TSales of the budget dual-cab ute are on the rise, and will be for most of 2022. Put it down to the current economic climate and people’s reluctance to spend large sums of cash. Or, maybe, just maybe, the quality of ‘affordable’ vehicles has improved to the point where people don’t hesitate before signing on the dotted line.
In September 2022, both the LDV T60 and GWM Cannon achieved enough sales to make it into the top 10 best-selling 4x4s for the month (962 and 936 sales respectively). It outsells Mazda BT-50 and Nissan Navara.
The Chinese-made LDV T60 Max, on test here in Luxe spec, is one of the cheapest dual cab 4×4 utes available in Australia. It boasts an engine whose outputs match the class leaders (Ranger and Hulk), is loaded with features befitting more premium models, and costs just over $40K – if you go for the Pro variant. If you choose less than that.
So, what’s the catch?
How much is it, and what do you get?
As part of a mid-life refresh in 2021, LDV ditched the existing 2.8-litre and 2.0-litre turbo diesel engines and replaced them with uprated versions of the existing four-cylinder bi-turbo diesel engine. took His D90 Wagon.
The transplanted powerplant now produces 160kW and 500Nm. To put that in perspective, that means it’s slightly more powerful than Ford’s 2.0-litre bi-turbo (157kW and 500Nm) and Toyota’s 2.8-litre turbo-diesel (150kW and 500Nm) engines, which power the Ranger and Powers the Hilux with respect.
There are two models available in the T60 Max range: Pro and Luxe (as tested here). The Luxe retails for $41,568 drive-away in six-speed manual guise, or $43,674 when paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission by ZF.
Further savings are to be had by opting for the trade-focused Pro variant, with buyers shelling out $36,832 for the manual or $38,937 for the auto.
As part of its mid-life refresh in 2021, LDV also tasked its design team with refreshing both the interior and exterior of the vehicle, focusing on making the ute more attractive in the booming dual-cab market. was given. To this end, 962 registered sales made it in September 2022 Seventh best selling 4×4 in Australia for the month.
The T60 has a part-time 4×4 system, with on-demand rear diff lock standard on the Luxe model. Suspension tune is slightly different between the Pro and Lux models, with a heavy-duty focus for the Pro and a comfort-oriented tune for the Lux.
Features of 2022 T60 Max Luxe
|Automatic LED headlights|
|Rear parking sensor|
|10.25 inch touch screen|
|Apple CarPlay and Android Auto|
|Tire pressure monitor|
|Full size steel spare|
|Rear differential lock|
|Auto folding mirrors|
|Automatic rear view mirror|
|360 degree camera|
|Electric front seats.|
|Lane departure warning|
|750 kg payload|
How do competitors compare on value?
Think of the LDV and most punters will naturally compare it to the GWM Cannon-X and SsangYong Musso, but the Triton GLX+ also needs to be considered at this price point.
The Cannon-X is listed at $44,490 and comes with standard kit including a 360-degree surround-view camera, LED headlights and genuine leather, but its single-turbo 2.0-litre diesel is underpowered at 120kW and 400Nm.
Korea’s Musso asks a little more again, at $46,590 on-the-road, and in XLV guise it has a 300mm longer tub and a payload capacity of 880kg. Tick the Luxury Pack option and buyers get dual-zone climate control and Nappa leather seats. In our recent Mega Dual Cab test, the Musso was noted for the refinement of its 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, and the fit and finish of its interior.
Perhaps the pick of the sub-$50K group is the Triton GLX+, which lists at $48,990. It may lack Mitsubishi’s Super Select II 4×4 system – relying instead on the more primitive Easy Select 4WD system – but it has a capable 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine and the best on-road composure at this price point. It ensures a great selection.
As mentioned, the LDV’s powertrain matches the output of class leaders Ranger and Hilux, but the performance similarities end there. Still, the LDV is considerably cheaper than both the Ranger and the Hilux.
Interior comfort, space and storage
Despite its budget price, LDV hasn’t shied away from sprinkling premium kit inside the T60 cabin, including electric-operated front seats, a 360-degree panoramic camera, and a 10.25-inch center-mounted infotainment touchscreen.
The impressive touchscreen features crystal-clear graphics and a host of useful features including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and best of all, it’s fast and intuitive in its operation.
