The next milestone for this current-generation model was the 50-year celebration of Hilux presence in the South African market. The Legend 50 model which was introduced in 2019, helped further cement Hilux’s dominance in the 1-ton segment, offering refreshed styling and bespoke specification treatment. As South Africa’s best-selling vehicle – responding to customer requirements and a dynamic marketplace is key to its success.
On this note, we are pleased to introduce the latest iteration of Toyota’s revered ‘bakkie’. The new model builds on the robust foundation of the eighth-generation architecture and represents a new frontier with even greater dynamic performance, technology, style and features.
New Grade Strategy
In keeping with a progressive target market and evolving market trends, the model line-up and grade strategy has undergone a revision. The utility-focused S and SR models continue as before, complete with their original front façades. The largest change to the grade strategy takes place in the ‘mid-range’ where the long-serving SRX nomenclature falls away, being replaced by Raider.
“The SRX model has continuously evolved in line with market requests and in turn advanced into traditional Raider territory. We saw this as an opportunity to rationalise the line-up and offer customers more across the board. SRX and Raider have now effectively merged, creating an opportunity for a flagship grade above Raider – and this is precisely what the new Legend grade will offer,” says Glenn Crompton, Vice-President of Marketing.
“We’ve also created three distinctive appearance profiles for the respective core grades. S and SR keep their current design traits, Raider continues with its chrome-accented styling and Legend will offer a distinctive new look aimed specifically at the leisure user,” he added.
The most visible change is found at the front of the vehicle, with new chiseled, slim-line headlamps flanking an all-new front-grille and bumper design. The new styling now aligns with Toyota’s global truck-design language and gives Hilux a modern yet unmistakably tough appearance.
Raider models feature a large, trapezoidal front grille with broad chrome border and horizontally-separated 3D grille elements. New boomerang-shaped fog lamp bezels and integrated bumper guard round off the design. 2.4 GD-6 models receive an upgrade to four-bulb Halogen headlamps, while 2.8 GD-6 Raider derivatives now boast a Bi-LED configuration with stylised internal-light-guides and LED turn-signal lamps.
The side profile remains largely unchanged, with the rear tail lamps also receiving the stylised LED treatment (2.8 models only). A chrome rear-step bumper and chrome door handles create unity with the front design.
The Legend name now signifies a new flagship grade built on the brand equity of the previous celebratory models, to introduce a Hilux like never before.
The trapezoidal grille (outlined in black) integrates with the front bumper, bonnet protector and unique integrated skidplate - to create an imposing front façade. Further differentiation is achieved with dark-plated headlamp inserts and a centred chrome inlay, which suspends the Toyota insignia.
These are joined by matching overfenders, which seamlessly blend into the front bumper corners - forming integrated fog lamp bezels. They also feature gunmetal inserts over the arches, which contrast with the textured matte-finish of the overfenders and door-handles. A graphite rear bumper and Legend-specific tailgate garnish complete the package. The overall result is a rugged, yet advanced look.
An optional ‘RS’ accessory package (referring to Roller Shutter) will be offered on Legend-grade models which amplifies both utility and aesthetics, offering a motorised roller shutter, graphite-coloured sportsbar, rubberised bedliner, assisted tailgate with central-locking function and dust-defence kit.
A new instrument cluster design welcomes the driver and features metallic inserts, a notched outer ring and metallic bezel to create a more premium feel. The 8-inch infotainment system now incorporates a floating screen-design while retaining rotary adjustment knobs for ease of use. It is framed by a metallic border – reminiscent of high-end electronics.
Legend variants receive bespoke interior treatment befitting their flagship status. A unique accent treatment is applied to the instrument cluster, interior trim panels, switchgear and gear lever. Cool, blue door illumination provides a sophisticated ambience and complements the perforated leather upholstery and black roof lining.
A total of nine exterior colours are on offer, including the newly-added Oxide Bronze (replacing Avant-Garde Bronze) and a first for Hilux, Pearl White. Attitude Black is exclusively available on 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Legend models.
Wheels & Tyres
The wheel and tyre packages have also been revised. Raider models return to a 17-inch alloy wheel in Dark Grey metallic finish shod with 265-65-R17 rubber. Legend models are equipped with new rugged, two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels with a machined surface and darkened centre caps – employing 265-60-R18 tyres. The other models retain their existing ‘footwear’.
More Power & Performance
The enhancements are not limited to aesthetics however, as the output of the 2.8 GD-6 engine has been boosted by 20kW to 150kW, with an additional 50Nm on offer, bringing the figure to 500Nm (in auto transmission guise).
Toyota engineers have improved performance and fuel economy simultaneously by adopting a larger, heavy-duty turbocharger with a ball-bearing cartridge for exceptionally crisp and strong throttle response, and a new common-rail injection system with a higher maximum fuel pressure of 250 MPa.
Higher outputs in the 1GD engine have also been supported by improvements including a new, coated cylinder-head gasket, revised higher-rigidity cylinder block and new exhaust manifold and gasket materials. Further cooling measures include a reshaped water jacket, revised cooling fan and fan coupling.
