Hilux 2700 4X4
Double Cab Legend 35 and
David Bullards 15 year-old Hilux
dates : 23rd January 2005
27th January 2005
The Legend 35 is a dressed-up
version of the basic Toyota Hilux 4X4 Double Cab.
The current Hilux has been around since 1998 and is due to be
replaced by a new version in the not-too-distant future.
As for Davidís 1990 model, itís a testimony to the
durability of these workhorses.
The big change in the past 15 years has been the evolution of
the Double Cab pick-up, from a bakkie with a few add-on
stripes, to a luxury family car.
Full leather upholstery, electric windows and mirrors, pile
carpeting, airbags, car-like instrumentation, power steering,
air conÖ these are all taken for granted.
By contrast the 1990 Hilux looks rudimentary with the emphasis
Cloth upholstery, rubber floor mats, sharp-edged plastic dash,
it nevertheless did have air-con and power steering.
But space was a bit tight for the rear passengers back then,
while the load bay was huge.
Toyota is justifiably proud of the Hilux, these vehicles
having been market-leaders since David was a young tearaway.
The Legend 35 dress-up kit is more a bit of fun than serious
off-road gear, consisting of a chrome bull bar, tubular
running boards, a very solid roll bar and some Legend 35
Not the hard-core Hilux fanís first choice perhaps, but the
serious off-road hardware is still there.
Back in 1990 this range-topper Hilux 4X4 got by with plain old
steel wheels and a few stripes.
But even today Toyota believes in no-nonsense manual wheel
hubs rather than electronic hub locking, the emphasis still
being very much on reliability.
One of the big changes to the current Hilux was a switch to
independent front suspension for a more car-like ride on tar.
The engine on the two-comma-seven offers a wonderful mix of
on-road ease and off-road lugging power.
Fuel injection is now common on off-road vehicles where once
carburetors were deemed inherently more reliable.
The two-comma-seven-litre four-cylinder motor is no drag racer
but it produces a hundred-and-eight kiloWatts and
two-hundred-and-thirty-five Newton metres of torque at
The old two-comma-two-litre four-cylinder mill, like the rest
of Davidís Hilux, is in fine nick, remarkably tidy for a
By todayís standards its power delivery of seventy kiloWatts
is modest, but back then it was more than acceptable.
What really makes the old Hilux a bit rough on urban roads is
the solid live axle on the front. But some die-hard off-roaders
still swear by this system for reasons of durability.
David admits that he mainly uses his Hilux for trips to the
local rubbish dump and taking his dogs on outings. But the
Hilux and David have seen serious off-road action in their
Body-roll is much more pronounced on the old-timer. The body
control on the Legend off the road is super. Wishbone front
suspension may be more vulnerable to rocks but the excellent
low-range gearbox and strong engine torque enables a driver to
"walk" it slowly over obstacles.
Thereís no need to rush things with momentum and risk
There have been gigantic strides in all aspects of Hilux
performance over the years. The chassis is more rigid than
ever and the overall balance of the vehicle is good. Low-rev
capability, which is vital to serious off-roading, and
generous suspension travel, is one of the keynotes.
It lacks the traction control and corner-assist electronic
devices of more on-road Ėorientated Sports Utility vehicles,
but this is a plus out in the bush where complexity can be
Itís for this reason that the vehicle is as popular as most
light cars on the road today, despite representing a sizable
Over the famed axle twister course at Protea Eco Adventures
near Krugersdorp, or Mogale City as itís now known, David
discovered that a lack of a diff lock could lead to
frustration in his pride and joy.
In the Hilux Legend 35, a diff lock is standard and makes
unruffled progress of seriously undulating terrain a breeze.
Yes, 4X4s have become more and more car-like over the past
decade, but the Hilux hasnít traded-off any serious off-road
acumen for people-pampering considerations.
As for the old 1990 model, itís rightfully regarded as a
classic because of its ruggedness.
But if you are looking at a holiday in the swamps or rocky
mountains far from civilization, this is still the
At R323 500 itís serious money like many Toyota offerings,
and personally we could do without the chrome gizmos.
We wonder what weíll be driving 35 years from now!
Toyota Hilux 2700 4X4 Double Cab Legend 35
Engine: Four cylinder
petrol, 2 694 cc
Power: 108 kW @ 4 800 rpm
Torque: 235 Nm @ 4 000
Four-wheel-drive, low ratio transfer case, five-speed manual
0-100 km/h: 13,4 seconds
Top speed: 156 km/h
Fuel consumption: 14,6
litres/100 km (claimed figures)
Price: R323 527
Car Torque is