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Driving review: Landwind SUV

Can it match its rivals?

The JMC Landwind SUV was recently launched in South Africa. At a price point of R269 880, it sits firmly in Nissan Juke, Ford Ecosport and Renault Duster territory. But can it compete on other levels too?

 Outside

Looking very reminiscent of a Subaru XV, the Landwind has a long nose, angled headlamps and a chrome-look grille. There are chrome accents such as the roof rails and door handles that uplift the overall look of the car. There’s a large use of plastic, but overall the car is neatly styled.

 Inside

I don’t know what it is about Chinese cars, but no matter how modern it looks or seems there is almost always that Chinese car smell. I don’t know if it’s glue or the smell of the material, but it’s strong and hits you the minute you step into the car. That aside, my first impression of the interior was that it felt slightly cheap, but the styling was pleasing to the eye and everything was easy to get used to. I like the piano black touches. It lifts the overall ambience of the cabin.

 Driving

I found it difficult to find an ideal driving position. The seat didn’t go quite low enough and I had to sit quite close to the steering wheel to reach the pedals. The position ended up being similar to the upright position of sitting in a chair. I never did get used to the position.

Under the bonnet lies a four cylinder, water-cooled and turbocharged engine with 250 N.m of torque and max power of 140 kW. This unit pulls strongly and torque kicks in pretty early. It makes overtaking quite easy and picking up speed a breeze. Landwind claims its SUV has a fuel consumption of 8,5 litres/100 km.

Equipment

There is plenty of standard equipment with a full equipped audio system including USB connectivity, air-con, dual air-bags, ABS + EBD braking, anti-theft security system, park distance control and child safety rear door locks.

The R269 880  includes a 3 year/100 000 km warranty and a 2 year/60 000km service plan – including 24 hour road side assistance.

Overall

The Landwind, while not a horrible vehicle, simply can’t match the class and offering of its competitors. It can’t offer the same quality and it certainly doesn’t have the brand loyalty like its competitors have. And in SA, if you’re going to be priced so closely to your rivals, you had better offer up something much better. And simply put, the Landwind doesn’t.

Words: Kelly Lodewyks

 

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