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Affordable Landwind 5 SUV blows in from the East

12.02.2016

Chinese truck and bakkie maker has introduced an SUV to the local market called the Landwind 5. This Qashqai-sized vehicle is priced at R289 880 which makes it competition for the GWM H5 and Mahindra XUV500.

Generic look

The Landwind 5 has a look which is more reserved than what it is extravagant. It's designers went easy on the chrome with the result being a well-proportioned and fairly stylish package.

There are hints of Subaru Outback and Renault Koleos in the rear-end, but only when viewed in isolation. As a whole the Landwind 5 appears to be a neat, if somewhat generic-looking SUV.



Spacious cabin

Inside, besides the button-studded audio system atop the facia, the cabin is pleasantly clean and uncluttered. There are some Ford-flavoured dial needles and other details that allude to JMC’s affiliation with the Blue Oval in the Chinese market.

Unlike other Chinese vehicles, JMC went easy on the spec and luxury features inside the Landwind 5 consist of:

  • electric windows,
  • park distance control sensors
  • CD/MP3/Radio with AUX port 

Hard plastics are abound but everything feels reasonably put together. The most notable element of the 5’s cabin is its spaciousness. Not only has JMC employed a two-tone trim scheme (using a lighter colour above the beltline) to convey a sense of airiness, but the car’s packaging also presents more than 900 mm of headroom and 774 mm of rear legroom. When the rear seats are tumbled forward, 1 360dm3 of utility space is available. 

Japanese under the bonnet

Open the Landwind 5's bonnet and you are greeted in Japanese. The plastic engine cover has 'Mitsubishi' written on it which might be a strong selling point for the car.

Under the engine cover is a Shenyang Aerospace Mitsubishi 4G63S4T engine, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. This 2.0-litre powerplant shares much of its DNA with the 2.2-litre 4G63 Sirius unit that’s done service in a wide array of Mitsubishi models which include sedans sedans, pickups and even Evo-badged performance cars.

The engine has been around in different configurations for more than 30 years, so one can called it 'tried and tested'. In the Landwind 5 the 2.0-litre Mits is good for 144kW at 5500rpm and 250Nm between 2800 and 4400rpm.

JMC claims a combined fuel economy figure of 8.5l/100km for the Landwind 5. Other technical details which are notable are the Macpherson independent front suspension and double wishbone torsion bar setup in the rear. There are disk brakes in the front and rear which are aided by ABS and EBD.

Driving the 5

The red 'T' on the back makes no secret that the 2.0-litre engine is turbo-charged. In accordance performance is not bad considering the vehicle's size and weight.

In town the Landwind 5 is not very quick between lights but on the open road it behaves well but cruise control would have been a nice feature to have. Body roll is what one expect in this class and the suspension does well smoothing out potholes. The SUV is only available in 4x2 but the 190mm ride height is a big plus when pavement hopping.

Verdict

The Landwind 5 is a good prospect in the medium size SUV class when you are on a tight budget. It looks good from all angles and has a lot of space.

The 'Mitsubishi' stamp on the engine cover conveys a fair amount of trust and in times when most manufacturers are down-sizing, the turbo-charged 2.0-litre engine is welcome, especially for those who tow trailers. I would have liked to see more standard spec like steering wheel controls, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control added to the feature list inside the neat cabin.

Article written by Val van der Walt
12.02.2016
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