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HomeFeaturesNew LDV D90 vs South Africa’s favourite seven-seaters – Power, performance, and price

New LDV D90 vs South Africa’s favourite seven-seaters – Power, performance, and price

The LDV D90 has made landfall in South Africa with two units that are set to undergo the final homologation process before the vehicle goes on sale to the public later this year.

The D90 is the second model to come from LDV, a new Chinese automaker that made its debut in May with the T60 double-cab bakkie.

As is fairly common practice within the industry, the D90 is a seven-seater SUV that uses a body-on-frame design, as its chassis and mechanical underpinnings are borrowed from the T60 pickup.

There are four well-known examples of this type of SUV in South Africa, starting with the top-selling Toyota Fortuner, which shares its roots with the Hilux bakkie.

The other cases are the Ranger-derived Ford Everest, the Triton-based Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, and the D-Max-sourced Isuzu mu-X, all of which use the same engine line-up as their utilitarian counterparts but trade the load bin for two extra seats.

With the LDV’s launch window fast approaching, it’s worth checking out how it compares to each of these well-established nameplates to see if it has what it takes to compete in one of South Africa’s toughest segments.

A new competitor enters the ring

Starting things off, we need to look at the powertrain selection, which is complicated by the fact that the Mitsubishi and LDV have one engine, while the others have two.

You can see how they compare in the table below:

Model Engines Power
Isuzu mu-X 1.9-litre turbo-diesel

3.0-litre turbo-diesel



Toyota Fortuner 2.4-litre turbo-diesel

2.8-litre turbo-diesel



Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2.4-litre turbo-diesel 133kW/430Nm
Ford Everest 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel

3.0-litre turbo-diesel



LDV D90 2.0-litre bi-turbo diesel 160kW/500Nm

The mu-X’s 1.9-litre option has the lowest output of the group while the Everest has the highest power ceiling, though interestingly the D90 has the highest starting point as it is the second most powerful without a more expensive drivetrain to back it up.

To get a sense of what you can do with that power, here is a breakdown of each SUV’s towing capabilities:

Model Towing capacity
Isuzu mu-X 2,100kg – 3,500kg
Toyota Fortuner 2,500kg – 3,300kg
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2,700kg
LDV D90 3,100kg
Ford Everest 3,500kg

Again, the Isuzu sets the floor with 2,100kg but it’s more ardent 3.0-litre block actually keeps up with the Everest at 3,500kg.

It’s a similar story with the Fortuner, meaning the Pajero has the lowest potential at 2,700kg.

Like with the engine outputs, the Chinese newcomer is the second-best overall.

This does come with a cost, however, as is reflected in each vehicle’s fuel consumption:

Model Fuel consumption
Toyota Fortuner 6.8l – 7.9l/100km
Isuzu mu-X 7.0l – 7.6l/100km
Ford Everest 7.5l – 8.5l/100km
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 8.1l/100km
LDV D90 9.2l/100km

The Fortuner is the winner here, though it should be noted that the 6.8l/100km figure is achieved by the less powerful 2.4-litre engine, and not the recently added 2.8-litre 48V mild-hybrid units.

This time, it’s LDV who tops the list, which isn’t surprising as there is a recurring theme of Chinese cars being thirstier than their rivals.

To wrap things up, we need to look at each model’s price range, but this is complicated by the fact that the D90’s pricing has yet to be announced.

Making things even less clear is the fact that South Africa is getting the next-gen D90, meaning its sticker will likely be quite different from the units currently sold overseas even before factoring in the exchange rate and import costs.

For better context, we can check the price of the other models:

Model Lowest price Highest price
LDV D90 To be announced To be announced
Toyota Fortuner R679,100 R961,800
Isuzu mu-X R722,200 R970,300
Mitsubishi Pajero Sport R789,990 R904,990
Ford Everest R904,200 R1,240,600

It’s quite possible that the LDV will be on the more affordable end of the scale, based on the precedent set by the T60.

The T60 is a competitor to the bakkies previously mentioned, and the flagship model goes for R790,000 – about the same as the Triton and far less than the top-end Ranger Platinum, Hilux Legend RS, and D-Max V-Cross.

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