The farmers who booed Winston Peters at the water tax protest in Morrinsville in September may owe him an apology.
At a recent gala event in Auckland to launch the new vehicle, attended by NZ dealers, executives from the Chinese manufacturer SAIC and about 50 Chinese journalists, GLM ‘van geek’ Warren Willmot said “NZers have been paying too much for too long for over-hyped utes”.
Priced from $28,990 + gst for a double cab, 4WD that doesn’t skimp on spec, and which comes with a 5-year/130,000km warranty, 10-year anti-perforation warranty and a roadside assist package, the T60 warrants a closer look.
Components from industry stalwarts Borg Warner, ZF, Sachs, Bosch and Eaton should impress would-be buyers, and the promised package suggests value for money.
A 2.8L Motori turbo diesel delivers 110kW and 360 Nm torque, mated to a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
A full-size ute which doesn’t look out of place when parked next to its competitors, the T60 is the first Chinese vehicle to achieve the ANCAP 5-star safety rating, not surprising given its standard specification.
That list of standards includes ABS, EBD, EBA, blind spot monitoring, hill descent control, hill start assist, traction control, electronic diff lock, rear view camera, park assist and even tyre pressure monitoring.
Then there’s airbags and a 10 inch, full colour touch screen control panel and infotainment system. The latter includes Apple Car Play and Android Auto and a useful auto volume function. Specification includes the Elite, or the optional Luxury version that upstages the Elite with heated leather seats, running boards, sport bars and roof rails.
At the business end the well-deck has a liner and multiple tie-down points and is designed to carry a euro-pallet and weights of up to one tonne, while the towing capacity is rated at 3 tonnes. So what’s not to like?