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LDV T60 2020 review: Mega Tub


Daily driver score

3.4/5

Tradies score

3.9/5

Size matters. No matter what you may have heard, bigger is better for a lot of people out there. And the LDV T60 Mega Tub 2020 model is on the plus-size side of large.

This new model - based on the existing T60 Luxe dual cab variant - takes the existing T60 double cab and adds a bigger tub to the back. Hence the brilliant name: Mega Tub.

It’s a fitting name for this version of the Chinese-made twin cab, with the tub offering an additional 275mm of length over the standard dual-cab T60. In fact, it offers about the same amount of tray length that you’d usually find in a space-cab ute, but without any compromised practicality in the cabin.

At an aggressive price point its main rival is the also-very-long SsangYong Musso XLV, as well as second-hand models that will fall short of the cargo capacity space this model has.

So, is bigger indeed better? Let’s find out. 

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

LDV has established itself as a value player in the ute market. So how much does the LDV T60 cost in Mega Tub guise? It’s a short price list, and both are 4WD with high and low range. 

There’s the T60 Mega Tub manual, at $34,990 drive-away for ABN holders (non-ABN holders still get a driveaway price, with the RRP set at $36,831 for the manual).

Then if you do want to change gears yourself, there’s the Mega Tub automatic, at $36,990 drive-away for ABN holders (or $38,937 RRP for non business buyers).

The standard equipment list is identical no matter which version you buy, and it’s based upon the Luxe version of the T60 with the regular tub - except for the wheels, which are huge 19-inch hoops with impressively grippy Continental tyres, and there’s a temporary spare under the tub. 

Inclusions for this variant include a 10.0-inch colour touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (the biggest yet in the Aussie ute segment) and it has Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and USB inputs, and that screen also acts as the display for the 360-degree surround-view camera.

The 10.0-inch colour touchscreen comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The 10.0-inch colour touchscreen comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Plus there are part-leather-trimmed seats and a leather-bound steering wheel, six-way electrically adjustable front seats with seat heating, single-zone automatic climate control, smart key entry and push-button start, auto headlights, auto wipers, and a digital driver info display with digital speedometer.  

The exterior - along with those 19s - is adorned with side steps, standard roof rails to fit roof racks to, adaptive LED headlights and LED daytime running lights, as well as an automatic locking rear differential.

The Mega Tub wear 19-inch alloy wheels. The Mega Tub wear 19-inch alloy wheels.

There’s also a sports bar (for display purposes only), and that very large tub - which we’ll get to in detail below - has a standard-fit polythene tub liner which, on our test vehicle, was fitted very poorly indeed. 

Check out the safety section below for a rundown on the tech and equipment fitted to this model.

For some competitor context, the T60 Mega Tub is a bit more expensive than the SsangYong Musso XLV, from $33,990 drive-away for the manual base model, but it has a wider range of options for buyers, up to and including the Ultimate Plus variant, which is $43,990 drive-away.

Is there anything interesting about its design?

Now, things are going to get a bit geeky here. We’re going deep on dimensions.

I need to point out, though, that the numbers you’re about to see are for the ute when it doesn’t have this plastic tub liner. It comes standard, but it does eat into a bit of the space. LDV doesn’t supply measurements with the tub liner included - maybe because each one fits differently, based on the poor fitment of the one on our test vehicle - but that aside, the polythene material feels hardy and during our test it proved its ability to protect the metal. 

Other than the extra metalwork in profile, the T60 looks very similar to its non-Mega compatriots. Other than the extra metalwork in profile, the T60 looks very similar to its non-Mega compatriots.

The Mega Tub has class-leading space for this size of dual cab ute. The tray dimensions include a maximum length of 1800mm (at the top of the tray, 1760mm at the floor), while the floor width is 1510mm (1131mm between the wheel arches - not quite wide enough for a standard Aussie pallet - 1165mm square), and the tub depth is 530mm. 

That represents a length increase 275mm over the standard dual cab - and it’s definitely going to be useful for some buyers out there.

The tray dimensions include a maximum length of 1800mm, while the floor width is 1510mm. The tray dimensions include a maximum length of 1800mm, while the floor width is 1510mm.

The overall dimensions are affected, too - that extra length can’t come from nowhere! But the cabin hasn’t been affected at all, as the additional length is in the wheelbase (now 310mm longer, at 3470mm), and it’s all rear of the cab. LDV has done a really good job of hiding the sheer length of the Mega Tub, and I think it’s also down to the choice of wheels used - 17 inch rims just wouldn’t cut it here.

