The LDV T60 Max is still one of the most affordable utes on the market, but does it feel like good value? Or just cheap?
I drove one of the more expensive examples of this ute for this test, the Luxe 4×4 dual-cab: which is still under $50,000, but it’s also lacking some key stuff that some more fancied utes offer as standard.
So, which is it: cheap or good value? Read on to find out!
Thanks to our mates at Orange LDV in NSW for helping out with this test drive.
There are several variants in the LDV T60 Max line-up; four are mainstream with a normal sized tub, and there is the Mega Tub model offering, well, a mega tub.
LDV T60 Max pricing:
- T60 Max Pro manual: $39,042
- T60 Max Pro auto: $41,148
- T60 Max Luxe manual: $43,779
- T60 Max Luxe auto: $45,884
- T60 Max Mega Tub: $47,463
ABN holder pricing:
- T60 Max Pro manual – $36,990
- T60 Max Pro auto – $38,990
- T60 Max Luxe manual – $41,490
- T60 Max Luxe auto – $43,490
- T60 Max Mega Tub – $44,990
Prices are drive-away
Just be aware these are the prices that are listed on the LDV website – there may well be deals to be done that are even better than this if you’re willing to shop around. Here’s a hot tip – country and regional dealers can often do sharp prices or help out on accessories to sweeten the deal.
So, what does the T60 compete with on price?
The obvious rival is the GWM Ute, which has a range of models available from as little as $33,990 for the base Cannon 4×2 (all prices listed are for ABN holders). There’s also a cab-chassis (Cannon CC) from $38,490 D/A, and prices range all the way up to $51,490 D/A for the new Cannon-XSR off-road variant.
And the other great alternative is the SsangYong Musso, which is available from $36,790 drive-away for base EX manual (soon to be axed), with the auto adding $2000. There’s also an Ultimate grade from $43,090 D/A and you can choose the Musso with the XLV Pack in both trims for $1500: this gives you a much longer tub, longer wheelbase, and switches the coil suspension out for leaf springs in the back.
My biggest bugbear with the interior of this ute is the seating position. I struggled to get into a comfortable spot, with the seat base feeling much higher than I’d like it, and it also lacks reach adjustment for the steering wheel.
So, make sure you find it suitable ergonomically before you commit. If you’re okay with the seat position – maybe you want that ‘command’ driving position that makes you feel like you’re peering down on other road users – then it could be great for you.
There are some decent storage options for the front occupants, with a pair of big cup holders between the front seats, a covered centre console bin, a space in front of the gear selector for your phone and wallet, and a glove compartment, too.
There’s also a dash-top storage tray, and at the very edges of the dashboard near the vents there are thoughtfully placed pop-out cup-holders as well.
The 12.3-inch multimedia screen isn’t the simplest thing to get to terms with, but you do get used to it with time. It’s got Apple CarPlay (wired), but you must connect using the USB port that’s in the middle of the console, not the one on the side. At least once you get used to the menus on the screen it’s not too bad.
It’s more the inconsistency of response that gets annoying, because sometimes it will respond fast, other times it feels like you need to push your finger deep into it for some kind of reaction.
Unlike the D90 SUV, the T60 has a haptic-style touch panel for climate control functions, which make it annoying to use.
At least it’s not like some other new vehicles that require you to adjust everything through the touchscreen, but the touch-sensitivity for the fan, temperature and A/C controls isn’t as good as it could be. Buttons would be better in a ute like this, especially for drivers who might be wearing gloves.
The gear selector is an e-shifter style thing, which is fine, but takes a little learning. I do like that there’s an auto park brake, as it saves space up front.
The materials aren’t of a standard that you’ll be eager to show the cabin off to your mates, but they feel durable. I feel the same about the fake leather.
There’s considerably more back seat space in the T60 Max than in some of the big-name, big-selling utes on the market. I had a Ford Ranger when I drove this ute, and I was blown away at the difference, with the T60 offering at least a few inches of extra kneeroom.
I’m 182cm or 6’0, and I could comfortably sit behind my own driving position with room to wiggle, while foot and headroom were also good. The cabin width is decent – maybe not as broad as some rivals – but you can fit three adults across the back at a pinch.
If you are more likely to use this ute for kid duties, there are ISOFIX points in both outboard seats, as well as top-tether points behind the window seats.
This is a big bonus compared to other vehicles like the HiLux, which have a central tether strap that never feels like you’re getting the seat as securely fitted as it should be.
The amenities are decent too, with a pair of directional air-vents, map pockets in the seatbacks, a fold-down armrest with cup-holders, and bottle holders in the doors.
As with many other utes, you can fold up the bench seat base for extra dry storage if you aren’t using the spots for child seats, or you can fold down the seat backrest too.
If you’re curious as to what the length difference between the normal versions and the Mega Tub are, it’s sizable. The Mega Tub is 5680mm long, some 315mm lengthier than the standard ute. It also has a sizable 3470mm wheelbase, up from 3155mm on the other versions.
As you’d expect, the tub length is considerably larger – 1760mm at the floor for the Mega Tub, compared with 1485mm for standard versions. Other tub measurements are unchanged: 1510mm wide; 1131mm between the arches; 530mm deep.
All versions of the LDV T60 Max are powered by a 2.0-litre bi-turbo four-cylinder diesel producing 160kW of power (4000rpm) and 500Nm of torque (1500-2400rpm). That is on par with the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok for torque from a diesel four-cylinder engine.
Unlike those twins-under-the-skin; however, the T60 is available with a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF.
Four-wheel drive is standard, with 2H high-range rear-wheel drive, 4H high-range, 4L low-range, and an Auto mode that uses “Intelligent Real-Time Torque on demand from BorgWarner” to apportion grunt where it’s needed most. If you buy the Luxe grade you also get an on-demand rear differential lock system.
