Ash­ley Lu­cas finds a lot to like in the LDV T60.

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

It’s only been on the mar­ket in NZ for a few short months and al­ready the T60 Ute is mak­ing its pres­ence felt mak­ing the tra­di­tional ute man­u­fac­tur­ers take no­tice be­cause it’s loaded with fea­tures with a pric­ing struc­ture nearly half of some com­peti­tors. The T60 is avail­able in two mod­els, both avail­able in man­ual or auto. The T60 which is the work­horse ute and the T60 Luxury which is a lit­tle more car like due to the in­te­rior fea­tures and softer rear sus­pen­sion. The test ve­hi­cle was the Luxury man­ual ver­sion. The 2.8 litre diesel en­gine pro­duces 110kw at 3400 rpm and 360Nm at 1600-2800 rpm, it pulls away rea­son­ably smoothly and cruises com­fort­ably on the road. The gear change ini­tially took a lit­tle get­ting used to and felt as though it wasn’t di­rectly con­nected to the gear­box, but it didn’t take long be­fore it was sec­ond na­ture. The myth has been that any­thing Chi­nese wasn’t well built, but LDV have truly laid that myth to rest, with the T60 get­ting a five-star ANCAP safety rat­ing on the first at­tempt. The list of safety fea­tures is too long to de­tail in full but in­cludes ABS brak­ing, Elec­tronic Brake Force Dis­tri­bu­tion (EBD) and Emer­gency Brake As­sist (EBA). It also has a list of driver as­sist fea­tures such as blind spot mon­i­tor­ing, lane de­par­ture warn­ing (Luxury only), re­vers­ing cam­era, rear park­ing sen­sors and adap­tive front light­ing sys­tem. We cov­ered a cross sec­tion of roads and dur­ing ‘spir­ited’ driv­ing on some of the back roads the front sus­pen­sion oc­ca­sion­ally felt un­der damped when hit­ting a bump. It was also on these roads that the Blind Spot mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem would put up a warn­ing on corners that it was un­avail­able and the short warn­ing beep was some­what dis­tract­ing. Oth­er­wise the T60 was good all round ‘cruiser’. The T60 is a large ute with its over­all di­men­sions be­ing fairly sim­i­lar to the Ford Ranger, al­though its 65mm shorter in the wheel base at 3155mm. The well­side isn’t as high ei­ther mak­ing it easier to reach over the side for items in the back. All mod­els of the T60 ride on 17-inch al­loy wheels with 245x65x17 tyres with an on-board Tyre Pres­sure Mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem. The chrome sports bar on the back tray is stan­dard on the Luxury mod­els while the base model gets a rear win­dow pro­tec­tor and all mod­els get the acrylic tray liner and tie-down points as stan­dard. For ad­verse con­di­tions there is trac­tion con­trol and the Luxury model has an au­to­matic en­gag­ing Elec­tronic Dif­fer­en­tial Lock (EDL) as stan­dard. In­side, the Luxury gets a mul­ti­func­tion leather steer­ing wheel and seats with the front seats be­ing elec­tri­cally ad­justable and heated while other mod­els have cloth. All mod­els get the premium six-speaker sound sys­tem with 10-inch multi-func­tion dis­play with Ap­ple Carplay. One of the sig­nif­i­cant fea­tures LDV have apart from pric­ing is their five-year 130,000km war­ranty across the whole range as well as their fac­tory backed 10year anti per­fo­ra­tion war­ranty. Tow­ing ca­pac­ity across the range is 3000kgs braked and 750kgs un­braked, while the Luxury man­ual can carry a 875kg pay­load (815kg for auto) the lower spec model can carry 1025kgs (995kgs for auto). The T60 sums up to be a very ca­pa­ble and com­pet­i­tive pack­age both on and off road and def­i­nitely value for money.

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