It was exactly nine months ago when Maxus, a Chinese-manufactured brand with deep British origins, entered the highly competitive Philippine market. The company, under Automobile Central Enterprise, Inc., the automotive arm of the Ayala Group, came with two people-haulers in its range: the G10 multi-purpose vehicle and the V80 van. Now, Maxus Philippines introduces another hauler in its lineup – the T60 pickup truck.
Automobile Central Enterprise, Inc. president Felipe Estrella said during the program, ”On June 5, 2019, AC Motors, the automotive distribution and retail group of Ayala subsidiary AC Industrials, introduced locally the Maxus brand. From then on, the Filipino motorists got to know and experience Maxus’ 124 years of British heritage, British expertise and British excellence in the global commercial vehicle category. Moreover, the T60 pickup is produced by SAIC Motor, which ranked among the top 10 automakers globally selling more than 7 million units in 2018. This is a testament to the global scale and acceptance of SAIC.”
Exterior-wise, the T60 has a distinct flavor with its massive vertical-slat grille with the triangular Maxus logo right at the center. The sweptback headlights are LEDs for the top-trim and halogens for the lower variants. The body comes in a standard three-box, dual cab body configuration, but Maxus claims that it is the longest and widest in its class, measuring 5,365mm long, 1,900mm wide, and 1,809mm tall. Its wheelbase is 3,155mm long.
The SAIC-manufactured truck also boasts impressive numbers such as a maximum of 1,040kg payload capacity, 2,500kg towing capacity, and 800mm wading depth. With these numbers, the T60 looks like a promising option for the discerning Filipino pickup truck buyer.
Powering the T60 is a 2.8-liter CRDi diesel engine with variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) and intercooler. It produces 148hp and 360Nm of torque – not the best in its class but pegged to be more than enough to pull the truck’s 2,030 kg curb weight (4×4 variant). Power is sent to the rear wheels via 6-speed automatic or manual transmissions for the 4×2 variants, while the 4×4 option comes exclusively in automatic.
The T60 has double wishbones up front while the rear end gets leaf springs. All wheels are equipped with disc brakes.
Inside, the T60 isn’t short of niceties such as a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, reverse-sensor with camera, and rear air-conditioning vents that are standard on all variants. The top-spec 4×4 AT, however, comes with better appointments like leather upholstery with power adjustments for the driver, automatic climate control, and push-start ignition.
Safety features are almost uniform across the lineup, which include dual front airbags, ISOFIX child seat tethers, and ABS with EBD. Of course, the top trim gets extra stability control and tire pressure monitoring system.
The Maxus T60 is a midsize pickup truck, which means it will go head-to-head against segment favorites like the Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, and the bestselling Toyota Hilux, among others. That said the T60’s biggest advantage would be its price tag. Of note, Maxus Philippines offers the T60 pickup with an introductory price of P948,000 for the Pro 4×2 MT, P1,028,000 for the Pro 4×2 AT, and P1,278,000 for the Elite 4×4 AT.
The price tags above include a 5-year, 100,000-km warranty, while preventive maintenance services (PMS) schedules are kept to a minimum – first 5,000 km and every succeeding 15,000 km or once a year, whichever comes first.