If you are looking for an affordable, stylish SUV that can still tow a ton, the Landwind 5 could be the car for you. At around only R250 000, the latest offering from JMC to hit the South African market comes packed with a robust Shenang Aerospace Mitsubishi 2-litre turbo engine, coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox.
I did over 700km in the Landwind, which gave me a good idea of the vehicle and its towing capabilities. At first I was sceptical, as I experienced a bit of power lag when running below 2000 revs. But I soon found that with my foot a bit heavier on the gas in higher gears when pulling away, and once I’d got going in third and fourth, that it quote capable.
On the climbs, I found it easy to tow the BacTrax by occasionally dropping down to 4th gear, and the Landwind 5 had plenty of grunt if you kept the revs up a bit.
Power: 140kW @ 5500rpm
Torque: 250Nm @2800-44000rpm
Ground Clearance: 190mm
Un-braked Towing Capacity: 750kg maximum
Braked Towing Capacity: 1500kg maximum
I did find that the warning flashers coming on every time I opened a door was a bit of a bother. Also, the Landwind’s sensor at the back picks up the jockey arm (when lifted for towing), so that when you reverse straight back, the arm is detected as an obstacle and the warning alarm starts beeping. It’s a loud alarm, and the feature cannot be disabled.
I liked the spacious interior, and while the control panel is pretty basic (radio, CD player, aircon control, etc), there is a USB point; something that it seems is a necessity these days.
The Landwind comes with power steering, power windows, park distance control, ABS, EBD and dual airbags. Helping in the towing department is the MacPherson independent suspension. I would love to drive the Landwind without towing a trailer, but that’s a test for another day.