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