By Sala Masindane
The Legend 50 will be the last of what has been a trail of locally produced bakkies since the year 1969 that is unique to South Africa, and named the Legend. Originally, the Legend was born from an idea of celebrating 35 years of the Hilux in the country. In 2014, it transcended to the Legend 45 which of course was a mark of 45 candles on the cake. Now, in 2020, just over 50 years later the Hilux is still revered, and it would make sense to have a curtain call with the Legend 50 as the last model of the Legend range. Side note, expect enthusiasts to convince Toyota to make more Legends.
Now in its swansong, the Legend 50 has received some cosmetic changes that are quite evident from the exterior. These include a front upper and lower with a full black-out treatment, LED styled foglamps with silver framed surrounds, lower bumper guard that matches with the vertical garnish, new allow design, black styling bar and side steps. Other notable tweaks on the side are the new black protective moldings (Xtra Cab and Double Cab) and chrome exterior mirrors. The back is enhanced by a black rear bumper, smoked tail lamps and tailgate badging. All of this is rounded off by a rear styling bar with matching Legend 50 badging.
In terms of interior styling, the Legend 50 offers top-notch Hilux styling. Having spent over a month time with the Legend 50, it not only looks good inside, but feels even better. Jumping inside, you are met by black leather trim that is standard on the Xtra or Double Cab and an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with no Apple CarPlay and Android Auto unfortunately. However, there’s still DVD, USB, Bluetooth and Aux connectivity. The instrument cluster features a 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display that can be operated on the multifunctional steering wheel, where one can access the trip information, phone information and audio display, just to name a few. Space at the rear is enough to ferry three adults comfortably and liftable seats add another dimension if you want to load fragile goods that may be harmed or move about on the load bay. Having primarily used the rear load bay for travel luggage during our time with the Legend 50, we do feel that bakkie manufacturers need work on lockable or storage space for goods to be hidden (i.e. laptop bags).
Power and Drive
The Legend 50 has a 2.8-turbodiesel engine which pushes out 130kW of power and 450Nm torque. The engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission with selectable Power and Eco modes which makes overtaking easier when on the former and helps save fuel on latter. We took the Legend 50 on trips across KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Gauteng, and we found the vehicle to be a good travel companion. The Hilux Legend 50 also took on the long stretches of gravel roads without breaking a sweat. It felt at home in these conditions. The power could carry the large body and not affected when laden with luggage or hauling a trailer. In addition, that didn’t have a negative impact on the average fuel consumption, as we managed a good return of 9.6 l/km that is not far from the claimed 8.5l/100km. Talking about the large body of the Legend 50, you would be expected it to be difficult to maneuver, but thanks to the reverse camera, that is not a problem.
The Hilux 2.8 GD-6 4X4 Legend 50 AT is priced from R686,200. This includes a standard three-year/100,000 km warranty and a nine-services/90,000 km service plan.
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