LDV is a part of the largest automaker in China, the SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.) Their G10 and V80 vans had a big market in the Australian cities, but now they’re bringing something new to the table. Last year, they debuted the T60 ute in the Guangzhou International Motor Show, and in September of this year it will be hitting Aussie roads.
Their vans are known for being cost-effective. The same could be expected of their ute, which would be priced around 15-20% less than what their competitors are offering. Packed with the latest technology, it houses a 110kW/360Nm 2.8 litre turbo-diesel engine and buyers can choose from a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Its engine, licensed by VM Motori, is similar to the engine found in the Holden Colorado and the Jeep Wrangler.
This year LDV hopes to expand their market and not only appeal to those who use utes for work but also for lifestyle. The T60’s 5-star rating in the ANCAP (Australisian New Car Assessment Program) is quite attractive and might help them become a more recognisable brand. That said, it also comes with a lane departure warning system, 6 airbags and electronic stability control that ensures passenger safety is a top priority.
The T60 is a dual-cab ute. Its 4WD version with a low range gearbox is perfect for when you want a little off road adventure and also comes with both a hill holder and a hill descent function. Being quite a versatile vehicle, having a cab-chassis version isn’t so far off. It can be turned into a mega cab after extending the wheelbase by 300mm. Also, a 2WD variant might be produced in the future. It’s best to keep an eye out for news about the T60 as other variants would be introduced after its release.
Now the T60 will be up against the top utes with similar notable features. One of those is The Great Wall Steed 4WD that has a 110kW/310Nm 2.0 litre turbo-diesel engine and six-speed manual transmission. You probably noticed the difference in the engine and transmission but another important thing to consider is its payload. The Great Wall Steed can carry about 1020kg and the T60 can carry more at 1110kg for its payload.
Other formidable competitors are the Mahindra Genio, a 4WD dual-cab diesel ute with a driveaway price of $27,990 and the Chinese made JMC Vigus with the same driveaway price. Value for money is very important and you’ve got to carefully consider your options. Representatives are hoping to sell the T60 for $26,000, a far cry from the $48,490 of the Toyota HiLux and the Ford Ranger at $45,090.
So, if you’re looking to get a ute, you’ve got plenty of choices and it’s not a bad time to give newcomers a shot. They know they have to impress everyone and you could be right there enjoying the perks.