The Toyota Hilux is a South African double-cab bakkie icon.
However, not all models are created equal.
When Toyota launched its latest Hilux locally in October 2020, a total of 14 double-cab models were made available for purchase.
Pricing for the range started at just over R440,000 and went up to R765,000 for the top-of-the-line model.
This price tag was not the limit, however, as the optional RS accessory package could be fitted to Legend-grade models.
This package includes a motorised roller shutter, graphite-coloured sports bar, rubberised bedliner, assisted tailgate with central-locking function, and dust defense kit.
As of January 2021, the cheapest Hilux double-cab you can buy is the 2.7 VVTi RB S 5MT model, which retails for R440,400.
Sitting at the opposite end of the line is the 2.8 GD6 4X4 Legend RS AT, which comes in at a cool R851,100 – almost double the price of its most affordable sibling.
The large price difference is thanks to a host of differences on the two vehicles – starting with the looks.
As shown in the photos below, the “R400,000” Hilux looks simple and utilitarian compared to its “R800,000” upgrade.
Plain wheels compared to stylish rims, standard wheel arches versus styled black panels, and a right-angled cabin-to-bin design opposing the smoother finish on the Legend variant.
Additional external features which the 2.7 VVTi RB S 5MT lacks compared to the included options on the 2.8 GD6 4X4 Legend RS AT are:
- Daytime running lights and LED fog lamps.
- Colour-coded bumpers.
- Retractable side mirrors with welcome lights.
- Automatic roller shutter with rubberised loadbox.
- Dust defence kit.
2.7 VVTi RB S 5MT
2.8 GD6 4X4 Legend RS AT
Engine and power
Inside the Hilux, and under its bonnet, the differences are as pronounced as the exterior.
Arguably the biggest variation is the engines, with the R400,000 model offering a 2.7-litre petrol engine that produces 122kW and 245Nm.
The R800,000 model sports a 2.8-litre diesel engine that produces 150kW and an impressive 500Nm of torque.
This power is transferred to the rear wheels on the petrol version, while the diesel model provides 4-wheel-drive to drivers when selected.
Transmission systems on the two models are also different, with the R400,000 model using a 5-speed manual box and the R800,000 unit packing an automatic 6-speed system along with a limited slip differential.
In terms of towing power, the cheaper Hilux is rated to tow 750kg unbraked and 2,500kg braked.
The top model can tow 750kg unbraked and 3,500kg braked, while payloads are 835kg and 775kg respectively.
Both models come fitted with 80-litre fuel tanks and offer the following fuel usage:
- 2.7 VVTi RB S 5MT – 10.7 litres per 100km
- 2.8 GD6 4X4 Legend RS AT – 8.0 litres per 100km
On the inside, the list of extras you receive on the 2.8 GD6 4X4 Legend RS AT compared to the 2.7 VVTi RB S 5MT is a long one.
This includes items such as cruise control, automatic air-conditioner, a JBL sounds system, touch-screen media system, and Android Auto plus Apple CarPlay support.
Additional elements are:
- Reverse camera.
- Bluetooth connectivity.
- Chrome finishes.
- Electrochromatic rearview mirror.
- Leather seats.
- Smart entry locking.
- Central-locking tailgate.
- Park distance control.
- Downhill assist.
- Lane keeping system.
It is clear to see from the both inside and outside where the extra money goes when you upgrade from the entry-level Hilux to the top-of-the-line model.
From a “bakkie user” perspective, the extra power and torque combined with more efficient fuel usage and 4×4 capabilities make the Legend the superior choice.
It allows for off-road usage and the towing of boats, caravans, and whatever else you can fit onto a trailer without the concern of hurting your double-cab.
As an everyday vehicle, it is equally kitted – thanks to modern connectivity options, a ton of safety technology, and the ability to easily slot the Hilux into a parking bay thanks to cameras and sensors.
If our budget allowed, we know which option we would choose.