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Why the Toyota Hilux Legend 50 makes for an epic camp trip

2020-04-09 04:30

Calvin Fisher

Toyota Hilux

2020 Toyota Hilux. Image: Calvin Fisher

Before Covid-19 was the word on everyone's lips, it was a simpler time. In this far less complicated universe, Calvin Fisher was given the keys to a new Toyota Hilux Legend 50. "We're going camping, kids."

I've had the good fortune of driving the latest Hilux 2.8 GD6 in Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe upon its launch - then again on honeymoon to Lesotho, and back for a grand tally of five southern African countries. 

So when the opportunity came to spend a weekend camping in the Dwarstberg mountains, I decided to enlist the services of another Legend 50.

With four sets of hands, we effortlessly filled the load bay with our five-person tent and relevant addenda, spades, mallets and pins. Then inflatable beds and floaties, portable shelves, tables, chairs and more, plus the requisite foods and drinks.

Fully laden, it was time for the four of us to shove off.


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Toyota Hilux

2020 Toyota Hilux Legend 50. Image: Calvin Fisher

Easy driving

From the Legend 50's 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine I had access to 130kW and 450Nm via its six-speed manual transmission. Switch the drivetrain from rear-wheel drive to 4x4, and it'll make light work of the gravel and sand network that eventually leads to the riverside campsite.

But first, there was the matter of 140km of a highway to traverse, a cinch in this road-centric generation of Toyota Hilux. 

Instead of beelining to the mountains via the N1 and Huguenot Tunnel, I diverted over Dutoitskloof Mountain Pass, a road sometimes littered with slow-moving trucks bound for JHB. Still, on this trip it was mercifully free, giving me time to stretch the forcefully aspirated two-point-eight. 

Handling is entertaining for the driver while NVH levels lend themselves well to a family content jamming 80s tunes for two hours at a time. I should mention that we also appreciated the abundance of cupholders for copious road-beverages. 

Toyota Hilux

2020 Toyota Hilux. Image: Calvin Fisher

Economical companion

Pulling into our campsite sometime later we were refreshed and recharged. The Hilux's fuel gauge was still pointing north thanks to a conservative 7.6 litres/100km fuel economy - so that's nice. Then there's the fact that after the last 10km of dirt, the Legend 50, now baking in the sun, had gone from silver to brown, caked in layers of dust.

I'd argue, it was an improvement - in this new weekend warrior hue.

With gear unpacked, tent erected and camp chairs pointing at the Hilux, I reflected on what was a great choice for a gritty getaway weekend.

Quick Specs: Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD6 Legend 50 4x4 Manual 
Engine: 2.8-litre turbodiesel
Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission, 4x4
Performance: 130kW/450Nm, 
Fuel consumption: 7.6 litres/100km
Price: R671 000

Toyota Hilux

2020 Toyota Hilux. Image: Calvin Fisher

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