Breaking into the pick-up segment isn’t a walk in park, it’s more akin to treading the kind of terrain that said trucks were designed to traverse. Maxus will have its work cut out for it then as they introduce the T60 pick-up into the Malaysian market.
They’re not showing up with a peashooter to a gunfight though, they’ll be banking on the T60 being the best bang-for-the-buck proposition with certain class-leading features to hopefully stand out in the crowd.
Its ace up its sleeve here would be the extensive safety kit that’s standard on the sole T60 trim that’s rated five-stars by the ANCAP safety rating. First up would be the front and rear ventilated disc brakes; a class-first. Joining it would be a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
Completing the active safety count would be stability control, ABS, EBD, traction control, BA, hill start assist, hill descent control and Roll Movement Intervention (RMI). The last one is quite self-explanatory; the system recognises the threat of an impending roll over and applies the brakes at specific corners to prevent a roll-over.
Passive safety comprises front and side airbags, automatic headlight adjustment, a reverse camera, dual Isofix anchorage points and Blind Spot Assist (BSA) on its side mirrors that are activated from 30kph.
Said headlights also feature rotation at intersections and corners in correspondence to steering inputs. Rounding up the standard fare is a push-start button, automatic air-conditioning with rear vents, an aluminium luggage rack, a stainless-steel roll bar and fog lamps with DRLs.
Inside, occupants will find power-adjustable front seats with six-way adjustments for the driver. The rear gets both forward and rearward folding rear seats for extra storage configurations. In total, you’ll find 21 storage areas to stash your stuff in the T60’s cabin.
Infotainment is in the form of a 10.0-inch touchscreen head unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The multifunction steering wheel packs switchgear for the audio and cruise control.
Powering the T60 is a 16V DOHC 2.8-litre inline-four turbodiesel VGT. It makes a respectable 150hp and 360Nm of torque. The engine itself is made under license based on a design by VM Motori, an Italian diesel engine manufacturer wholly owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. So yeah, we’ll let it slide if you claim your T60 has some Italian stallions under the hood. Coincidently, the T60 was designed in Italy as well but then again so was the Hyundai Matrix so keep that nugget of information to yourself.
Those stallions will carry a payload of 815kg in the bed and tow 3,000kg. Only a six-speed automatic is available and it’s designed by Punch Powertrains. If the name sounds familiar, they’re the people behind the woeful CVT in the Proton Saga BLM.
In the T60, the automatic sends power to the wheels via a BorgWarner electronically-controlled four-wheel system that allows switching between 2H, 4H and 4L on the fly in keeping with every other pick-up on the market.
There’ll be three drive modes consisting of the usual suspects; Eco, Normal and Power. Eco claims a reduction of 2.0 per cent in consumption while Power delivers a 5.0 per cent bump in performance.
Everything sounds all fine and dandy but breaking the hold of established names in the segment will still be a tough task. Maxus will be banking on not breaking the bank to do so with a price of RM99,888 (w/o insurance). Early birds that put pen to paper will get 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Continental 255/55R19 tyres over the standard 18-inch rollers.
Service intervals are 15,000km and includes a three year or 65,000km free scheduled maintenance package comprising parts, lubricants and labour. The warranty is five years or 130,000km with a 24/7 road assistance nationwide for the duration.
For more information, visit your nearest authorised Weststar Maxus dealer or visit the official website at www.weststarmaxus.com.