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February 22, 2021

Review: 2021 Maxus D60 1.5T Elite

It’s weird to say your newest family SUV was inspired by, of all things, a tarantula. After all, baby tarantulas are known to eat their mother. Creepy, right? With that little piece of National Geographic trivia out of the way, it’s time to focus in on that SUV designed to look like hairy spiders: the 2021 Maxus D60. Will this newest entrant in the ultra-competitive compact SUV space end up being the eater or the eaten?

When you catch a glimpse of the D60, you do see some arachnid resemblance, particularly in that front-end. Now, if there’s one criticism you can lodge against Chinese SUVs of late is that they have this tendency to be copies of each other; and while the Maxus suffers from the same trope—small, sinewy LED light clusters, large gapping grilles—there are enough design twists to help it stand out. In particular, the way the aluminum window garnish meets and connects to the roof rails is quite nifty.

While it’s hard to criticize the D60’s design as a whole, there are areas where Maxus should have dialed back on their design. Some bits are just too juvenile like the tacked-on hood vents, or the dancing light show whenever it’s locked or unlocked. The biggest WTF moment though has to be the location of the tailgate release button—it’s situated below the base of the rear wiper. It’s unergonomic and unintuitive.

The D60 may be a compact SUV in shape, but its underpinnings are shared with the G50 MPV. Apart from lopping a bit of the wheelbase off, Maxus also raised the ground clearance. This necessitated one of the oddest, but strangely enough, underappreciated design features: the side step board hidden in the rocker panel. To the unaware, the positioning of the step board might cause one’s leg to brush up against them causing dirt or mud-stained pants. Once adjusted for though, it’s a tremendous help for anyone entering or exiting the third-row.

The overall cabin experience of the D60 is also quite close to that of the G50. The color combination isn’t as daring as Maxus’s MPV, but other than that, it’s hard to fault. It’s solidly built with soft-touch plastics abound, and switchgear that’s all solid and well-damped. The ergonomics are pretty sound, too. The steering wheel only adjusts for tilt, but it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position. The instrument cluster, with its counter clockwise tachometer is odd, but easy enough to understand mostly due to the large LCD screen in the middle. Oh, and thankfully, the shifter forgoes any shift-by-wire silliness.

With a price tag lower than its MPV sibling, something had to give; and that something is found in the D60’s center console. The infotainment screen is around four inches smaller—8- versus 12.3 inches. Regardless, the system’s still easy enough to understand, but again, the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a missed opportunity. The bigger issue here is what’s below that screen: the manual climate control. Not only does it take up too much real estate, but the operation is quite laggy.

Measuring in at 4,720 mm in length, the D60 is actually closer dimensionally to traditional mid-sized SUVs than compact SUVs. As a comparison, the two other three-row compact SUVs in the market are both smaller with the Honda CR-V measuring in at 4,623 mm and the Nissan X-Trail at 4,690 mm; this alone tells you about the Maxus’s spaciousness. Then, there are other surprises too like the flat floor in the second row for added knee room, and an actual usable third row. The interior’s also highly flexible with the second and third row seats both folding completely flat. While some care must be exercised to fold them without fuss (for example, the third row can’t be pulled up with the second row pushed all the way back), but the mechanism is far more intuitive than, say, the Geely Okavango’s.

With its running gear also shared with the G50, the D60 does have one advantage: it’s lighter. Tipping the scales at 1,560 kilograms, it’s 35 kilograms lighter than the G50. Without a stopwatch, it’s impossible to verify any objective improvements to acceleration, but subjectively at least, this SUV feels responsive. The turbocharged 1.5-liter is peppy, especially within urban confines. It does, admittedly, start to lose steam at highway speeds. The 7-speed dual clutch it’s mated to doesn’t like to be rushed as well. For as long as throttle inputs are kept sensible, it’s smooth and decisive. Start calling for an overtake though, and it’ll take a second or two to react. Once it does, it’ll do so violently, rocking and shaking the entire car as it calls for a downshift.

In terms of handling, the D60 is tuned more for comfort than anything else. Compared to other compact SUVs which typically have a sportier bent, this one’s a cruiser. It’s great particularly on long stretches of flat, smooth road where the suspension effectively soaks up any sort of imperfection. Show it a couple of bends though, and it’ll dip and wallow. Coupled with that softly-sprung chassis is a body that’s mushy. Despite any absence of rigidity-compromising items like a panoramic sunroof, the most mundane of obstacles like humps feel painful to the underpinnings. Creaks, shudders, and other weird noises all come. It’s not a pleasant experience, and it’s one that could make you question its long-term durability.

Priced at P 1.258 million, the D60 finds itself in an interesting middle ground. It manages to undercut its slightly bigger three-row competition, namely the Geely Okavango and Chery Tiggo 8, but it’s still more expensive than the smaller two-row Ford Territory and Chery Tiggo 7. By positioning itself between the competition, Maxus has had to make compromises in terms of features. Without tech or luxury at its disposal, it has to rely on its 7-seater configuration and to a degree, its styling as its main USPs. Will that be enough? Only time will tell. As it is, the D60 is far from perfect, especially in terms of mechanical refinement. But it may appeal to those seeking a family-oriented SUV that doesn’t break the bank; especially one that isn’t too big, or too small.

2021 Maxus D60 1.5T Elite

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Ownership 2021 Maxus D60 1.5T Elite
Year Introduced 2021
Vehicle Classification Compact SUV
Warranty 5 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type 5-door SUV
Seating 7
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.5
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Direct Injection
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 169 @ 5,500
Nm @ rpm 250 @ 1,700-4,300
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 7 DCT
Cruise Control Yes
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 8.69 km/L @ 19 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,720
Width (mm) 1,860
Height (mm) 1,736
Wheelbase (mm) 2,760
Curb Weight (kg) 1,560
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Multi-Link
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Parking Brake Electric w/ Auto Hold
Tires Dunlop Grandtrek ST30 235/55 R 18 V (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 4
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear
Parking Camera Yes, Rear
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR with pre-tensioner x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3 (2nd row),
3-pt ELR x 2 (3rd row)
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Start Assist
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Rear
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Tailgate Manual
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) Manual, 6-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Manual, 4-way
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40, w/ Slide, Recline (2nd row),
50/50 (3rd row)
Sunroof No
Trip Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Day/Night, Manual
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Manual, w/ Rear Vent
Audio System Stereo
Smartphone Connectivity No
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes


  1. There are already creaks and weird noises on a test drive vehicle? Thats not a good sign...

  2. They should have brought in the fully-loaded variants to compete better with the Ford Territory. As it stands, I'd rather scale up to the Okavango Urban Plus than take this compromised variant. Another missed opportunity from Ayala (like the move to source lower-specd units from China). . . should have gone the route of Geely/Chery/MG and introduced the fully-loaded variants at competitive prices.

    1. Nobody would buy a Maxus D60 that's priced at 1.5 Million Pesos.

  3. This is the problem with Ayala Company, they don't look around what the competitions are offering. Among all Chinese Car distributors Geely is the most competitive and has the best product with Big discounts offered on the table.

    1. Geely mostly focus on turbocharged SUVs with DCTs.
      Maxus Philippines competitively priced the T60,G50 and D60 as much as possible.


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