Tue | Dec 1, 2020

Tunland pick up something new to Jamaica

Published:Sunday | February 23, 2020 | 8:38 PMKareem LaTouche - Automotives Coordinator
Surprisingly for a pickup, the vehicle has very little body roll.
It comes with leather seats.
Cover picture.
Mitsubishi L200.
Nissan Frontier.

Lately, I have been seeing a lot of the Foton Auman heavy-duty trucks, which are used for jobs like garbage disposal or construction. Now, the company is introducing its pickup line, the Tunland, to the local market.

Foton is a Chinese auto company that has been manufacturing the Tunland since November 2011. It has also gained some traction in other countries such as Columbia and Australia. The company has done joint ventureships with many automotive manufacturers like Cummins, which produces its diesel engines.

It has a ‘V’-shaped front grille with its insignia in the middle and headlights that are flushed into the bonnet and side panels. There is a slight protrusion of the bumper, however, it still fits the front facia in a uniform way. At the lower corners are the fog lamps, which are very useful for vehicles with this ground clearance, that is, about nine inches.

There is one character line, which runs below the belt line and above the protruding wheel arches, which gives it a width of 1880mm. Then there are the side steps complemented by the 17” alloy wheels.

Value for money on the inside

The model I got was among the higher trim level, as the interior is a mixture of chrome, black, and carbon fibre accents, that screams value for money more than anything else. The multimedia system is embedded in the centre console, and, thankfully, is upgraded to a seven-inch touch screen infotainment system. The labels are in Mandarin, however, all the tiles are universal, like the Bluetooth symbol. Even though it was not complicated to operate, I used Google Translate to find the settings option and changed the language to English.

Below this are the climate-controls options, which work in tandem with the four designated a/c vents, among other things. The next row consists of the cigarette lighter, a USB port, an AUX port, and a power outlet.

In keeping with the current trend, Tunland has placed the drive modes beside the gear lever. These are options to help the driver better manoeuvre the vehicle, like using a knob to switch from two- to four-wheel drive high or low.

There are also other options such as eco, sport, and snow mode for slippery terrain.

The technology extends to the steering, which has mounted controls. These can be used for the infotainment system, phone, and for setting cruise control, among other things. The steering wheel is also power-tilt adjustable to ensure that the driver finds a position that is comfortable.

Driving something new

The unit I tested was a 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine, producing 120kw of power and 360nm of torque. Performance-wise, it’s solid and showed no signs of struggle when hauling items, however, expect the customary diesel noise.

There is an automatic rear differential, which is quite easy to select whenever you are in a really bad spot. This also comes with traction control to deal with slippage. What was very impressive was how fuel-efficient the vehicle is, as the US company Cummings has done a great job fine-tuning the six-speed transmission. There is also an economy button, which is great to use around town when the vehicle will be in traffic.

Being one of the longest pickups on the market, its bed comes standard, with a durable liner and four pin-down points. There is also a load capacity of 1025kg and towing is a little below the usual 2.5-ton mark, which is very acceptable.

With a curb weight of 1800 kg, the Tunland’s engine performance is satisfactory, and there’s the option of adding accessories such as a snorkel, winch, and tow bar. The next step is the Jamaican market’s response to this vehicle.

Price $5.8m

Contact information: KEY MOTORS LIMITED, 29 Hagley Park Road, 876-929-7521-3, mail@keymotorsja.com.

Competitors: Nissan Frontier, Toyota Hilux, Mazda BT50, Mitsubishi L200