Fuel economy also benefits from a new combustion chamber that reduces cooling losses and more efficient exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) in the intake manifold. A water-cooled double-pipe pre-cooler results in optimum EGR gas temperature.
The Legend 4x4 Auto model additionally includes a new balance shaft, to reduce noise and vibration from the engine – enhancing refinement and reducing NVH levels.
The above changes have been made in pursuit of offering an elevated driving experience without compromising the core Toyota values of ‘QDR’.
The six-speed automatic transmission in turn has been recalibrated to allow earlier lockup for improved acceleration and cooling performance, especially while towing.
The towing capacity of 2.4 GD-6 4x4 models has seen an increase of 300kg, now registering 3.5 tons and matching that of the 2.8 GD-6 4x4 model. Raised body and 4x4 models boast a towing capacity of between 2750 kg and 3500 kg (depending on engine and drivetrain configuration).
Improved Ride Comfort, Handling and NVH
Another area of focus has been the ride and handling – where the engineers targeted improved ride comfort without compromising off-road performance and durability. This has resulted in retuning of spring rates, shock absorbers and suspension bushes, as well as revised cabin mounts.
These improvements are designed to deliver a more agile handling response and improving ride comfort, particularly when unladen. At the same time, Hilux maintains its renowned off-road performance, load-carrying capability, stability and body control - including performance on corrugated dirt roads.
Raised Body and 4x4 derivatives have benefitted from revised shock-absorber damping for improved ride comfort and reduced vibration, particularly when carrying low loads. Revised leaf spring bushings are combined with self-lubricating rubber on the rear shackle bush, to improve ride quality and steering response. These are paired
with revised cabin mounts, which help reduce the transmission of vibrations from the road into the cabin.
All diesel variants benefit from a new variable-flow control (VFC) power-steering pump that improves fuel economy while delivering a more natural driving feel that varies depending on the driving conditions. A high level of assistance is offered at low speeds (parking manoeuvres) while offering lowers levels of assistance at higher cruising speeds, in order to improve steering feel. A specific mode for low-range, off-road driving has also been included.
Befitting the increased urban and leisure use, Raider and Legend models boast an all-new 8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
This allows users to mirror applications off their mobile phone – for seamless connectivity. Navigation applications such as Google Maps and Waze are natively
included and occupants can also access their music libraries and streaming accounts via apps like Apple Music, JOOX, Spotify and SoundCloud. Wireless telephony is supported via Bluetooth with a USB input for additional media options.
S & SR
The workhorse models have not been left off the spec-amplification menu. S-grade variants now feature emergency brake signal and the SR-grade receives a Limited Slip Differential (LSD) and aforementioned Variable Flow Control power steering.
Raider models maintain their generous specification level and in the case of 2.4 GD-6 variants (previously SRX), now also boast side and curtain airbags. As with the SR versions, an LSD and VFC have also been added. LED fog lamps, enlarged Multi-Information Display(MID) and Park Distance Control (PDC) is fitted across the board, with Bi-LED main beam headlamps and chrome front treatment also forming part of the 2.8 GD-6 Raider ‘spec’ sheet (versus outgoing Raider).
These are over and above the existing standard specification items such as; automatic climate control, cruise control, reverse camera, air-conditioned glovebox, 12- and 220-volt accessory connectors, tilt-and-telescopic adjustable leather steering wheel and steering switches.
In addition to the design elements already mentioned, the Legend-grade derivatives come feature-packed. Based on Raider specification, the spec is augmented by an Electrochromatic (auto-dimming) rear view mirror (standard across all Legend models). Double-cab 4x4 models additionally receive leather interior trim, electrically adjustable front seats, a premium 9-speaker JBL audio system with dash-mounted speakers, keyless entry and push-button start.
The JBL audio system employs a speaker array that includes a 224mm subwoofer for great bass performance, 150mm full range and 80mm wide dispersion units for a stage effect, 170mm mid-woofers and 25mm tweeters. With an 800W eight-channel amplifier, the system uses Harman CLARiFi technology to gain the best sound quality from compressed audio files.
Safety & Security
For the first time on Hilux, the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) safety system forms part of the standard inventory on Legend 4x4 models. TSS integrates a Pre-collision system, Lane Departure Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control – to offer drivers additional peace of mind. TSS joins the existing array of airbags, ISOFIX, seatbelt pre-tensioners and the full suite of active safety aids (ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, VSC, Trailer Sway Control, Traction Control). As before, 4x4 models also include Downhill Assist Control (DAC).
A comprehensive anti-theft system, speed-dependent auto-door lock function and remote or keyless locking functionality is included.
All Hilux models are also equipped with the Toyota Connect telematics system which includes an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot and complimentary 15Gb data. Once linked to their profile, customers can manage their vehicle via the MyToyota App. This intuitive app
allows on-demand service bookings, vehicle information and history, tracking data as well as Toyota Connect data recharge services and much more – latterly even including the ability to renew your vehicle license online.
Warranty and Maintenance
All Hilux models come with a 3-year/100 000 km warranty. A 9-services/90 000 km service plan is standard on all models. Customers can also purchase extended service plans and warranty packages via their Toyota dealer.