Glen Hill
3 minute read
31 Oct 2014
12:00 pm

Monster truck: the Toyota Hilux

Glen Hill

The launch date of the next-generation Hilux is a more closely guarded secret than the details of our nuclear power programme.

Ask a Toyota employee what it actually looks like and you might be forgiven for thinking you asked them their weight. But wait we will, until the big moment when all is revealed. Until then, Hilux fans will have to live on history and legend, the Legend 45 mainly.

Toyota have packaged a special version of the Hilux, this time to celebrate the 45th anniversary of what has become a brand in its own right.


The art of marketing must have been in its infancy when Toyota combined high and luxury to form the word Hilux and give birth to a new sub-brand. Toyota could not have known then the bakkie would become the longest-running active model range of any vehicle in South Africa.

Fortunately the vehicle proved so good it overcame its etymological encumbrance to such an extent that not only is Hilux a word used fondly in all local dialects, it is not out of place when used with the word ‘legend’. As modesty is not high on the Toyota “to do” list, legend became Legend 10 years ago with the Legend 35.

In effect, all Legend derivatives are pimped derivatives of the already fully evolved Hilux of the day. This is good news because the Legend derivatives are not there to make the vehicle better in any technical respect – they are already completely ironed out and fully capable. They are there to make the Hilux special and appealing without needing to paper over any cracks.

Each Legend model, 35, 40 and 45 – so far – are little Hilux sub-brands in themselves and will probably hold some value in the future.

Legend 45 is the new name and face of all Raider high-spec production and is available in 4×2 Raised Body and 4×4 formats and across all variants – Single Cab, Xtra Cab and Double Cab. In total there are 13 different Legend 45 model variants.

Distinguishing it from the rest of the Hilux range, the Legend 45 gets a new headlamp and front fog lamp design with black-out detail and, at the rear, smoked tail lights. There is plenty of stainless steel in the form of a front nudge bar and stainless steel rear step bumper, which is particularly cool and disguises the towbar. Stainless steel side steps are, however, an option – with matt black the standard default. Interestingly, both the tonneau cover and rear styling bar are a cost option packaged as the Legend 45 Plus – which begs the question: when is a legend not a legend?

There is no question, though, about the exclusive Legend 45 badging for the nudge bar, side decals and tailgate as well as the colour-coded door handles with chrome-finish mirrors. All this rides on multispoke 17-inch anthracite alloy wheels available in a full range of exterior colours.

But it does not end on the outside and the full black interior for the cabin, including dashboard finish, is complemented by black leather upholstery with silver contrast stitching on the seats, door panels, steering wheel and shift lever boot in the case of the manual.

A reverse camera has been added to the Xtra Cab Legend 45 models as well as 2.5 D-4D and 2.7 VVTi Legend 45 models and is standard on all other Double Cab Legend 45 models.