At the 15th Beijing International Automotive Exhibition held in April 2018, China’s SAIC Motor Corp. unveiled the Maxus Tarantula Concept vehicle that featured a unique design, nothing like ever produced by the 125-year old brand.
But while the Maxus Tarantula Concept vehicle was meant to highlight its fully electric powertrain with a maximum range of over 600km on a single charge, its design hinted at what the brand will offer in the coming years. In fact, its protruding and massive octagonal grille as well as dynamic body design—inspirations all drawn from surfing, according to SAIC which acquired the once British-owned Maxus in 2010 —is now featured in the all-new D60 that Maxus Philippines just launched last February.
With the D60 compact SUV, Maxus PH completes its first five offerings: the G50 multipurpose van, G10 family van, T60 pickup truck, and the V80 passenger/commercial van.
The Maxus D60 crossover SUV comes in two variants, the 1.5T Pro and the 1.5T Elite, priced at P1.148 million and P1.258 million, respectively. Both use the same four-cylinder inline 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine mated to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and is rated at 167hp and 250Nm of torque.
The two variants could easily be distinguished by their grille designs: the five-seater 1.5T Pro sports a “Cool Black Gypsophila,” which features black corrugated pattern with silver highlights while the seven-seater 1.5T Elite, which features “Dark Cobweb,” which of course, draws inspiration from the spider’s ovre.
Spacious and tasteful interiors
The Maxus D60, offers surprisingly tasteful interior appointments with many of the same amenities and safety features found in mid-size SUVs and MPVs. Designers made sure the D60’s interior appointments carried a unique ambience: the instrument panel 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.
The D60 is almost comparable to mid-size SUVs and MPVs, dimension-wise as it measures 4.72 meters long, 1.86m wide, and 1.736m tall, and with a wheelbase of 2.76m.
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 brand. For the last decade or more, many of the big Chinese makers, including SAIC (formerly, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.) 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.
Today, SAIC is China’s largest carmaker with overseas sales totalling 390,000 in 2020, an 11.3 percent year-on-year increase and ranking first in China for five years in a row.
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 91.61percent 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.
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.
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.