The Steed drives like utes used to decades ago. The T60 punches well above its weight and price

New Zealand LCV - - FEATURE -

of other sys­tems; how­ever Ap­ple Carplay/ An­droid Auto some­what makes up for that.

Lay­out, func­tion and gen­eral in­te­rior er­gonomics are im­pres­sive, with all the func­tions at or around where they’re ex­pected, though we did quickly learn to im­me­di­ately de­ac­ti­vate the overly ea­ger lane de­par­ture warn­ing sys­tem.

Ad­mit­tedly, those safety fea­tures also con­trib­ute to a five-star AN­CAP safety rat­ing, the first Chi­nese ute to do so and an im­pres­sive feat for a ute in this price bracket.

Un­der the bon­net is where the T60 dis­tances it­self from the Great Wall and tries to put its arm around the pop­u­lar utes, with the prom­ise that ‘I’m just like you’. An Ital­ian VM Mo­tori 2.8-litre diesel with a vari­able ge­om­e­try turbo, it shares the same ca­pac­ity as Hilux and Colorado, but falls a lit­tle short on power, with a rel­a­tively mod­est match­ing 110kw as the Steed, with 310Nm – a lit­tle lack­ing when com­pared to the en­try level Hilux’s 123kw/343nm, or auto Colorado’s 147kw/500nm. Im­pres­sively, the LDV feels quicker than its num­bers, and is more re­spon­sive and ea­ger around town than its 0-100km/h in 13.3 sec­onds sug­gests.

A rel­a­tively light 1720kg kerb weight and six-speed auto help ex­tract the per­for­mance, with its ac­cel­er­a­tion times closer to the Hilux than the Steed. It is on the noisy side, how­ever, no­tice­ably louder even com­pared to the Great Wall, es­pe­cially at the ar­rival of 100km/h which co­in­cides with an au­di­ble in­crease of wind noise.

On top of a five-year/130,000km war­ranty, the LDV T60 seems to have it all. And in many ways it does: the steer­ing feels well weighted and ac­cu­rate, and its turn­ing cir­cle is on par with the top sell­ers. If there’s a weak link in the T60’s chain, it’s the sus­pen­sion: un­laden, or even with

Next stop in our bud­get tour was the tradie’s favourite Mac­cas, though the Great Wall’s mas­sive 14.5m turn­ing cir­cle pro­vided a few mi­nor chal­lenges.

Above: LDV’S tray of­fers a few tie-down points. Right: Not choos­ing the op­tional re­verse cam­era on the Steed leaves an odd-look­ing cam­era blank. T60 Lux­ury is fit­ted with stan­dard re­verse cam­era.

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