The Maxus D60 looks poised to make some noise in the crossover segment

It has us excited—and hopeful—for what the brand has in store for us next
by Leandre Grecia | Feb 6, 2021

“The Maxus D60 couldn’t have come at a better time.”

It feels like Maxus has entered our market in an unorthodox fashion. Unlike other Chinese carmakers such as MG and Geely, Maxus arrived with a big lineup—literally.

Instead of the usual crossover- or SUV-stuffed roster we see from other marques that hail from the People’s Republic, the Maxus brand was introduced back in 2019 with two large people-haulers: the V80 and the G10. I saw neither as a legitimate sales driver, so admittedly, I was a bit skeptical about Maxus’ arrival at first.

But Maxus can only downsize from where it started, so it was bound to make its way to the real mass-market segments. Lo and behold, that’s what actually happened. The carmaker went small in 2020 with the T60 pickup and the G50 MPV, and now it’s going even smaller to kick off 2021 with its latest offering: the D60.

That grille, though. PHOTO: Leandre Grecia

Okay, the D60 isn’t actually small. This seven-seater is classified as a compact SUV even if it’s basically as big as the Toyota Innova. The D60 stands 4,720mm long, 1,860mm wide, and 1,736mm tall with a 2,760 wheelbase. Naturally, that translates to a roomier cabin—but we’ll get back to that later. What I really want to talk about first is the D60’s styling.

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To be more specific, that face. The front end is a good mix of classy and sporty, thanks to the grille’s intricate design and the front fascia’s overall aggressive styling. The subtle black and chrome accents on the hood work quite well in my eyes, too. As for the rear… it took time, but it grew on me.

At first glance, it sort of reminded me of the Geely Okavango’s back end, which I’m not a big fan of. As I took a closer look, though, I realized the D60 has a more ordinary and crossover-like shape to it, especially when you check it out from the side. The taillights (or is it just taillight?) definitely snazz up the look as well.

Taillight or taillights? PHOTO: Leandre Grecia

While I find the exterior fairly impressive, I think the inside is what truly deserves attention. This thing is a relatively affordable compact SUV, but its cabin will tell you otherwise. The abundance of dark leather makes for a premium interior, and the white and red contrast stitchings add a lovely touch. The seats are comfortable and the tiller is soft. And going back to what I mentioned earlier, there’s a ton of space to go around. There’s ample legroom and headroom even in the third row—even for a bulky guy like me.

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Plus, there are extra features aplenty, so there’s really not much to complain about here. As a matter of fact, there are loads of tech here—something worth noting in a budget-friendly vehicle.

A roomy cabin with loads of tech? Yes please.

There’s a smart keyless entry system, push-to-start ignition, auto-fold side mirrors, headlamp adjustment, steering-wheel-mounted controls, cruise control, an electronic parking brake with an auto-hold function, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

There are also rear A/C vents—albeit without automatic climate control—so cooling the cabin shouldn’t be a problem. There are also additional USB charging ports in the second and third rows. There’s a reversing camera complemented by front and rear sensors to boot, as well as a digital cluster that provides a bunch of useful information such as fuel consumption.

So, at this point, you might be thinking: “Does it have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?” Sadly, the eight-inch infotainment system does not. Come on, it’s 2021, guys. But it's still one heck of a touchscreen display because it’ll let you play around with functions like the vehicle’s lock/unlock behavior and the startup lighting pattern. Yes, the latter’s a thing.

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Hard to say no to another budget-friendly seven-seater. PHOTO: Leandre Grecia

If I had the chance to pick, though, I might have gone with a different engine. The D60 packs a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-banger that generates 167hp and 250Nm of torque and is mated to a seven-speed DCT—it’s the same as the G50’s powertrain. There’s enough oomph for overtakes and the vehicle feels relaxed at high speeds on open roads, but overall, the powerplant isn’t exactly the most frugal.

In mixed conditions, I barely reached 10km/L. I admit I may have had a heavy foot on the gas for the most part, but perhaps a diesel mill could have been more fitting for this one. It just makes me wonder how much less economical the D60 could be once put to the test through Metro Manila traffic.

With a finish as bright as this, it’s really hard to miss. PHOTO: Leandre Grecia

Nevertheless, these issues I have don’t even come close to outweighing all the good I find in this P1,258,000 car. At the end of the day, the D60 is still built on that golden value-for-money formula that enables any product to thrive in a market like ours. I’ll even go out on a limb and say that it has what it takes to shake up its segment.

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But above all else, I see the D60’s launch as an important one for Maxus. With it, the carmaker can regain all the momentum it lost to the pandemic. The D60 is like the reset button that Maxus direly needed, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

It also serves as proof that Maxus does have bigger (or smaller) and more exciting things up its sleeve. If this is any indication of what it has in store for us next, then I guess the optimist in me may have been right to be hopeful all along.

Photos of the 2021 Maxus D60:

The Maxus D60 front grill feature

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The Maxus D60 head lamp

The Maxus D60 hood vent detail

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The Maxus D60 side mirror

The Maxus D60 doorhandle

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The Maxus D60 skirt and step board

The Maxus D60 rear view close up

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The Maxus D60 tail lights

The Maxus D60 exhaust and tail tail light detail

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The Maxus D60 interior dashboard

The Maxus D60 steering wheel

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The Maxus D60 odometer and display

The Maxus D60 start engine button

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The Maxus D60 controls

The Maxus D60 driver controls lock-unlock controls

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The Maxus D60 gear shift and center console

The Maxus D60 charging ports

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The Maxus D60 gear shift features

The Maxus D60 interior detail

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The Maxus D60 passenger seat details

The Maxus D60 upholstery detail

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The Maxus D60 upholstery detail for the headrest

The Maxus D60 upholstery detail on the adjustable headrest

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The Maxus D60 airconditioning vent

The Maxus D60 charging port

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The Maxus D60 rear seat upholstery details

The Maxus D60 rear angled view, featuring the Maxus emblem

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The Maxus D60  angled front view

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PHOTO: Leandre Grecia
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