Toyota Hilux Legend vs Isuzu V-Cross


Ok so the big question that you might be asking is why are we not comparing the new Hilux to the new Ford Ranger? Well, the problem is that the new Ranger is so far ahead of the competition that it would be unfair. We do however feel that the ISUZU V-Cross is a more suitable competitor to the ever dominant Hilux. Here are the important things that you need to know about these two vehicles and how they compare.

Let’s start with the ISUZU V-Cross


Emphasising its rugged, yet modern and refined look, the all-new ISUZU D-MAX in V-Cross guise is bolder and sportier than ever. This is clearly evident by the fresh and more aggressive front fascia and grille.


Slimmer, more angular lights that include Bi-LED projector headlamps and LED daytime running lights on the high-series models give the new ISUZU V-Cross distinctive on-road presence. The V-Cross also gains added cladding on the exterior to further enhance its rugged character. The vehicle's exterior is designed to withstand harsh conditions, with its robust design and high ground clearance of 225mm.

The ISUZU V-Cross's interior is designed to provide a comfortable ride for passengers while also being practical for off-road use. The vehicle's spacious cabin can comfortably seat five passengers, and the rear seats can be folded down to provide additional storage space.


The V-Cross comes with a range of convenience features such as a touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and USB ports. The vehicle also features automatic climate control, power windows, and keyless entry. We do however feel that the touchscreen can be a bit more sophisticated as it offers the minimum and relies on smartphone connectivity for better operation.

There are also some issues in terms of really cheap plastics that one tends to interact with on a regular basis. While we do understand that this is a bakkie, it shouldn't be agricultural, especially in 2023.


What we do like however is the engine! The V-Cross makes use of an upgraded 3.0 Ddi engine which has been optimised for more torque at lower engine speeds, superior pull off and acceleration, significantly reduced noise levels and optimised consumption. In its latest guise, the 3.0-litre unit delivers 140kW of peak power at 3 600 r/min, with its maximum torque figure of 450Nm available from 1 600 to 2 600 r/min.


What about the Hilux Legend?


There is no denying the fact that the Toyota Hilux is South Africa's favourite bakkie. It is constantly topping the sales chart month after month and with demand for the locally built icon on the rise it is considered the segment leader. Here is how it stacks up to the V-Cross.


The Toyota Hilux Legend has a muscular and aggressive look that is sure to turn heads. The vehicle is designed to be both rugged and stylish, with a bold front grille, sleek headlamps, and sharp creases on the body. The vehicle's exterior is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, with its robust frame and high ground clearance.


The Toyota Hilux Legend is powered by a 2.8-liter diesel engine that produces 150kW of power and 500Nm of torque. The vehicle is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, but there is also an optional six-speed automatic transmission available. One of the main advantages of the Hilux Legend is its off-road capabilities.

Like the ISUZU it performs well when the going gets tough thanks to its tried and tested four-wheel drive system. The extra power over the ISUZU however can only be an advantage for the Hilux.


The Toyota Hilux Legend's interior is a decent place to be with some lower grade plastics like the ISUZU but they don't tend to intrude as much. A centre mounted screen allows for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Connectivity and it features a better standard operating system than the V-Cross. Legend variants receive bespoke interior treatment with a unique accent treatment to the instrument cluster, interior trim panels, switchgear and gear lever. Cool, blue door illumination complements the perforated leather upholstery and black roof lining.

The Hilux Legend comes with a range of convenience features such as a touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and USB ports. The vehicle also features automatic climate control and keyless entry. However, it does not feature rear air vents like the ISUZU which is a negative in our books.


Our conclusion is a tough one as both offerings have merit. Both vehicles are similar yet in some cases completely different. The Hilux Legend has a more powerful engine and advanced off-road features, while the V-Cross is more affordable and has similar off-road capabilities. Ultimately, the choice between these two vehicles will depend on the individual's needs and budget. While the Toyota will withhold its value the ISUZU has a charm about it. We might swing for the latter to be different.


Justin Jacobs writing for CHANGECARS