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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

First look: LDV D90 touches down as market debut gets closer

Top-spec Flagship could become South Africa's cheapest off-roader with three locking differentials.

Announced back in April as one of three additional models after the T60 bakkie coming to South Africa, LDV provided the media an official first preview of the incoming D90 SUV at its Bryanston dealership in Johannesburg earlier this month.

South Africa getting it first

Known as the Maxus Territory in China, but marketed under the export LDV banner similar to the T60 that wears the Maxus T90 moniker at home, the D90 rides on the same ladder-frame chassis with dimensions of 5 046 mm in overall length, a wheelbase of 2 960 mm, height of 1 876 mm and width of 2 016 mm.

ALSO READ: LDV divulges select spec of Fortuner and Everest-rivalling D90

A step-up from the D90 Pro sold in the People’s Republic and Australia, and not a simple facelift as previously indicated, the D90, which debuted in China at the end of 2022, will have standard seating for seven and a choice of two trim levels, both powered by a single powertrain also used in the T60.

LDV previews D90 SUV
Rear has styling traits similar to the Subaru Forester and even the Ford Everest.

South Africa the first right-hand-drive market to receive the D90 as the Pro-based model is still being sold in Australia and as the rebadged MG Gloster in India for now, the initial viewing centred around the Flagship that sits above the Elite in the local market range.

Suitably more aggressive in appearance than the D90 Pro that premiered in 2017, the D90 features a redesigned interior completely different from the T60 that went on-sale in China three years ago as the T90.

Known spec

Equipped with selectable four-wheel-drive as standard on both variants, the Flagship adds a front and rear locking differential to the centre offered on the Elite, resulting in it possibly becoming the most affordable off-roader in the country with three locking diffs.

Incoming LDV D90 SUV for South Africa teased
A pair of 12.3-inch displays for the infotainment system and instrument cluster will be standard on both models coming to market.

While the otherwise optional black styling package has been included on both from the start, the Flagship swaps the Elite’s 18-inch black wheels for diamond-cut 20-inch alloys, the eight-speaker sound system for a 12-speaker JBL audio, in addition to gaining a panoramic sunroof plus a 360-degree surround-view camera system.

Incoming LDV D90 SUV for South Africa teased
Infotainment system has voice recognition, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in addition to serving as the display for the 360-degree surround-view camera system on the top-spec Flagship variant.

Standard across the pair are LED headlights and fog lamps, tri-zone climate control, two wireless smartphone charging pads, an in-built dashcam and a pair of 12.3-inch displays for the digital instrument cluster and infotainment system, the latter with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

LDV previews D90 SUV
D90 will have three locking differentials similar to a Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

On the safety side, the D90 Elite and Flagship receive Automatic Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, six airbags and Lane Departure Warning.

New LDV SUV teased
Bar the Tank 300, the D90, as with all the current other bakkie-based SUVs, will have seven-seats as standard.

As evident on the centre console, a drive mode selector has been included for the off-road system with no less than five settings, Auto, Sand, Gravel, Snow and Rocks, plus the standard Eco and Sport for on-road driving.

Incoming LDV D90 SUV for South Africa teased
Space in the second row appears sufficient even with the standard panoramic sunroof.

Also noted is a crawl setting similar to Toyota’s version used on the Land Cruiser 300 and new Land Cruiser Prado, with a transparent front view camera included as well.

New LDV SUV teased
Claimed boot space with the second and third rows down amounts to 2 400-litres

Rated to tow 3 100 kg with its ground clearance standing at 230 mm, approach angle at 28° and departure angle at 26°, LDV for now, hasn’t disclosed any capacity figures for the boot, though its website for the Territory claims a maximum of 2 400-litres with the second and third rows folded down.

Diesel only

Up front, the mentioned powertrain will comprise solely of a 2.0-litre bi-turbodiesel and column shift selected eight-speed automatic transmission combination as a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol, developing 192kW/410Nm, can be specified in China paired to the same ZF-sourced ‘box.

LDV previews D90 SUV
As with the T60 bakkie, the D90 will have sole access to the 160kW/500Nm 2.0-litre bi-turbodiesel engine.

Locally, the same oil burner as the T60 develops 160kW/500Nm, and without the 48-volt mild-hybrid system offered in its market of origin that adds 44 Nm for short spells.

Price still unknown

Set to take direct aim at the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest, Isuzu MU-X, Mitsubishi Pajero and Mahindra Scorpio-N, pricing for the D90 continues to be unknown as final details are only expected within the coming months.

Priced from 228 800 yuan (R573 618) to 279 800 yuan (R701 730) in diesel guise as the entry-level petrol starts at 199 800 yuan (R501 164) in China, projections point to a starting sticker of around the R650 000 mark for the Elite.

As mentioned though, this is purely speculative and still to be confirmed outright by LDV South Africa.

NOW READ: LDV adds two vans and Fortuner rival to incoming product list

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