Affordability and practicality make crossover SUVs one of the most popular choices for buyers looking for a vehicle that does a little bit of everything: rides and handles as well as sedans, yet is spacious and sits up high (for better visibility) like SUVs or MPVs.
The latest entries in this booming segment, the Maxus D60, offer surprisingly spacious interiors—one variant in fact, offers seven seats— with many of the same amenities and safety features found in mid-size SUVs and MPVs. The pricing, P1.148 million for the five-seater 1.5T Pro and P1.258 million for the seven-seater 1.5T Elite, is worth considering especially as there are also a number of attractive loan packages from banks.
Maxus Philippines, the automotive brand under AC Industrial Technology Holdings of Ayala Corp., is confident that the D60 would become one of its major growth drivers , adding that SAIC Maxus of China, in recent years, has done so much to elevate the British-born brand.
Indeed, SAIC or the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., might just be the biggest automotive brand you’ve never heard of. For the last decade or more, many of the big Chinese makers, including SAIC, have been working to expand outside the domestic market, acquiring stakes to world-renowned auto brands and teaming up with world-class designers and engineers.
Moving beyond its roots
Today, SAIC is China’s largest carmaker with overseas sales totalling 390,000 units in 2020 alone, an 11.3 percent year-on-year increase and ranking first in China for five years in a row. Thanks to SAIC’s research and development centers in the United Kingdom and California, Maxus is now moving far beyond its roots into new platforms and technology.
No wonder the D60 aced China’s New Car Assessment Program crash safety test (C-NCAP): 5-star safety rating (88.9 percent out of 100 score) for garnering 91.61 percent in Occupancy Protection, 72.69 percent in Pedestrian Protection, and 92.71 percent in Active Safety.
Both variants of the D60 come with the following safety features: driver and front passenger airbags and side airbags, ISOFIX (international standard for attachment points for child safety seats, electronic parking brake with auto hold, electronic stabilization program, auto brake hold with hill-hold control (hill-start assist), front and rear parking sensors for the 1.5T Elite (rear only for the 1.5T Pro), reverse camera, tire pressure monitoring system, and immobilizer. The range-topping 1.5T Elite comes with LED headlights (halogen on the 1.5T Pro), 18-inch alloy wheels, full-leather upholstery, folding exterior mirror as well as keyless entry with push start engine function.
When it comes to visual brand identity—something that car buyers often consider if they want to create an impression on the road and on parking lots—the D60’s protruding and massive octagonal grille is a sure deal maker. In fact, buyers have two grille design choices: the five-seater 1.5T Pro sports a “Cool Black Gypsophila,” which features black corrugated pattern with silver highlights, and the seven-seater 1.5T Elite, which features “Dark Cobweb,” which of course, reminds one of a spider’s ovre.
Both are powered by a 1.5-liter, direct-injection turbo inline-four gasoline engine that makes a substantial 167hp and 250Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels by a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
While the D60 shares the same powertrain with the G50, Maxus’ MPV, designers of the crossover SUV made sure the D60’s interior appointments carried a different ambience. The D60’s driver-oriented interior features an instrument panel that seamlessly integrates digital and analog features to provide the driver better and quick access to information.
Apart from the flat-bottomed multi-function steering wheel already equipped with cruise control, the designers’ meticulous attention to detail, give the D60 that uncluttered and soothing ambience: semi-floating tablet-like (8-inch) infotainment system with the bottom half dedicated to controlling the cabin climate and air-con vents.
Measuring 4.72 meters long, 1.86m wide, and 1.736m tall, and with a wheelbase of 2.76m, the D60 is almost comparable to mid-size SUVs and MPVs, dimension-wise.
The 2021 Maxus D60 comes in six colors: Competitive Orange and Polar Ash that are both exclusive to the 1.5T Elite, Warm Argent, and Warm White. The Wace Red and Metal Black are exclusive to the 1.5T Pro.
For more information, log on to www.maxus.com.ph. Even better, book a test drive with any Maxus dealership: Sheridan in Greenfield District in Mandaluyong at (02) 8858-5823 or (0995) 945-9225; Quezon Avenue along Quezon City at (02) 8858-5818 or (0995) 945-9225; Pedro Cayetano Boulevard in Taguig South at (02) 7219-9240 or (0905) 999-0160 or (0925) 810-8012; Madrigal Business Park in Alabang at (02) 8558-5828 or (0916) 994-8113 or (0926) 035-6904; North Reclamation Area in Cebu City at (032) 517-8226 or (0936) 385-7671 or (0917) 544-5440; Mandurriao in Iloilo City at (033) 331-2622 or (0917) 137-4914 or (0995) 447-8427; Araneta St. in Bacolod City at (034) 435-7575 or (0909) 144-9111; and Pueblo in Cagayan de Oro City at (0995) 355-9400.
Like and follow Maxus Philippines’ Facebook page and Instagram account at @maxusph to keep posted with updates and ongoing promos.
Charles E. Buban is an old timer in the Philippine automotive journalism scene. He first started covering the automotive beat in 2003, writing news and reviews of new models and car tech, among other car-related stuff. When not writing about cars, he could often be seen riding his mountain bike or doing long walks in the hope of catching a couple of legendary Pokemons.