Spend a little more time in the T60, though, and LDV’s cost-cutting measures become more apparent. There’s an abundance of cheap plastic everywhere, including the steering wheel – which lacks telescopic adjustment. And the seats, fitted with hard cushions and dressed in fake leather, aren’t very comfortable on long journeys – the minimal under-thigh support doesn’t help in this regard either.
A small thing, but a big issue for smaller people, is that the LDV lacks a grab handle on the driver’s side. That there is no side step as standard exaggerates this omission.
One saving grace, perhaps, is that the T60 has plenty of storage and seating both front and rear. Storage options abound in the center console, and there are plenty of compartments throughout the cabin to keep drink bottles, iPads and sunglasses tidy. The glove box is quite small though.
Two USB-A sockets and a 12-volt point are provided for front-seat passengers, while rear-seat occupants get a 12-volt outlet.
The Lux variant has a payload capacity of just 750kg, down from the Pro’s 935kg – so it’s pretty limited if you plan to load it up for a long camping trip. The tray is well-sized, though, at 1525mm (L) x 1510mm (W) x 530mm (H), and features 1131mm between the four tie-down points beyond the wheel arches.
How is it to drive?
The four-cylinder bi-turbo diesel engine’s 160kW and 500Nm translate to enthusiastic on-road performance, and it’s plenty quick for a dual-cab ute – if you can get over the noticeable throttle lag.
The steering lacks feel and contact with the driver, and feels quite indirect as a result. And the so-called ‘comfort’ suspension tune designed for the Luxe model is imprecise – it could use a few extra kilos in the tub to settle. As such, the ride is quite stiff and unforgiving.
The T60 rides on a double wishbone arrangement with coil springs at the front and leaf springs at the rear. Its 550 mm wading depth is quite shallow by modern standards.
Its 4WD system offers 2WD, on-demand 4WD, 4×4 high and 4×4 low range, but this test did not include an off-road component.
How about the fuel?
LDV claims that the T60 Luxe consumes 9.3 liters of diesel per 100 km. In our recent Dual Cab Mega test, on a route that was mainly bitumen, it managed 10.37L/100km.
For comparison’s sake, on the same test route the Cannon-X drank 10.39L/100km, the Triton GLX+ 11.0L/100km, and the Musso 11.14L/100km.
How safe is it?
The LDV has a five-star ANCAP safety rating, but this was tested in 2017.
Safety gear includes six airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, electronic brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, and hill start assist. Another nice touch is the luxury of a tire pressure monitoring system.
The Luxe model then adds lane departure warning and a 360-degree panoramic camera.
Warranty and running costs
Service intervals for the LDV T60 are 12 months or 15,000 km, with initial service required within the first six months or 5000 km. No limited cost servicing is offered.
All LDV vehicles have a five-year/130,000km warranty and roadside assistance, with an expanding national dealer network.
The T60’s great value is one of the main reasons the Chinese brand has soared up the sales ranks in Australia – hardly a surprise in today’s economic climate. Plus, you get an off-road-ready vehicle with plenty of premium features, excellent engine output, and a well-calibrated eight-speed automatic transmission.
However, the way the power is delivered, the unclear driving dynamics on the road, and the distinct lack of steering feel are the flaws that stand in the way of the LDV T60 being a great value for money proposition – its generous. Despite the price.
2022 LDV T60 Max Luxe Specs
|engine||I4 Turbo Diesel|
|Maximum power||160kW @ 4000rpm|
|Max torque||500Nm @1500 – 2400rpm|
|4X4 system||Dual range 4×4 on demand|
|Construction||4 door cab @ ute tub on ladder chassis|
|Front suspension.||Double Wishbone IFS|
|Rear suspension||Live axle on leaf springs|
|Tire||245/65-17 on Egypt wheels|
|Heavy obstacle||2150 kg|
|Tensile capacity||3000 kg|
|Fuel tank capacity||73L|
|ADR Fuel Consumption* (claimed)||9.3L/100km|
|On-test fuel consumption||11.2L/100km|
|Ramp over angle||21.3°|
|Angle of departure||24.2°|
|Ground clearance||215 mm|
|Wading depth||550 mm|
Things we like.
- Most affordable 4×4 dual cab
- Engine output
- Rear diff lock as standard
Not so much
- Throttle lag
- Ride quality
- Feels outdated.