Home > Driven > Cars & Other 4 Wheels > 2021 Maxus D60 1.5T Pro: Along Came a (Smooth) Spider

2021 Maxus D60 1.5T Pro: Along Came a (Smooth) Spider

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.

Maxus Tarantula Concept Illustrations

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.

Maxus Tarantula Concept at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show

Maxus D60 Debut at 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.

The higher grade 2021 Maxus D60 Elite

Our test drive 2021 Maxus D60 Pro

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.

Behind this massive, muscular front grille is….

… a transverse-mounted 167-hp 1.5-liter turbo-intercooled 4-cylinder with GDI, 16V and DOHC.

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.

Front MacPherson struts and multi-link rear independent suspension provide a smooth, stable ride.

215/65R17 tires with tall sidewalls provide extra cushioning for a comfortable ride.

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.

Electric power steering, ergonomic controls, and a plethora of driver safety aids…

… makes driving a Maxus D60 easy, fun and enjoyable.

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 “floatingcenter 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.

Front seats are comfortable and supportive. The dash is simple, modern and highly functional.

We particularly like the highly legible instruments and the pictograph multi-function display.

Centrally-mounted digital control center looks like a large i-Pad at first glance.

“Floating” center console features cubby hole at the back to store small stuff like mobile phones and face shields.

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.

Our 5-seat D60 Pro provides increased legroom and rear luggage space than 7-seat version.

60/40 split rear seat can accommodate rear passengers along with various shapes and sizes of luggage and other items.

Rear hatch release button is almost unnoticeably located at the mounting stalk of the rear wiper…

… which explains the misaligned rear camera that some people may have mistakenly pulled to try to open the rear hatch.

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.

Our Maxus D60 Pro is finished in a shiny coat of attractive Wace Red…

… that makes our test drive unit look good from any angle.

It’s the attention-to-detail…

… and the cutting-edge modern design that makes the D60 look more expensive than it really is.

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?


Price: P1,148,000.00

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