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New models - Foton - Tunland - Dual-cab

Ateco relaunches Foton Tunland ute

Second time lucky: Ateco Automotive has hit the reset button on the Chinese-built Foton Tunland ute in Australia.

Chinese-built Foton Tunland is back on the market from $26,990 driveaway

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Foton logo10 Jun 2014

FOTON'S Tunland utility range is getting a second chance at life, with new local distributor Ateco Automotive re-launching the Chinese-built workhorse with a simplified line-up and unchanged $26,990 driveaway starting price.

Single cab versions offered by previous importer FAA Automotive have now been discontinued, and the re-born Tunland range is offered solely in four-door dual-cab body-style, with a choice of either two or four-wheel drive variants.

Ateco Automotive PR consultant for Asian brands Daniel Cotterill said that reintroducing the single-cab was not out of the question, but the decision hinges on pricing.

“We would like to have a single-cab, but we won't have a single cab until we can get the price right and that's a matter of ongoing negotiations with out friends at Foton,” he said.

Pricing starts from $26,990 drive-away for the Tunland 4x2, while the 4x4 variant is $29,990 driveaway.

The Tunland launched in November 2012 and was also available in dual-cab with both two and four-wheel drive drivetrains and two different specification levels – a $28,000 (plus on-road costs) entry level Quality variant or more generously specified $35,000 Luxury option.

Late last year FAA introduced the single-cab body-style and reshuffled the specifications from Quality and Luxury to TH, TK and TL variants, as well as introducing driveaway pricing of $26,990 for the 2WD TK dual-cab, and $32,990 for the 4x4 TL dual-cab.

At that price, the resurrected Tunland is about $2000 more expensive than the recently launched Indian-built Tata Xenon 4x2 dual-cab, which is being offered for $24,990 driveaway and fellow Chinese-built Great Wall V200 dual-cab, also $24,990 driveaway.

Tunlands are powered by the same Cummins 2.8-litre four-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel engine, which produces 120kW/360Nm and is matched to a Getrag five-speed manual gearbox (there is still no automatic option) and consumes 8.3 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.

Ateco says the Tunland dual-cab has a payload of 1025kg and an maximum braked towing capacity of 2500kg, while the 4x4 version has unladen ground clearance of 200mm, approach and departure angles of 28 degrees and 23 degrees respectively, a dual-range transmission and limited slip differential.

While specifications are similar to what they were under FAA direction, Mr Cotterill said there were some minor changes.

The standard features list includes power windows, air conditioning, Bluetooth audio and phone streaming, four-speaker sound system, rear parking sensors, daytime running lights, leather trim steering wheel and 16-inch alloy wheels for the 2WD.

Added extras in the 4x4 include cruise control, leather trimmed seats, a tyre pressure monitor, powered external mirrors with a defrost function, an engine immobiliser, steering wheel mounted controls for Bluetooth and cruise, a ute-tray liner and larger 17-inch alloys.

Safety features include dual front airbags, ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and Isofix child seat anchor points, but with an absence of electronic stability control (ESC), the Tunland only scored a three-star ANCAP crash safety rating when it was tested early last year.

A number of more established competitors, including Holden's Colorado, Ford's locally-produced Ranger and the all-conquering Toyota HiLux now offer ESC on most variants across their respective ranges and ANCAP has recognised this with a five-star rating, depending on the variant.

Many large fleet-buying companies, including mining giant BHP, have recently mandated that any new light-commercial vehicle fleet purchase must carry a five-star rating.

2014 Foton Tunland pricing*
4x2 Dual-cab$26,990
4x4 Dual-cab$29,990
*Excludes on-road costs.

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