silver Legend 50 badging, silver-accented fog-light housing, black sidesteps with matching door cladding, bespoke rear styling bar, dark-tinted housing for the rear light clusters, and a heavy-duty tonneau cover. New bespoke Legend 50 18-inch alloys in two-tone black and silver complete the noticeable exterior upgrades.
On the inside there’s Legend 50 branded floor mats, door-scuff plates in silver, a thin chrome styling strip running the length of the dash and black leather seats finished with blue stitching. The biggie is the upgraded 8-inch infotainment unit neatly slotted into the dash housing, it does all the important stuff including Sat Nav and blue tooth, the bigger screen means more detailed rear-camera imagery when reversing around low objects. Convenience features for the Legend 50 include keyless entry with push-start ignition button for the Xtra-Cab and Double Cab models.
Through Botswana and Zimbabwe’s warren of dirt roads the Legend 50 never put a tyre wrong, and why would it? It’s built tougher-er than anything else. To quote Toyota’s cool ad “legends aren’t born, they’re built over time” and 50 years is a long time in crafting.
In a nutshell:
Toyota Hilux DC 2.8 GD-6 4X4 Legend 50 MT
It’s a Hilux
No componentry changes, listening to every Ranger owner bang-on about why their bakkie is better
Engine: 2 800 cc, 4-cylinder turbo diesel
Power: 130 kW @ 3 400 rpm, 420 Nm @ 1 400 – 2 600 rpm
Claimed performance: 0-100 km/h 11.2 sec, top speed 180 km/h
Tyres: 265/60 R18
Economy: 7.6 l/100km (claimed)
Transmission: 6-speed manual
CO2 emissions: 200 g/km
Price: From R 647 600
Did you know?
The Toyota Hilux Double Cab with an automatic transmission took the gold (in class) in the 2019 Kinsey Report, reflecting their affordability in cost to own and repairs.