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The Maxus T60 ... good ground clearance.

The Maxus T60 ... good ground clearance.

Maxus T60 – a tough offroader

July 2018

The Chinese – who have in the past been associated with producing bad copies of renowned brands – have come a long way to prove they can build some good machines, and the Maxus T60 pickup is ample proof of this.

The dual cab pickup was launched in April this year in Bahrain by Motorcity and Gulf Construction’s Abdulaziz Khattak recently took it out for a spin to check its on-road and off-road capabilities.

The Maxus T60 pickup is manufactured by SAIC Maxus Automotive Company (Maxus), a light commercial vehicle manufacturer and wholly-owned subsidiary of SAIC Motor of China. The Maxus marque originates from the LDV Maxus model of the defunct British commercial vehicle manufacturer LDV Group, following the acquisition of its intellectual property by SAIC in 2010.

The Maxus T60 is a workhorse meant for daily site use, but it offers more than the bare essentials inside, and with advanced technology and an intelligent operating system, it is suitable for both commercial and private use.

The first things that grab your attention are the stern look, good ground clearance and a big grille. There are steps on both sides but no grab handle for the driver, requiring him to make a slight effort to get in.

Inside, the vehicle is spacious with fabric seats and hard and soft plastic across the dashboard. The driver gets a good front view due to the vehicle’s height while there is a lot of leg room both in the front and back, giving the feel of a big car. There is an arm-rest between the driver and passenger and many pockets and holders well distributed inside, including two cup holders near the gear, and one each near the air-conditioning vents on both sides. The glove compartment, however, is small.

Motorcity currently offers the mid-end 2.4-litre rear-wheel and four-wheel drive petrol options that generate a maximum torque of 136 hp on a five-speed manual transmission; although an automatic would be preferable considering Bahrain’s congested roads.

Measuring 5,365 mm long, 1,900 mm wide and 1,809 mm high, the T60 has a double wishbone front suspension and leaf spring rear suspension, offering good stability on rocky ground, albeit a bit noisy. Manoeuvring steep slopes is easy and so is its off-road ability.

When it comes to power, the T60 has a 3.5-tonne towing capacity and can carry up to a payload of 1,100 kg. In the rear, the pickup has a 1,200-litre cargo bed with a single latch to help open the tailgate.

The instrument panel is standard with a speedometer and a tachometer. Offered with an option of several languages including Arabic, it even indicates the number of kilometres left to the next service.

The fuel latch button is within easy reach of the driver at knee length on the left, unlike many cars where it’s hidden near the feet.

The air-conditioning is efficient and is especially noticeable on the feet vents, with separate vents for passengers in the back seat. It comes with a pollen filter – good news for those with allergies.

The T60 has been designed and produced in accordance with the latest five-star safety standards of the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP). The models available in Bahrain come with dual airbags.

Other features include anti-lock braking system (ABS), powered windows, tyre pressure monitoring sensor, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

Although our initial assessment of the vehicle is satisfactory, only time will tell how the T60’s fares in terms of robustness.

The vehicle comes with a fair price tag: Motorcity is offering a starting price of BD5,199 ($13,753) for the 4x2, and BD5,699 (15,076) for the all-wheel drive. A five-year warranty or 150,000 km service package is also available.  

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