The old man reflects on a Legend
To know how many Toyota Hilux bakkies I’ve tested over the years must certainly surprise.
In fact, the Hilux debut was in March 1968 as a mix between the then Briska and the Light Stout. Power was via a 1.5-litre engine used in the Toyoace. The chassis frame construction was via a double wishbone/coil spring front suspension and rigid axle/leaf spring rear suspension while the 4-speed transmission was activated via a steering column lever with a highlight being the innovative 1-ton payload capacity.
Instead the Toyota Hilux Double Cab’s history dates back to 1984 and the precursor to our 2.8GD Double Cab 4x4 Legend 50 test vehicle, culminating in the RSA by producing over 500 000 Hilux double cabs. In fact, the Hilux double was so popular that people started buying it as an everyday car leading to the immense popularity of the double cab genre.
Tougher looking than before, the Legend 50 is bestowed with a host of highlights including the glossy black highlighting on the lower grille, silver lower bumper guard, silver accents on fog-lamp bezels, chrome exterior mirrors, stylised rear bar, silver roof rails and tow bar. In fact, the smart but tough looking Legend 50-specific two-ton 18” alloy wheels with 265-60-R18 all-terrain tyres add further to the Legend 50’s tough presence.
However, don’t let that toughness aspect deceive you, what impressed was the sedan-like smooth feel driving around the city limits, aided and abetted by the positive steering feel and extremely silent interior. Road holding was also impressive with the positive turn-in and great road-feel. Yes, the bakkie has gotten closer to the top family sedans in many respects.
The cabin interior follows suit with its black leather trim and blue stitching, chrome accent strip running across the dashboard, gloss-black panel trim, branded silver door scuff plates, carpets and eye-catching instrument cluster with white-faced dials and standout orange needles. Impressive, too, is the 20.3cm touch-sensitive Multi-media information setup displaying audio, compass, navigation prompts, trip info and fuel consumption.
Also upgraded is the 8” infotainment unit in the neat dash with Satnav, Blue Tooth and larger screen for improved rear-camera use, especially when reversing. Smart keyless entry and push-start ignition are standard while safety features include driver, passenger, knee and curtain airbags, ABS, stability control and hill-assist control.
Naturally a bakkie of this stature is best enjoyed in off-road conditions via the well proven underpinnings and performance of the giant-killing Hilux with its off-road expertise. – Mario Lupini
TESTED Toyota Hilux 2.8GD Double Cab 4x4 Legend 50
Engine: 130kW 420Nm 2755cc turbodiesel I4
Drive: 6-speed manual 4x4
TESTED: 1500m ASL 150m ASL
0-60km/h 5.21 sec 4.04 sec
0-100km/h: 12.15 sec 10.39 sec
0-120km/h: 16.16 sec 14.37 sec
0-400m: 19.5s @ 117km/h 17.0s @ 131km/h
80-120km/h: 10.81 sec 7.29s= sec
Warranty/Service: 3y 100K/6-service 90Kkm
2y old used value: 84.3%
LIST PRICE: R647K