Other than the extra metalwork in profile, the T60 looks very similar to its non-Mega compatriots. There’s a tough front end with chrome elements and a recognisable light signature, and the overall shape is certainly appealing for what is a substantial pick-up truck (5680mm nose to tail, 1850mm tall and 1900mm wide).

LDV has done a really good job of hiding the sheer length of the Mega Tub. LDV has done a really good job of hiding the sheer length of the Mega Tub.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

The LDV T60 Mega Tub gets the same engine as the rest of the T60 range - a 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel with power and torque outputs that are low for the class. It has 110kW of power (at 3400rpm) and 360Nm of torque (from 1600-2800rpm).

It has the choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, both of which come with four-wheel drive (with 2H, 4H and 4L - yep, a proper low range transfer case).

You might have read that a new downsized, more powerful engine is coming soon, but at the time of this review, it wasn’t yet part of the mix. We’ve also heard rumours of a V6 in the works, but there’s nothing confirmed as yet.

The 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel makes 110kW/ 360Nm. The 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel makes 110kW/ 360Nm.

As it stands, all models currently sold in the T60 range have a towing capacity pegged at 750 kilograms for an un-braked trailer, and 3000kg for a braked trailer. The gross combination mass (GCM) is 5950kg for this spec, and the gross vehicle mass (GVM) is 2950kg. The kerb weight for this T60 Mega Tub automatic ute is 2060kg, meaning a payload of 815kg. Choose the manual and that jumps to 875kg (kerb weight - 1995kg).

There's no petrol vs diesel arguments to be had here. There's no petrol, electric, plug-in hybrid, hybrid or LPG T60 on sale. It's a diesel-only affair.

How much fuel does it consume?

Fuel consumption for the LDV T60 Mega Tub auto is claimed at 9.6 litres per 100 kilometres - identical to the other auto models in the range. The manual version has a combined cycle claimed fuel economy of 8.8L/100km.

Over our testing - including highway, urban, commuting, traffic, testing and loaded-up duties - we saw a combined return of 10.7L/100km. 

Fuel tank capacity is 75 litres. No long range tank is available.

How practical is the space inside?

The LDV T60 has one of the most spacious interiors in the segment, with a big double cab cabin that has been left completely untouched in the transition from the regular T60 to Mega Tub spec.

The back seat is easily roomy enough for someone of my size - 182cm - to sit behind their own driving position with ample knee room, head room and toe room. Three adults across the back isn’t too much of a squish, either, and there are rear seat directional air vents to keep things cool (or warm).

The back seat also has map pockets, a fold-down armrest with cup holders and bottle holders in the doors, and you can fold the seat base to securely store items out of the rain if you need to. 

The back seat is easily roomy enough for someone of my size - 182cm - with ample knee room, head room and toe room. The back seat is easily roomy enough for someone of my size - 182cm - with ample knee room, head room and toe room.

Got kids? There are two ISOFIX child seat anchor points and two outboard top tether restraints for baby seats, too.

Up front the storage game is still strong, with pop-out cupholders in the sides of the dashboard, a pair of cup holders between the seats, a storage area for your phone and/or wallet, covered console bin, and bottle holders with sleeves in the doors.

The ergonomics could be better - the lack of reach adjustment for the steering wheel, combined with a pretty high driving position, means finding a comfy spot mightn’t be as easy as you’d hope. The seats are decently comfortable, though, and there is good visibility from the driver’s seat. 

The LDV T60 has one of the most spacious interiors in the segment. The LDV T60 has one of the most spacious interiors in the segment.

The multimedia unit is certainly eye-catching but its usability is nowhere near as intuitive as a Ford Ranger (the ute class benchmark). The menus are haphazard and confusing, the ventilation settings come up on the screen and can be slow to disappear, plus the angle of the screen means it is very prone to glare.

I tried the Bluetooth and it forgot my phone was connected, meaning I had to reconnect it time and time again. That said, Apple CarPlay seemed to work a treat for me - but there are gremlins that need to be ironed out. For instance, when you unplug your phone, the volume differs and blasts whatever radio station happened to be programmed last. When it’s all working fine - and maybe you’re one of those people who has an old phone or iPod to leave in their car to stay connected via USB all the time - it’s not too bad. But it isn’t as good as it could be.

What’s it like as a daily driver?

The T60 Mega Tub is a bigger ute than most in its segment, and in some ways it feels it. When you’re negotiating a round-about, you need to remember how far back the rear wheel is, and when you’re taking tight corners in the city, you might find yourself glancing at the side mirrors a bit more, too.

But generally, it’s just as easy to drive as the regular T60 - it has decent steering which is easy to predict and reasonably weighted, though the turning circle is large (LDV claims 12.6 metres, which, confusingly, is the same as the short-wheelbase models).

