The Chinese carmakers have been around for some time, but they’ve yet to really conquer South Africa’s vehicle market. That said, the products from that part of the world are improving constantly and some of the newer bakkies, such as the GWM Steed and Foton Tunland, are actually good for the money.
Another entrant hoping for one of those “much improved” report cards is the all-new JMC Vigus, which goes on sale in SA next week through JMC’s 23 local dealerships.
JMC, or Jiangling Motors, is one of China’s biggest light commercial vehicle makers. The company launched its first bakkies locally over four years ago, although these were of the more rudimentary ‘old Isuzu clone’ variety. The Vigus, we are assured, is a more modern proposition and one of the biggest bakkies available.
The new contender is initially available as a double cab only, but JMC is planning to introduce a single cab version further down the line.
There’s a wide range of models to choose from with JMC offering a choice between petrol and diesel, 4×2 and 4×4 as well as two specification levels.
The oil-burning option comes in the form of a 2.4-litre turbodiesel credited with 88 kW and 290 Nm and according to JMC these models will consume between 8.0 and 8.2 litres per 100 km and, if pushed, reach a top speed of 160 km/h.
The slightly more affordable petrol models are fitted with a Mitsubishi-sourced unit of the same displacement, with outputs of 95 kW and 201 Nm and claimed consumption of 10.2 to 10.7 l/100 km.
Opt for the base LX version and you get air conditioning, electric windows, CD/MP3/USB audio system, remote central locking, dual front airbags and ABS brakes. Upgrade to SLX and JMC will reward your deeper pockets with leather seats, a touch-screen DVD system, and a multifunction steering wheel.
4×4 models gain additional features such as an arm rest, wheel arch mouldings, side steps, and 16” alloy wheels (4×2 versions have 15-inch alloys).
Aftersales backup comes in the form of a 3-year/100,000 km warranty and 5-year/60,000 km service plan
Report by BERNIE HELLBERG | Images © JIANGLING MOTORS SA