Chris Edmonds, entrepreneur, executive consultant, speaker and author of several business books, such as Good Comes First, The Culture Engine, and Leading at a Higher Level opined that you must “smooth the path for those around you” to help foster success. SAIC Motor Corporation Limited, which was formerly Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, a Chinese state-owned multinational automaker and Fortune Global 100 company, has apparently smoothened the path for those associated with them.
As one of the “Big Four” state-owned car factories in China, SAIC is the second largest Chinese automaker and the twelfth-largest worldwide by production, with 4.5 Million units produced in 2014. Among their automotive line-up is the Maxus brand, which is distributed in the Philippines by AC Motors, a subsidiary of the Ayala Corporation. At the 2018 Beijing Auto Show, SAIC showcased the Maxus Tarantula Concept, which previewed the Maxus D60 mid-sized sport utility vehicle (SUV) that debuted on February 28, 2019 at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show.
MAXimizing the Platform
SAIC maximized the use of their platform and drivetrains by making the Maxus G50 multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) and the D60 mid-sized SUV. The D60 is available in the plushier Elite variant, which is a 7-seater with 2+3+2 seating configuration, leather seats, push button start/stop, front and rear parking sensors, cobweb design front grille and LED headlights. Our subject vehicle is a 2021 Maxus D60 Pro, a 5-seater with 2+3 seating configuration, fabric seats, traditional ignition key, rear parking sensors, a black with silver highlight front grille and halogen headlights.
Like the D60 Elite, our D60 Pro is powered by a transverse-mounted turbocharged and intercooled 1.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with 4 valves per cylinder (16V), double overhead camshafts (DOHC) and direct injection fuel delivery. 250 Newton-meters of torque are coursed through the 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission (DCT) that allows our D60 to accelerate like a tarantula on the attack – quick and quiet. We noticed that our 1,490 cc engine has a tendency to shake a little during idling but once we were on the highways, its 167 horses kept galloping past the speed limit without even breaking a sweat.
MAXimum Driving Pleasure
With a wheelbase that’s almost 2.8 meters long, our D60 Pro provides a ride that is comfortable yet controlled thanks to its independent suspension comprised of MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link system at the back. The four 215/65R17 Hankook Dynapro HP2 tires mounted on stylish grey 15-spoke 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels provide enough sidewall height to further cushion the road undulations while keeping side-to-side roll to a minimum. Besides, at 1.75 meters tall, this Maxus won’t be mistaken for a gymkhana racer.
Inside, the driving pleasure continues with a responsive electrically-assisted power steering system controlled through a leather-wrapped 4-spoke D-shaped steering wheel. At 4.7 meters long and around 1.9 meters wide, this mid-size SUV is quite easy to maneuver through the crowded streets of Metro Manila. Fade-free stopping power is guaranteed by disc brakes at all four corners with front ventilated rotors and rear solid discs. An electronic parking brake with auto hold feature further adds to the driving convenience when crawling through heavy traffic.
MAXimum Comfort and Convenience
The front fabric seats of our D60 Pro felt like a comfortable and cool place to while away the time spent in the perennial Metro Manila traffic that seems to be getting heavier with the relaxed travel and health restrictions. Of particular convenience is the “floating” center console that allows storage of small items like face shields in the cubby hole behind it. The chic center digital array looks like a large i-Pad at first but is actually the 8-inch touch screen infotainment system and the pictograph controls for the air-conditioning system.
The rear passengers are treated to a rear A/C vent, a folding center armrest with cup holders, and 60/40 split rear seat backrest. Folding the rear seats greatly increases the carrying capacity of this versatile mid-size SUV while the large rear hatch helps ease loading and unloading. The remote button to open the rear hatch is not immediately noticeable because it’s integrated into the plastic stub that covers the wiper arm pivot. Unfortunately, some people tend to pull the rear camera while groping for the hatch opening, which tends to misalign the camera’s aim.
MAXimum Styling, Technology and Safety
Quite a number of people are taken with our Wace Red Maxus test drive unit. The common consensus is that our D60 Pro looks attractive, muscular and sporty for a two-box SUV with British origins and Chinese technology and assembly. With a suggested retail price of P1,148,000, we feel that it’s a relative bargain especially with its impeccable fit-and-finish, excellent build quality and the numerous technological advancements and safety features built into it.
Sure, our D60 Pro may not have the leather seats and 7-seat capacity as the P1,258,000 D60 Elite, but we do get to keep P110,000 in our pocket (if we were to pay for one) and with just 5 seats, we get more legroom and a larger luggage area. Thus, if you’re like us and you have a small family that’ll fit in a 5-seat mid-size SUV, we highly recommend the 2021 Maxus D60 Pro. It’s affordable. It’s stylish. It’s fuel efficient and practical. It’s got loads of space and convenience. It’s fun and easy to drive with enough oomph to smoothen the path around you, which as S. Chris Edmonds suggests, helps foster success.
Now, isn’t that what we all want?
Classification: 5-door mid-size SUV FWD
Engine type: Liquid-cooled inline-4 turbocharged gasoline direct injection 16V DOHC
Displacement: 1490 cc
Maximum power: 167hp (169 PS) @ 5500 rpm
Maximum torque: 250 Nm @ 1700-4300 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed DCT Dual Clutch Automatic Transmission
Steering: Electric Power Steering
Suspension: Independent front MacPherson struts; rear multi-link
Brakes: Front and rear disc brakes
Wheels and tires: 215/65R17 Aluminum alloy
Length: 4720 mm
Width: 1860 mm
Height: 1736 mm
Wheelbase: 2760 mm
Ground clearance: 170 mm
Curb weight: 1560 kg
Fuel capacity: 50 liters