The ride comfort is mostly pretty good; certainly it’s more impressive at higher speeds if you’re not encountering as many sharp edges or lumpy sections of road, and if you do a lot of highway driving that could put this in on your list. 

Around town, the suspension can be a bit harsh with nothing in the tub. Around town, the suspension can be a bit harsh with nothing in the tub.

Around town, the suspension - which is the same Aussie-spec Walkinshaw tune carried over from the previous Trailrider top-spec model - can be a bit harsh with nothing in the tub, especially over pockmarked city streets and sharp-edged road joins and speed humps. But it never feels out of control and the braking performance is good, too.

The engine is loud. And yes, the outputs are low - some competitors have 40 per cent more torque from the same engine size. Does that translate to a less stressed drive experience? I guess so, because progress is far from frantic when it comes to acceleration.

It’s not slow, per se, and the six-speed automatic transmission does a good job of what torque is available for the driver to use. It pulls along honestly, but it hardly offers any level of excitement. 

What’s it like for tradie use?

Our mates at Crown Lift Trucks in Sydney helped us out once more with a load of ballast for this test - 750 kilograms in the form of a solid pallet made specifically for this task. Given the 815kg payload for the auto version of this model, you need to keep in mind how close you’re getting to the gross vehicle mass limits.

It was easy to see just how much extra length there was available in the tub when loading in our purpose-made pallet, and that extra tray length will be a super helpful consideration for those who wish to lug a lot in the back. 

A 750kg pallet was loaded into the rear of the ute. A 750kg pallet was loaded into the rear of the ute.

After strapping the load in – there are four well-placed tie-down hooks in the tub – we hit the road once more.

Over speed humps the suspension did commendable job, with a nice balance between controlling the rear suspension and the weight in the tub, and cosseting those in the cabin. It felt comfortable and composed, quite impressive for a ute bearing this much load. Indeed, it’s slightly firmer rear suspension setup meant it was more composed over speed humps than the Ford Ranger we had onsite at the same time. 

What was a little less impressive was the transmission shudder in first and second gears, with a vibration through the cabin noticeable under load. 

  • The extra tray length will be a super helpful consideration for those who wish to lug a lot in the back. The extra tray length will be a super helpful consideration for those who wish to lug a lot in the back.
  • It was easy to see just how much extra length there was available in the tub when loading in our purpose-made pallet. It was easy to see just how much extra length there was available in the tub when loading in our purpose-made pallet.
  • We strapped the load in with four well-placed tie-down hooks in the tub. We strapped the load in with four well-placed tie-down hooks in the tub.
  • Over speed humps the suspension did commendable job. Over speed humps the suspension did commendable job.
  • The MegaTub's slightly firmer rear suspension meant it was more composed over speed humps than the Ford Ranger we had onsite at the same time. The MegaTub's slightly firmer rear suspension meant it was more composed over speed humps than the Ford Ranger we had onsite at the same time.

But while it was a little cumbersome at lower pace, the engine handled the heft at higher speed. It isn’t going to break any speed records, but we were still able to overtake without much fuss, and the transmission, again, shuffled as it should. 

This wasn’t intended to be an off-road review, but the dimensions could hamper progress in the Mega Tub. It has a claimed approach angle of 27 degrees, departure angle of 24.2 degrees, ramp-over/break-over angle of 21.3 degrees, ground clearance of 215mm, and wading depth of 550mm.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

The LDV T60 comes with a five-star ANCAP crash test safety rating in 2017, and it outdoes established players like the Isuzu D-Max for safety equipment.

It comes fitted with six airbags (driver and front passenger, front side, full-length curtain) and safety tech across the range including ABS, EBA, ESC, 'Hill Descent Control', 'Hill Start Assist', and a tyre-pressure-monitoring system. 

Plus there’s blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, a surround view camera system with rear parking sensors, a fatigue reminder and driver attention alert. There is no auto emergency braking (AEB) so it falls behind the likes of the Ford Ranger, Toyota HiLux, Mitsubishi Triton and even the aforementioned SsangYong Musso in that regard. There’s no active lane keeping assist, either.

The MegaTub comes equipped with a surround view camera system with rear parking sensors. The MegaTub comes equipped with a surround view camera system with rear parking sensors.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

There is no denying the LDV T60 Mega Tub is a novel offering in the dual cab ute segment, one that is going to appeal to buyers who need as much cargo space as they can get for the money.

It isn’t perfect - no vehicle is -but not only does it have substantial size on offer, there’s also plenty of substance to this affordable dual cab ute.

Special thanks to our mates at Crown Lift Trucks.

$38,937

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Daily driver score

3.4/5

Tradies score

3.9/5
Price Guide

$38,937

Based on new car retail price