Best Bakkie 2022 Finalist: Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 DC 4×4 Legend RS

They say there‘s only one bakkie Legend. The one with 150kW and 500Nm. And enough spec and luxury to make it a worthy Lexus alternative. South Africa’s biggest selling new vehicle since the cows came home is big news any day. And the Toyota Hilux Legend certainly looks the part. Its imposing LED lamps, bold mouth and deeper bumper finally give Hilux some proper attitude.

Pandering to an ever-wider audience

Our Best Bakkie finalist’s golden-orange hue may be an acquired taste. But it also proves Hilux now panders to an audience well beyond Stellenbosch bakkie white. We love the power roller shutter with a dust sealed rubberised load bay. And a party trick central-locking tailgate. And the rest. But is it all really necessary?

The best news lurks under the bonnet — the 150kW 500Nm 2.8 GD-6 benefited a larger turbocharger and a new common rail injection system just before lockdown. That’s a full 30 kW and 80 Nm more than the old one. Hilux’s six-speed automatic gets improved ratios, the chassis benefits new spring rates, shock absorbers and suspension bushes. Tested, it all but matches the record Triton and biturbo Wildtrak on the drag strip. If that matters!

Its extra grunt benefits Hilux’s off-road credentials. And enhances its supple and silent ride, decent road holding and fine handling. And it retains its 3.5-ton towing ability. All of those improvements may be small in isolation, but they combine to make a huge difference in how the Legend drives. You no longer feel that you’re lugging a big bakkie around.

Cabin is the stuff of Legend

Packing a properly thought out cabin, Legend’s Lexus-like dials add a certain touch of class. And its 8-inch infotainment just gets better and better. Specific buttons and knobs make it easy to operate. Far better than the old touchscreen only solution. There’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto mobile mirroring. As well as Wireless telephony supported via Bluetooth with a USB input Google Maps, Waze and Apple Music.

That’s mostly run via the tilt and length adjustable multifunction steering. Which remains short on length adjustment. Legend has perforated leather power pews matched to bespoke interior accents and trim. Under a black roof lining with cool blue mood lighting. It packs keyless entry, push to start and Park Distance Control among a strong safety suit. That includes side and curtain airbags and Toyota Safety Sense with pre-collision, lane departure and adaptive cruise with traction control.

The Toyota Hilux Legend is of course the King in its own right. It dominates local new car sales, month in, month out. And Toyota has its recipe spot on. It has benefited steady improvement over the decades in a continued strive to build on a solid platform based squarely on Toyota’s Quality, Durability and Reliability. That thrusts Hilux squarely into best bakkie territory. Without it even having to rely on that great Toyota winning recipe.

The unbeatable Hilux formula

Now add all that together and you have a pretty unbeatable formula. Which is great news for Toyota, not so good for its rivals. That said, this flagship model is hugely sophisticated as it chases luxury SUV and car like ghosts. Which also makes it pretty darned expensive versus some of the biggest pretenders to its throne. Which also makes us wonder where the bakkie in general, is headed…

Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 DC 4x4 Legend RS
Engine: 2.8-litre turbodiesel I4
Output: 150kW 500Nm
Drive: 6-speed automatic 4x4
Payload:          750kg
Max Towing:       3500kg
0-100km/h:        9.88 sec
400m:             16.9 sec @ 134km/h
80-120km/h:       6.74 sec
VMax:             175 km/h
Fuel:             7.9 l/100km
CO2:              208 g/km
Warranty/Service: 3y 100K 9s/90K km
LIST PRICE:       R882K
Best Bakkie 2022 Index
Ford Ranger 2.0bT DC 4x4 Stormtrak
GWM P Series 2.0TD DC LT 4x4
Mahindra Pik Up 2.2 CRDe DC 4x4
Mazda BT-50 1.9TD DC Active A
Mitsubishi Triton 2.4DI-D DC 4x4
Nissan Navara 2.5DDTi DC PRO-2X
Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 DC 4x4 Legend RS A
Best Bakkie Top 3
Best Bakkie 2022 Winner
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