It’s also worth noting there are two different suspension tunes: a heavy-duty one for the Pro, and a more comfort-focused setup for the Luxe.
All versions have a 750kg unbraked towing capacity and 3000kg braked, which is lower than most utes in the class. Also be aware that the GVM or gross vehicle mass is 3050kg for Pro models and 2900kg for the others, while the GCM (gross combination mass) is 6050kg for Pro, and 5900kg for the others.
LDV T60 payload:
- T60 Max Pro manual: 935kg
- T60 Max Pro auto: 925kg
- T60 Max Luxe manual: 750kg
- T60 Max Luxe auto: 750kg
- T60 Max Mega Tub: 730kg
If you’re looking at a dual cab ute and you aren’t expecting SUV-like dynamics and driving manners, then you will hit the target here.
It’s not bad to drive, but there are plenty of other utes that make it feel outdated in terms of the drive experience. However, for those who are trading up from a 20-year-old Triton or Bravo, it’s going to feel pretty bloody good.
One of the best attributes of the T60 Max Luxe is the fitment of Continental tyres. These make for a sure-footed experience, with better responsiveness to steering inputs than some other utes shod with cheaper rubber.
Because the Luxe has the softer rear leaf-spring setup, it does offer a more comfortable ride than the Pro but if you want the best ride comfort of all, the Mega Tub is the one to pick.
Look, it’s not a Ford Ranger in terms of ride comfort, but it’s still better than some big name utes on the market – like the HiLux. In fact, in my opinion it’s better than the Toyota by a sizeable margin.
The steering feel is a bit odd because it is light on-centre but then weights up as you turn the wheel further. It does corner fine for a ute like this, but it’s not as enjoyable as some other trucks out there – especially considering you can get a VW Amarok Core for not a whole lot more money…
The engine definitely has enough punch for most people’s needs, but it can be a little laggy taking off from a standstill.
Also, when it’s cold it can feel a little bit ‘chuggy’. Additionally, in combination with the eight-speed auto it can feel a tad confused about whether shifting to the next gear is needed.
Another factor to note is that it’s loud, too. The engine has a noticeable diesel rattle, which is most evident at lower speeds. Thankfully there’s not all that much wind or road noise at a higher pace, though.
However, in my experience this ute’s powertrain does a better job when you’re asking more of the engine than I typically did.
It was just me, no load, no towing… and when I’ve done loaded driving in the past, the diesel felt more measured in its torque delivery, and the auto felt like it was using its logic better. It’s like it’s built for a job, so it might be great if you’re going to use it like that.
All in all, not bad. Not the best drive, but it’s not the most expensive ute – so that’s to be expected.
T60 Max Pro highlights:
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Steel spare wheel
- Heavy duty suspension
- Automatic LED headlights
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Matte silver grille
- Side steps
- Chrome roof rails
- Stainless steel sports bar
- Spray-in tub liner
- Tyre pressure monitoring
- Hill descent control
- 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system
- Wired Apple CarPlay
- 6-speaker sound system
- Height-adjustable steering column
- Climate control air-conditioning
- Cruise control
- Manual-dimming rear-view mirror
- Cloth upholstery
T60 Luxe + Mega Tub add:
- Keyless entry and start
- Rear on-demand differential lock
- Gas-strut bonnet
- Power-folding exterior mirrors
- Black grille
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Heated front seats
- 6-way power front seats
- Part-leather accented interior trim
The pre-facelift LDV T60 scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2017; though while that score is valid until the end of 2024, times have changed and crash testing criteria has become far stricter.
In 2017, for example, ANCAP didn’t even break down the component scores: just called things “good” or “acceptable”.
Because that rating is still valid, don’t go expecting any big safety updates. But compared to rivals in the segment, it really could do with some improvements.
There is no autonomous emergency braking, which also means no pedestrian or cyclist detection, and no forward collision warning system. There’s also no active lane-keeping tech and you don’t get blind-spot monitoring or rear cross-traffic alert either.
Now, that could be music to some ute buyers’ ears. I get it – better not to have the tech than to have a bad implementation of it, as some rivals do.
However, you still do get some features many other utes don’t have, such as a surround-view camera on Luxe and Mega Tub versions. There’s also camera-based lane departure warning, but it doesn’t steer you back into your lane.
Otherwise, the range comes with:
- 6 airbags
- Dual front
- Dual front-side
- Dual side curtains
- Cruise control
- Tyre pressure monitoring
- Hill descent control
- Hill start assist
- Stability and traction control
- Rear parking sensors
- Reversing camera
The T60 Max line-up from MY23 is offered with a seven-year, 200,000km warranty. You get five years (unlimited kilometres) of roadside assist cover, too.
LDV is one of the only brands left in Australia that doesn’t have a capped-price servicing program. Talk with your dealership and you should be able to get an idea of the expected maintenance costs.
The official combined cycle fuel consumption for the manual T60 models is 9.2 litres per 100km, while the auto is said to sip 9.3L/100km.
My test drive didn’t cover all that much ground, but I saw 10.4L/100km on the display, and that’s close to what I’ve seen in the past when running a T60 Max for a longer period. Just note that if you go off-road, tow, or load this ute up, you’re obviously going to see a higher figure.
The T60 has a 73-litre fuel tank.
There’s a load of value on offer in the LDV T60 Max, and the Luxe version is a pretty compelling choice for those who want a few creature comforts and a more comfortable ride.
It’s feeling and showing its age compared with the newer, more sophisticated GWM Ute, and it might not be as likeable as a SsangYong Musso to live with… but it does have a role to play.
For those who are looking for a no-frills ute, it seems like a solid choice.
Thanks to our mates at Orange LDV for helping facilitate this vehicle loan.
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