Foton Tunland TK 2013 Review
Foton, a division of China's giant Beijing Automotive, gets a lot of it right with a dual-cab ute that is priced between the entry-level Great Wall and more established models
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Long sections of the road between Mumbai and Tata's impressive plant at Pune, about 160km away, are more brutal than any track likely to be found in Australia. But the purpose-built Indian vehicles cope without trouble, indicating that the Tata Xenon utes soon to arrive in Oz could be among the toughest of their kind.
The one-tonners are robust machines, built for India's comparatively awful roads, but they're also stylish, well-finished and the Fusion Automotive distributors say they will be priced below their Japanese rivals and slightly above the new breeds from China. Prices will be announced when they land in October, but think $20 to 30K, depending on cab choice and 4x2 or 4x4 configuration.
The Xenon is one of the better-looking utes and comes with a fair bit of kit, including ABS with EBD, Bluetooth, air con, power windows and mirrors, an adjustable steering and a neat, uncluttered dash. But there's no cruise control or option of automatic transmission.
Extra stuff, from late this year, will include a hill holder, traction control and electronic stability control. And prettying it up will be easy, probably via dealer-fitted alloys, decals, spotties and the like. The five-speed gearbox is a goodie, the power steering is typical ute and seating and visibility were fine, as were the paint and fit and finish.
What Australia needs to realise is that Tata is no johnny-come-lately outfit. It is an up to date company that has been building vehicles for decades and Oz has somehow managed to become the last place on the planet to become aware of the brand.
A few runs on the test track at Pune, which has a surface like Australia's highways, showed the 110kW/320Nm turbo-diesel had lots of pace, stability and was commendably quiet. Tata has state-of-the-art facilities at its vast Pune plant, among them a division specialising in noise reduction.
The Xenon has the looks, the muscle and the reputation. Final price will be the deciding factor.
Tata Xenon ute
Price: $20 to 30K
Engine: 2.2-litre 4-cylinder, 110kW/320Nm
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4x2 and 4x4
|(4X2)||2.2L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN||$8,400 – 12,980||2013 Tata Xenon 2013 (4X2) Pricing and Specs|
|(4X4)||2.2L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN||$9,200 – 13,860||2013 Tata Xenon 2013 (4X4) Pricing and Specs|
|Premium (4x4)||2.2L, Diesel, 5 SP MAN||$10,900 – 15,950||2013 Tata Xenon 2013 Premium (4x4) Pricing and Specs|
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