New model preview: LDV T60 Trailrider 2

Chinese ute debuts thriftier new diesel.

Chinese commercial vehicle brand LDV has introduced a revised version of its T60 dual cab ute, featuring a new diesel engine that boasts more power and torque and improved fuel consumption.

The LDV T60 Trailrider 2 is only the second LDV model to showcase the company’s new D20 diesel engine, which is manufactured in-house by parent company Shanghai Automobile and Industrial Corporation (SAIC).

SAIC is China’s largest automotive manufacturer and sold more than 6.9 million vehicles in 2018. It acquired LDV from the Anglo-Dutch commercial vehicle company Leyland DAF in 2009, with LDV’s local import and distribution subsequently handled by independent vehicle importer and distributor, the Ateco Group.  

“We continue to develop our product offering throughout our fast-growing range, so we’re delighted to announce the arrival of the next-gen Trailrider,” said Dinesh Chinnappa, General Manager LDV Automotive.

LDV T60 Trailrider

“With the addition of the lighter and more efficient 120kW diesel engine, Trailrider 2 is a formidable ute, as comfortable on the worksite during the week as it is towing jet-skis at the weekend.”

The Trailrider 2’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel debuted earlier this year in twin-turbo form in the D90 seven-seat family SUV.

In the case of the ute, a single scroll turbocharger is used to help deliver outputs of 120kW at 4000rpm and 375Nm from 1500rpm. That’s a healthy boost over the 110kW/360Nm outputs of the larger 2.8-litre turbo diesel that continues to be offered in the rest of the LDV T60 range. 

Despite its extra performance, the new motor also offers improved fuel-consumption, with official combined-cycle figures for both the manual and automatic versions sitting at 8.5L/100km, versus 8.8 and 9.6L/100km in the respective 2.8-litre powered models. 

LDV T60 Trailrider

LDV claims the new engine is a clear step forward in terms of refinement and drivability and that, together with suspension that’s been tuned specifically for Australian conditions and a five-year warranty, means the ute offers highly competitive value and quality. 

A spokesperson said drive-away pricing for customers with an ABN was from $37,990 for the six-speed manual, or $39,990 for the six-speed automatic, meaning both models are pitched well under the price point of comparably-equipped rivals like the Ford Ranger or Toyota HiLux. 

Despite its keen pricing, the Trailrider 2 boasts a five-star ANCAP safety-rating, courtesy of safety features including blind-spot monitoring, six airbags, 360-degree rear-view camera, lane departure warning and tyre pressure monitoring. 

The ute’s interior fitout includes leather-trimmed seats with front seat heating and electric adjustment, Apple CarPlay, smartphone connectivity and a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system. 

LDV T60 Trailrider

Exterior features include black trim accents, blacked-out logos and badging, a sports roll bar, 19-inch 12-spoke black alloy wheels, side steps, a nudge bar, spray-on tub liner and a Mountain Top roll cover for the tray.

The T60 4x4 is the best-seller in LDV’s five-model range, accounting for 914 of the brand’s total 1657 sales so far this year.

By comparison, the best-selling Ford Ranger 4x4 has sold 9815 units during the same period. Nevertheless, Chinese-built vehicles like the LDV are continuing to make inroads in our market, despite steep falls in Australian new vehicles sales. 

While April sales figures showed an overall market decline of more than 48%, there has been a total of 6576 sales of Chinese vehicles, an increase of 2096 units over 2019. 

That’s still a tiny number compared with the 89,045 Japanese-made vehicles, or the 68,032 Thai-built vehicles sold in that time, but represents a nearly 47% improvement on last year, and exceeds sales from other well-known automotive manufacturing countries, including England.