The Dongfeng Motor Rus company conducted a test part of the Russian presentation of the Dongfeng DF6, and the Chinese Cars correspondent was able to evaluate the pickup, as they say, alive. We have highlighted several features of the car that distinguish it from its competitors.
Let’s immediately determine that there are several players playing in this clearing today, the main ones being Changan Hunter Plus, GWM Poer, Foton Tunland G7, JAC T6 and its Far Eastern “clone” Sollers ST6. All pickups have approximately similar dimensions and cargo compartment dimensions, with double cabs.
In terms of price, the Dongfeng DF6 (3,299,000 – 3,799,000 rubles) is not the most expensive. And those pickup trucks that cost less will soon catch up with it, because their price initially did not include a recycling fee. Once the current stock of cars is sold out at current prices, the cars will inevitably become more expensive.
Regarding sales volumes, experts make the following calculation: Changan Hunter Plus today sells at about 150 units per month, GWM Power – at 200-230 units each. Consequently, as Dongfeng Motor Rus notes, it is realistic to sell about 200 DF6s every month. The first batch purchased consists of 700 pickup trucks; it will not be possible to sell them before the end of 2023, and next year this quantity will definitely not be enough; fresh supplies will be needed. For reference: this year, analysts expect sales of 8 to 9 thousand pickup trucks of different brands in Russia.
1. What is not a relative, then the name
Dongfeng DF6 is the only one from the above list who has three “non-Chinese” relatives at once, and very eminent ones. We’re talking about the Nissan Navara, Mercedes-Benz X-Class and Renault Alaskan, all built on the same platform with a ton of the same features.
Closest to our hero, the Navara – both Dongfeng and Nissan are produced at the same Zhengzhou Nissan plant, on the same assembly line. The cars are so similar in terms of technology that assembly line workers, according to some sources, often do not know what specific car they are making.
2. Choose from two engines and three gearboxes
Buyers of the DF6 are offered two engines to choose from, and this distinguishes it from its rivals, which, as a rule, have only one uncontested engine, mainly in the 2-liter version. The power range of the Dongfeng pickup truck is not the latest 2.5-liter 136-horsepower unit ZD25T5 (305 Nm), as well as the modern 2.3-liter 163-horsepower M9T-60A (380 Nm) from Renault, which is equipped with commercial vehicles. It is elastic, torquey and high-torque. However, it is not the most powerful among its competitors.
Paired with these engines are three gearboxes, two of which are mechanical. The one with five stages helps the “weak” unit (Comfort version), the “six-speed” comes with a “renowned” engine, competing with the 8-speed “automatic”. It is clear that the ZF product is only available in the top-end configuration, which is called Luxury.
The Dongfeng Motor Rus company predicts that the 136-horsepower version of the DF6 will be in demand by corporate clients, while the stronger and better equipped version will be in demand by private individuals.
3. Fifth spring “phylonite”
The front suspension of Dongfeng DF6 is double wishbone. This design is perfectly suited to a heavy car, providing the highest possible level of comfort.
At the rear, of course, there are springs. Moreover, the fifth sheet is not loaded. When the pickup is empty, this spring is not used at all in motion, as if playing along with comfort. As soon as the platform is filled with cargo, the fifth spring begins to play its characteristic “violin in the general choir,” increasing the vehicle’s load-carrying capacity. Dongfeng representatives say that thanks to this design, they managed to achieve a “city/off-road” balance.
4. Not everything that is written is the absolute truth.
The carrying capacity of the Dongfeng DF6 stated in the documents is only 484 kg, but you shouldn’t believe it. The fact is that during certification the task was to fit the car into 2,499 kg of gross weight in order to fall into a certain category, which gives a number of well-known benefits during everyday use. Another point is that on August 1, 2023, the recycling fee rate increased, and the much-desired gain was in big question. It’s good that bonuses for cars in the category up to 2.5 tons have been preserved. As for the actual carrying capacity of the DF6, then, according to representatives of Dongfeng Motor Rus, it is close to the figure of 900 kg.
The DF6 loading platform has dimensions: 1520 x 1520 x 475 mm. This is not a record size among its competitors, but a Euro pallet will fit into the body. The platform is covered with rubber flooring, there are bars for the trunk, and the tailgate cannot be locked with a key. Installation of a kung is possible. The distributor will recommend its specific modification to dealers – in order to avoid cases when they may not offer exactly what is needed.
5. Engine protection – basic option
But dealers are given the right to install metal underbody protection, consisting of 5 elements and reaching almost to the rear axle. This is an option; In the base, the pickup is equipped with power unit protection. Again, a rear towing eye is provided as standard. It was not possible to find one in front.
The DF6 does not have a so-called “warm package”, that is, you cannot count on heating the windshield or rear sofa. The automaker decided to brighten up this “shortcoming” with a bright body palette, in which the original yellow color for the truck stands out.
Vladimir PETROV (@chinamashina)
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