BEST TESTS ’22: 4×2 Hilux reaffirms why RWD bakkies are best
There’s this myth around town that a 4×4 bakkie is better than a 4×2. Sure, in the most extreme conditions, that certainly is the case. But 99 percent of people will never drive their bakkie like that. Or ever need to. So really, what’s the point of a 4×4?
That much was hammered home yet again a week or so back, when we had a Toyota Hilux Legend 4×2 to drive. Even better, it was a manual. See, a 4×2 version of the same bakkie will always be cheaper than a 4×4. There’s less stuff expensive mechanical stuff to build into it, so you don’t pay for all that.
Legend 4×2 cheaper, lighter, handles better too
Which means it’s lighter, too. So it is uses less fuel, even more so considering it need not turn redundant front axle drive shafts and the diff while driving down the road with all those gubbins disengaged. Never mind, less mass means better handling, better dynamics. And the rest. So we revelled in this Legend’s surprisingly sorted chassis
Not that this Legend lacks for anything else. It’s all there. All those tweaks that arrived as the Legend a year or two back are also applicable to this Legend 4×2 manual. It gets the rugged grille and scowl — even more handsome with those twinkling daylight running LEDs. Chunky black door mouldings add a surprising extra dollop of Legend class too.
This one has a fair bit of cow hide inside. The seats are typically Hilux satisfactory, while the blue themed infotainment system, a reverse camera, automatic climate control, cruise control, seven airbags, stability and traction control and Trailer Sway Control come among many other trinkets.
All the cool kit is still inside too
The touchscreen infotainment has kept up with trends well enough. It’s no MBUX or iDrive, but it has all its main functions in little buttons symmetrically poking through the screen down each side.
Once you know what each button does, it’s just a quick prod to carry out what you need to. No more trying to achieve the impossible on a flat touchscreen even on the N1. Woe betide on a dirt road. Happily we can now tick that one off our snag list. See, Toyota listens to what everyone has to say…
The good old 2.8GD-6 Global Diesel still does its business, albeit now at a stout 150 kW and 500 Nm. It still has that comforting, friendly big brother burble. This one’s on the double cab diesel 4×2 pace.
Hilux Legend 4×2 among the quickest on test
We achieved mid-nine second 0-100km/h acceleration and impressive tractability in our tests. That’s just a couple of tenths of the best turbodiesel 4-pot double cabs we have ever run. With decent economy too. Almost a claimed litre per hundred more economical. Work that out at today’s fuel price!
The Legend 4×2 manual is smooth and quiet on the road. It has less troubled road holding and finer handling qualities than its loaded 4×4 kin. Steering feel is positive, quick and responsive. Off-road credentials, while limited by it just being a 4×2, are pretty well impeccable, anyway. That diff lock should be enough to get you pretty well anywhere.
And that’s the whole point. If you really need a 4×4, if you have to claw over slippery, muddy shale river crossings or navigate mud or thick sand three times a week, then sure. But if you never need much more than traverse the dirt strip to the trout retreat, racetrack or stables, than what’s the actual point of a 4×4?
Legend 4×2 is superior in almost every way
The only area where the 4×2 is inferior s in towing capacity. It lugs 750 kg less than the Legend 4×4. Which at 2.750 kg, is hardly a bother unless you’re moving granite blocks. Oh, by the way, that 40 kg weight saving also adds that amount to the load capacity versus the 4×4.
So, this 4×2 is nimbler, happier when pushed without all that cumbersome 4×4 kit adding mass, stealing power and dumbing down the whole dynamic affair. We also loved this one’s supple and silent ride. So whatever the bakkie, the 4×2 is a far better all-round. Never mind R150K cheaper, too, in this particular case!
And then this superbly kitted Hilux simply ticks all those Toyota boxes too. Go figure! – Michele Lupini.
ROAD TESTED: Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 DC Legend 4x2 Engine: 150 kW 500 Nm 2.8-litre turbodiesel I4 Drive: 6-speed manual 4x2 Payload: 840 kg Max Towing: 2750 kg ROAD TESTED: 0-60km/h: 3.88 sec 0-100km/h: 9.43 sec 0-120km/h: 13.93 sec 400m: 16.9 sec @ 132 km/h 80-120km/h: 6.74 sec CLAIMED: VMax: 180km/h Fuel: 7.4 l/100km CO2: 193 g/km Warranty/Service 3 year 100K/9 service 90K km LIST PRICE: R735K RATED: 9