Keeping up with the big boys
Clearly, Foton has taken strides to deliver competitive vehicles in the different Japanese-dominant markets like the SUV and van classes by offering an option that lines up less on being inexpensive and more on being value for money. In comparison with the Foton View Traveller’s competitors, their pricing isn’t too far apart, but while the others are in their barebones form, the View Traveller is loaded with goodies. But do these goodies give this Chinese van value for money?
Styling wise, the View Traveller blends in well with the crowd thanks to its simple rectangular design with a bubbletop that allows more headroom for passengers. A nice touch to the bubbletop ceiling is the air-con vents for every passenger across the van. The total driver plus passenger count is 15, with each passenger having their own chair space spread across four rows. The legroom is ample as well, more than enough to get comfortable. Access to the back seats is easy thanks to the aisle. What I think is a big plus is how the rear seats fold flush to the sides of the trunk area to allow a lot of room for storage. So essentially, the View Traveller is either a 15-seater commuting van or an 11-seater weekend hauler with a lot of trunk space.
The View Traveller is easy to drive as long as the driver remembers that he or she is driving a long van, which calls for later turn-ins compared to a sedan. Its soft clutch makes even daunting tasks like hanging at a slope easily done even for novice drivers. The shifts in between gears are predictable as well, having long throws with big gates. As for power delivery, this van can actual deliver a good pull thanks to its 2.8L Cummins engine. For the best ride possible, fill up the van with passengers so that the suspension loses its bounce factor. Simply put, the View Traveller drives well as is but better when you fill it up with passengers.
The icing on this cake is all the standard equipment it comes with. It comes with an LCD that allows DVD and TV for the passengers, USB and AUX ports for music, a glass breaker paired with a fire extinguisher in case of emergency, and driving aids like parking sensors and keyless entry. It may not seem like a big thing, but it is a plus considering what Foton previously offered and what the barebones competition gives at that price point.
Of course, the big question that everyone will be asking is the quality of the Foton View Traveller. There is some room for improvement like fitting, finish, and a few material choices implemented, but nothing that should deter anyone from purchasing the View Traveller. Considering how it felt with 22,000 km on the odometer, it felt like it has held up pretty well. For those who are looking for a van that is priced to promote value for money by adding a good amount of extras on a foundation that is solid and practical, the Foton View Traveller deserves a good amount of consideration.