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JMC Landwind 5 4X2 MT Lux reviewed

29 June 2017, 10:14 am

Jiangling Motor Corporation, better known as JMC, has been in SA for a couple of year s with their Boarding and Vigus bakkies. Over time they had build a reputation for offering tough, albeit basic and value for money vehicles. Recently JMC SA expands their line-up by entering the hotly contested SUV market with the addition of their Landwind.

I got the impression that this is a careful, toe in the water exercise for JMC. To date, there is only one edition of the Landwind available so let’s go through a few of the specs of the vehicle. The Landwind is being powered by a turbocharged 2.0 liter four cylinder petrol engine. Its fairly high outputs of 140kW/250Nm already placed it near the top of the pack in terms of power in its segment.

Its positioning is unusual as it is rather low/basic in terms of spec, giving a difference in my mind. I could not quite figure out what market position or segment the SUV is aiming at. Perhaps a lower power output or a much higher spec level with this motor would be making a far better combination to the buyers.

At this moment, the engine can only be mated with a 6-speed manual transmission even though an automatic will be available soon. SUV’s are normally suited to an auto for more relaxed driving. In general usage, I have found that the gearbox is quite ‘clunky’ as well as heavy, especially in the cold. It did however improve once it was warmed up but still remained a weak point in the vehicle.

Although some other tests had complained about turbo lag, I did not find this to be an issue at all. I have found that the engine was rather responsive. Freeway driving is very pleasant with good acceleration in all the gears and downshifting to overtake is hardly ever needed. Cruising ability is assisted by fairly long gear rations which mean that the engine is simply ticking over at less than 2500rpm at 120km/h.

Safety is catered for with two airbags with ABS (with EBD). Once again, I am to believe that a higher spec model could include an increased airbag count for families, but given the price, I think that its current load out is enough. A loud beep as well as muting of the sound system happens when engaging reverse and rear park assist is fitted.

Inside you will see how low spec the model is. The steering wheel is devoid of buttons or controls and the instrumentation is basic. No touch screen and the infotainment system are looking very dated. You will see a similar cellphone style layout to the previous Ford Fiesta. There is nothing wrong with it, it is just rather old school and there is way too many buttons. The system is working very well and is offering a USB facility. Below the infotainment system is the aircon and there are no complaints with both the cooling and heating function.

The first impression when entering the vehicle is of its generous space. There is loads of legroom for the back passengers and the abiity to adjust the angle of the rear backrests. The standard cloth upholstery is looking like it will be hard wearing and suited for family use. One area that is disappointing is the cheap look and feel of the shiny plastic along the door handles.

The boot area is huge with Landwind quoting a capacity of 85 liters and the normal pull out section to protect your luggage from nosy eyes. The back seats do have a 60/40 split folding facility should you need more luggage capacity. The Landwind is claiming a fuel use of 8.5l/100km for the vehicle that is sounding reasonable for a vehicle of this type and size.

The price for the Landwind 5 is R289 880. The 3 year/100 000km warranty and 5 year/100 000km service plan could go a long way toward peace-making any lingering doubts that potential buyers might regard this relatively untried and unproven product.

Read More: on Wheels24 / Author - Alan Rosenmeyer / JMC SA / Landwind 5 4X2 MT Lux


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