Landwind 5 auto, Changan Star 3 launched in SA

Johannesburg - The Jiangling Motor Corporation in South Africa, responsible for the distribution of JMC bakkies, Landwind SUV’s and also the Changan range of vehicles, held a launch event to showcase new additions to their range.

Starting with the Landwind 5, a medium-sized SUV that I tested very recently, it almost felt like the additions to the range were in response to my comments. I realise that months of planning were required, but they have answered almost all of my criticisms of the test vehicle in one fell swoop.

As stated, the Landwind 5 is a medium sized family SUV fitted with a more than adequate 2.0-litre turbo engine giving 140kW and 250Nm. I have a personal preference for automatic gearboxes on SUVs as I believe that this is far more suited to the relaxed style of driving that goes with this type of vehicle. Not to mention the horror of commuting in any manual vehicle these days.

READ: Review - JMC Landwind 5 4X2 MT Lux

Landwind has gone further and scored a major coup by providing the automatic version with a brand new and efficient 8-speed automatic transmission, developed in partnership with market leaders in this field.

My other main criticism of the manual version has also been very smartly addressed by the launch of the auto in two distinct specification levels. Firstly, the LUX which remains as per the manual, now the flagship version has been added to the range giving you all the extra luxury and safety items that I certainly missed in the test vehicle.

The flagship starts by adding side airbags and ESP for safety. Then on the luxury front, it adds a long list including full leather trim, electric seat adjustment for driver AND front passenger, electric sunroof, cruise control and electronic folding side mirrors.

There was only the opportunity for a very short drive in the flagship model at the launch event. The auto certainly felt smooth and efficient during this drive and I definitely appreciated the extra luxury of the vehicle. I am scheduled for a full test in a couple of weeks’ time, so will be more qualified to comment on the differences at that stage.

Landwind has certainly retained the unbelievable value for money proposition of the vehicle, even more so when considering that it includes a 5 year or 100 000km service plan.

Pricing

Lux Manual - R239 880
Lux Auto - R269 880
Flagship Auto - R289 880 

Changan Star 3 Range

At the same event, JMC South Africa also revealed the brand new Changan Star 3 range. Available in three separate body styles, all are powered by a 1243cc 4-cylinder petrol engine with 72kW/119Nm in single cab, double cab and minivan derivatives.

All styles are cab-forward styled bodies with the engine placed under the seats to provide maximum load size and capacity, with all three having a full 1-tonne capacity and the single cab having an extra large load bay as well.

The minivan is further available as either a two- or five-seater version and providing sliding rear doors on both sides of the vehicle. The five seater still provides a load volume of 1640 litres.

I didn’t get the opportunity to drive the Star 3 at the launch, but a brief inspection of the vehicles showed neat finishes and a number of comfort touches to what is essentially a basic working vehicle. I am scheduled for a test vehicle in the near future so will wait before commenting on drive and comfort.

All versions include a 3 year or a 100 000km warranty into the deal as well.  

Pricing 
Single Cab Std - R139 990
Single Cab Lux - R149 990
D/cab Std - R 154 990
D/cab Lux - R164 990
M/van Std 2 seat - R150 990
M/van Std 5 seat - R154 990
M/van Lux 5 seat - R162 990