And the price is a little over 20 thousand US dollars! With about these words, our dialogue with representatives of the JAC brand at the booth of the Shanghai Motor Show 2019 ended. And it was not about Chinese prices for the new JAC T8 pickup, but about Ukrainian!
The novelty reached us pretty quickly – the first cars appeared in Ukraine in the autumn of the same year. We were granted a version with a turbodiesel (there is also a turbo-petrol one) and in the maximum equipment. The name of the configuration sounds pathetic – Full Extra. And most importantly the price! – 623 700 UAH. (about $ 25 thousand) Any of the pickups offered on our market officially will cost at least five thousand dollars more in the database. Therefore, the handsome T8 looked very attractive when we met! And now a test drive on our roads – how will the car show itself?
The hero of our test can be seen from afar: a large, stately, with the right proportions, a large white pickup looks fundamental. Even with the naked eye it is noticeable that the eighth is rather big. And indeed, its length is 5325 mm and its width is 1880 mm. Passers-by and drivers glance with interest, it is noticeable that for many this Chinese brand is a curiosity.
They drew the JAC T8 in the Italian design bureau, so that the style turned out to be on the level. There are catchy details. For example, a large trapezoidal grille from the hood almost to the bottom edge of the bumper, an arc in the back of the cab, wheel arch extensions and a large JAC inscription on the same grille. It’s good, though not in a red-ruby color, as it was on a presentation car in China, otherwise I would definitely go for souvenirs!
The footsteps complement the image, which turned out to be very convenient to use when landing. There is also an integrated into the rear bumper for quick access to the body without folding the tailgate. Complete the image of the wheel dimension 265/60 R18. And everything would be fine if it weren’t for outlandish shoes – Chao Yang tires. And the curiosity lies not only in the name, but also in the tire pattern. It can only seem at first glance that it is winter. Upon closer examination, it turns out that this is a kind of symbiosis of summer and winter tires, a kind of “all season”.
In the cabin
The first impression is very pleasant! Beautifully painted, with brown leather trim and silver accents, an 8-inch color screen of the multimedia system – the interior is perceived as such in a crossover or SUV, but not a workhorse. In the driver’s seat, the eyes are also happy. Here and the engine start button, and individual instrument scales, and a convenient steering wheel with buttons on the knitting needles. The controls are clear and concise, nothing more. Therefore, looking around for the first time in the cabin, you remain under the slight impression: these are well done, this is progress!
In principle, it is, but this progress is moving very unevenly. And if in statics everything looks very decent and allows you to talk about a full comparison with competitors, in practice, in motion, when you start using all this, nuances arise.
Take, for example, a landing at the wheel. The steering wheel is not adjustable in reach and a priori pushed close to the dash, so you have to adjust the landing on the steering wheel, pushing the seat close to the front panel. In addition, it is set high, no matter how you lower it with the adjustments. So it turns out that the driver has to “cram”, although the interior is spacious in height and width. But you sit high, so much so that you can easily see the roofs of all crossovers! According to my feelings, here is the highest landing compared to other pickups that I have tested recently.
The instrument panel with a nice white backlight and well-readable digitization, but the curved glass of the wells mercilessly glare, and in order to scroll through the menu of the on-board computer, you have to reach for the buttons on the tidy itself. Yes, as you thought – through the steering wheel. There are no questions to the multimedia system. Its functionality and capabilities are familiar from JAC cars and crossovers, and here everything is quite simple. All control is touch-sensitive, separate buttons are assigned to the main functions, everything is logical and easily controlled in motion.
There is no navigation, but there is a system of all-round visibility with several types of “pictures” and trajectories of movement back and forth with the wheels turned. Together with the parking sensors, this is an excellent help when parking maneuvers, given the size of the pickup. But the picture! With the current progress of the IT industry, I’m generally surprised that the creators managed to find such a screen: with a small resolution and an overly panoramic picture, coarse-grained, losing almost all of its properties after dark.
For maintaining the climate in the cabin meets ordinary air conditioning. Here everything is organized in the old fashion, rotating washers and buttons. I do not know about the cooling efficiency, but the stove heats slightly. Until the diesel engine reaches its operating temperature, do not wait for heat in the passenger compartment. It was also lucky that the winter was warm.
