When manufacturers name their vehicles they use all kinds of acronyms, and often the end consumer has no idea what these labels even mean. You adopt the new title because it generally has a nice ring to it, and that’s the end of it. We had the Toyota 2.8 GD-6 Hilux Legend RS in our garage recently and discovered what the cool “RS” acronym at the end really stands for.

The current generation Hilux, now in the second stage of its life as a facelift model was launched towards the end of 2020, and is a good looking and refined steed, in every aspect. Its 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine has been tweaked for refined power delivery, and it’s now more responsive thanks to a bigger turbo and some fiddling from its engineers (150 kW and 500 Nm). We did a round trip from Johannesburg and Durban which combined open road driving and some inner-city runs. The Hilux returned an average consumption figure of 8.5 litre’s per 100km, which isn’t far off from Toyota’s stated 8.0l/100 and was reasonable for a vehicle of its size with all of its mechanical gear on board. 

Ride comfort

Putting over 1200km in Toyota Hilux 2.8 GD-6 in Legend RS trim over a weekend was one of the most pleasant experiences we’ve had in a bakkie, and this is partially thanks to an upgraded suspension which has been given new shocks, bushes and other minor upgrades. With these vehicles, the front seats generally feel like a bench, and you aren’t able to adjust them to your most comfortable seating position. In this high spec Hilux, Toyota has made the driver’s seat electronically adjustable, allowing you to set up everything including height and tilt. The tilting of the lower seat makes an enormous difference in improving comfort levels, you’re no longer perched on “L” shaped furniture. But as with anything else in life, there’s always room for improvement and a reach adjustable steering wheel is what the Hilux needs next.

What does the RS mean?

When Toyota launched the refreshed Hilux, they made a few changes to the model lineup which also came with some aesthetic upgrades. In the Legend, aggressive styling has been applied to the front in the form of a revised grille and front bumper. Toyota has made an RS variant available in the Legend, which includes a sports bar – not only does it give the Hilux a premium look but also gives it a masculine edge over other vehicles of its kind. You also get an assisted tailgate, meaning your wife can also operate the tailgate now, and won’t require your jacked up arms. A rubberized bedliner is included, and finally, the most impressive piece of the RS kit is the motorised roller shutter which is where the “RS” is derived from. This part of the vehicle is handy when needing to store and access items in the load bin. You no longer need to open the tailgate to access this part of the vehicle, with the push of a button (found on both sides of the bin), the shutter rolls open and you can open a portion of it or the entire thing. Once closed and the vehicle is locked, your goods are safely locked away from thieving hands, and can only be accessed by unlocking the vehicle. 

The RS effect is more than just impressive hardware, it makes the Hilux look like a stallion and this was affirmed by the many eyes we attracted during our time with the Hilux Legend RS. We give it a thumbs up for both its functionality and aesthetic appeal. 

Toyota Hilux Legend price

2.8 GD-6 RB  LEGEND MTR 681 900
2.8 GD-6 RB  LEGEND ATR 710,100
4.0 V6 4X4 LEGEND  ATR 780,500
2.8 GD-6 4X4  LEGEND MTR 748,200
2.8 GD-6 4X4 LEGEND  ATR 780,900
2.8 GD-6 4X4 LEGEND  RS MTR 835,400
2.8 GD-6 4X4 LEGEND  RS ATR 868,100

By Gugu Masuku