Continuing its reign as a South African icon, the Toyota Hilux retained its spot as the best selling bakkie and most popular vehicle overall in 2021. Owners have loved it for many years and this adoration has shown no signs of abating. As is the case with many bakkies, there are many models to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. This article focuses on the double cab version of the Hilux and compares the entry-level variant with the most expensive one. The goal is for this post to act as a resource for buyers who are deciding if the top of the range version is worth the hefty price tag. 

Dissecting the Details

The two variants being compared are the Hilux Double Cab 2.7 VVTi RB S 5MT and the Hilux Double Cab 2.8 GD6 4X4 LEGEND RS MT. As it may be the most important difference of all, it is best to begin by stating that the opening model costs R465 200 while the top-tier vehicle is almost double the price at R857 400. With this gap in mind, there are still a number of elements that they have in common. They are both constructed with the same suspension setup and they also share a 3 year/100 000km warranty. In fact, their safety equipment is also quite similar, although the VVTi RB does lack some important features that the LEGEND has as standard. These are a Pre-Crash System (Brake Synchronised), Standard Smart Entry Door Lock and Standard Central Locking Tailgate.

If we stay with the driver support systems for a moment, we can see that while the entry-level variant is well-equipped with an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Hill Assist Control (HAC), it still lacks premier options such as Downhill Assist Control (DAC), Lane Keeping System and Limited Slip Differential. When you compare the list of safety and support technologies of the VVTi RB and the LEGEND, there is no doubt that both vehicles have been precisely designed with the driver experience in mind. The difference is that the pricier model has a few more important options that some buyers may consider vital.

On the convenience side of things, this is where the gap becomes wider. The top of the range Hilux comes standard with a Display Audio System, Reverse Camera, Bluetooth, Front Seat Vertical Adjuster, Rear Armrest, USB Port and Tailgate Assist. The entry-level model has none of these features. Of course, some buyers won’t want all of this but for many, these quality-of-life factors will completely transform every journey.

On the outside, the LEGEND comes with a Colour-Coded Front Bumper, Retractable Side Mirrors, a Standard Automatic Tonneau Cover and Full Alloy Wheels. The style difference is quite considerable and you can tell right away that one vehicle is far more expensive than the other. However, the points mentioned here may be similar to the convenience components in that they may not matter to certain people.

Finally, we reach the engine, drivetrain and performance section of this comparative article. For the finer details, it's best to visit if Displacement and Bore x Stroke is important to you as we will be focusing on the bigger picture here. For starters, the VVTi RB comes with Rear-Wheel Drive while the LEGEND has Four-Wheel Drive Part-Time (letting the driver select the ideal drivetrain based on the conditions ahead). Furthermore, the Maximum Power (kW @ r/min) difference is considerable. The more affordable vehicle offers 122 5200kW while the premier model has 150 3400kW. The disparity is even greater when it comes to Maximum Torque (Nm @ r/min). The VVTi RB delivers 245 4000Nm and the LEGEND provides 420 1400-3400Nm. The top-tier bakkie is also a step-up with regards to transmission as it comes with a manual 6-speed. The engine capacity is slightly bigger too at 2,8 litres compared to 2,7. Performance-wise, the VVTi RB does consume more petrol but surprisingly it actually has a higher top speed than the LEGEND. The victory is small at 180km/h compared with 175km/h but it is an interesting fact that is worth pointing out.

The Closing Conclusion

The question that started this article was: “Is the top of the range Hilux worth the hefty price tag?”. Some may consider this to be a side-step but the answer is that it truly is up to the individual making the purchasing decision. The truth is that there is no doubt that the more affordable model is still an incredible vehicle and it comes with many cutting edge features as standard. Even so, the top-tier double cab has many more components that justify the price gap. By detailing many of the differences, this article will hopefully give potential buyers some valuable insight and will assist them in their purchasing decision. It must be noted that the comparison featured here is of the two ends of the Hilux Double Cab spectrum and there are many more options in between.

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