It’s spacious in the back row, the stock for legs and head with my height of 1.82 remains decent, but the sofa itself is very harsh. In general, the gallery is here like most competitors. In general, this is expected, but something else upset me. Little things that the Chinese seem to be oblivious to. There you can see the fastening nuts, seats, there is bare metal behind them, but here there is not enough small plastic plug. All these penny little things have a great effect on the perception of the car as a whole.
Body and cargo
Whatever you say, but still the pickup truck must be able to carry loads, but more. The JAC T8 is fine here. The carrying capacity is 900 kg and the dimensions of the platform are 1520 by 1520 mm with a side height of almost half a meter (470 mm). The rear wheel arches do not protrude into the body much, and the distance between them allows you to load the europallet. An excellent solution is the deposition of a wear-resistant coating inside the body, and even the ends of the sides are processed.
All the days that I spent driving the JAC T8, I felt more than confident. Firstly, the T8 is not afraid of either pits, or bumps, or more serious obstacles. With its clearance of 220 mm for all these “little things” you can be calm. But even more I was blissed out by the impression he makes on the road! Do not have time to catch up with someone, as you immediately give way. Nobody will cut and will not be insolent in every way, neglecting traffic rules and common sense, which, alas, is often found on our roads. What I did not understand the secret of such authority, but the increased adequacy of the neighbors in the stream – it is always nice.
Under the hood of the JAC T8, as I mentioned at the beginning, a turbo diesel engine of 2 liters and 139 hp is installed, developed jointly with the Austrian company AVL. At least that’s what the manufacturer claims. What is the participation of one of the largest companies in the development and testing of power plants is not known exactly, but the fact that many components in the JAC T8 from world-famous companies is a fact. But then again, until the first cars run at least the first hundred thousand kilometers, it’s too early to talk about their reliability or unreliability.
The maximum torque of 320 N / m is available to the driver in the range from 1600 to 2600 rpm, and a tangible pickup is felt closer to two thousand. Starting from this point, the motor picks up the truck quite badly, but the gears of the 6-speed manual gearbox “finish” very quickly. Therefore, you will go a little faster, and she has to click quite often. Cartilage, cartilage – the switching mechanism responds … Alas, almost always a gear change is accompanied by such a sound. It is also worth noting the gear ratio of the first gear, which allows it to partially replace the lower one. Therefore, sometimes you can start immediately with the second.
The lever itself with a not very long stroke, and not far from hand. But with the quick inclusion of odd gears, no, no, and you’ll get your hand to the climate block. In general, I was not satisfied with the “mechanics”.
Suspension JAC T8 is made according to the traditional scheme – independent double wishbone front and semi-independent spring rear. A powerful frame, a continuous bridge … such a chassis is not particularly afraid of our roads, know you are jumping on your own potholes. Yes, the back, like in many pickups, is better to load with some kind of ballast, so as not to get a goat. Although in fact, the car does not let you relax. Firstly, the very “mechanics”, and secondly, the steering requires being alert and slightly steer, since 3.8 turns from lock to lock fit in a long rail. Yes, and tires squeak, then strive to break into a slip. Perhaps I would immediately replace them, becoming the owner of the T8.
As for the all-wheel drive, it is made according to the part-time scheme, that is, with a hard-connected front axle. Plus, there is a lowered row. Classic! It is prescribed to control the transmission using the buttons – click, and you no longer have rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive. But this can only be done outside of hard coatings. With such an arsenal on the roads it’s not very scary, and it picks up a pickup on it well. And then everything will depend on the tires and dexterity and fearlessness of the driver.
By the way, in addition to tires, I would also take care of protection from below. Because, for some reason, the engine crankcase here covers plastic, and the razdatka, although hidden “in the frame” and behind the massive crossbar, is no longer protected by anything. But on the road go not only forward!
According to the test results, the average consumption in the city amounted to about 10 liters per “hundred”, and this figure was kept quite confident. On the one hand, considerable weight and drag, but on the other it is still mechanics. In general, a liter and a half could have been smaller.