Wearing the Legend badge with pride

You can whine all day that Toyota South Africa put some stickers and trim on a Hilux and then sell them as limited or special edition models. But the bottom line is that it works.

The Hilux is not South Africa’s number one selling vehicle for nothing. People queue up to buy these limited or special edition models, and the Hilux Legend 50 I drove this past week is going to be no different. Sure, the Legend 50 is mostly stickers and trim, and this comes in the form of gloss black grille treatment and some foglamp surround colour updates.

The black trim theme continues on the sides, where you get black side protective mouldings, side steps, tonneau cover and styling bar. Chrome exterior mirrors and door handles go with satin-silver roof rails. In the rear, you get a black rear bumper, smoked taillamps and tailgate badging, plus a towbar, 18-inch tyres on new alloy wheels and of course Legend 50 badges.

There is no disputing that it looks the part though and most of the add-ons are items the average owner is looking to fit on their run-of-the-mill Hilux. Just Google “Hilux accessories”.

Moving inside, you get black leather trim with blue perforation and stitching, some chrome and gloss black trim. Branded silver door scuff plates and a carpet set are included too. The rest of the interior is pretty much as you would expect from a Raider spec Hilux, which translates into an easy living and practical place.

Another thing that has been changed, which doesn’t help owners of the current Hilux but will make owners of new models happy, is the upgraded infotainment system. It features an enlarged eight-inch display that is now flush mounted and integrated into the dashboard and has rotary dials for volume and tune functions. Not the hard to control flush touch points that were there before. You do get on-board satellite navigation, DVD, USB, Bluetooth and Aux interfaces too, but still no Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to mirror your phone.

The rest of the standard spec consists of a reverse camera, smart entry (keyless) and push button starting, driver, passenger, knee and curtain airbags. ABS, VSC, EBD, Brake Assist and Hill Assist Control complete a comprehensive package.

Our test model was the 4×4 double cab model that retails for R646 700 and runs the 130kW/420Nm turbodiesel powerplant. But the kicker was that this bakkie was the six-speed manual. I can’t tell you when last I drove a manual car and I also don’t want to admit how many times I nearly stuck this Legend 50 through my garage wall by trying to start it in first gear.

All Hilux models come with a three-year/100 000km warranty. A nine-services/90 000km service plan is standard on all models. Customers can also purchase extended service plans.

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