We all know that Toyota is working on the eighth generation of Hilux, but it’s keeping mum on exactly when it will be launched. One day, we might catch Toyota out and be able to speculate but in the meantime, many customers remain quite content to stay with the tried and tested Hilux generation seven. The reason why so many owners (and potential owners) will continue to buy this vehicle is durability, reliability and, if they should decide to eventually trade-in, excellent and unbeatable resale value. 2014 represents another milestone in Hilux history; in fact, 45 years of history. Not quite as old as CAR magazine, but close enough! So a special edition has been released named the Legend 45.
In a nutshell, the Legend 45 package has the following updates to previous Raider versions: new headlamp and fog lamp design, smoked tail-lamps, stainless steel nudge bar and rear bumper, towbar, matt black side steps, 17-inch wheels finished in anthracite, Legend 45 badging, black leather upholstery, gear lever knob and steering wheel with silver stitching, reverse camera and a DVD touch screen, colour coded door handles and Bluetooth audio streaming. Remember that all models have rear diff locks. Perhaps the best of the package is the black leather interior. This does suit most of us better than the beiges and greys that are often offered on oriental vehicles.
To fit in with the Legend 45 theme, we drove the vehicles on some legendary routes through towns with great history behind them. This included George, Montagu Pass and towns such as Jansenville, Aberdeen, Uniondale and Graaff-Reinet. Although the gear lever is long, the action is positive. Steering feel cannot be faulted either. The suspension is firm and can shake you around on really poor surfaces but it is designed to take a full load with full composure and is a suitable blend of a workhorse for the farm with lifestyle tendencies. Leather seating provides good comfort levels over the four hours or so of driving through the Karoo. Another plus is that this size of vehicle is easier to manoeuvre and park than the new generation of double cabs that have grown in size. The different displays in the facia still don’t match up colour wise but, over the years, I have come to accept that the Toyota designers do things their way, concentrate on the important stuff such as top-rate mechanicals and the electrics and that’s actually fine. Let’s see what happens with the eight generation, but for now, there’s still nothing to complain about with the current offering.