Italian motor-vation drives new LDV T60

The initial LDV T60 4x4 range for Australia comes powered by a 2.8-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine built by Italian maker V M Motori.

ADR combined cycle fuel economy is rated at 8.8 litres/100km for the manual and 9.6 for the auto.

With an output of 110kW and 360Nm, the T60 lacks the grunt of some of the bigger engines in the burgeoning dual cab segment, by some 20kW and 60Nm. However, a broad torque spread that delivers its best at 1600rpm and stays true until 2800rpm makes for acceptable driveability in most conditions.

The T60 is rated to tow up to three tonnes (braked), but this could entail some heavy going. Though handling the launch drive on the roads around Bathurst well, steep hills provided a challenge to maintain the open road speed limit.

An extensive standard equipment inventory on both the PRO and LUXE trim variants includes blind spot warning, six airbags, tyre pressure warning and a host of electronic safety features, 10-inch touch screen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 17-inch alloy wheels, full-sized spare, side steps and roof rails. Factory-fitted sat nav is an omission, though.

A nice touch, not always seen in this segment, are automatic height adjusting headlights that ensure they are always working at the optimum height, regardless of cargo load. Speaking of which, official payload is 815kg.

LUXE not only adds a range of standard equipment as befits the range-topping variant, such as leather seats and climate control, but also boasts different suspension settings aimed at the recreational market, while the PRO has a heavy-duty set-up to cope with being fully loaded all-day, every day.

Even in the softer LUXE, though, handling and ride quality are well short of class-leading, and the T60 would benefit from a specific state of tune for Australian road conditions.

Read more about the ute’s ANCAP score.