December 13, 2020 By Kevin C. Limjoco Photos by Andréas N. Delos Reyes

2020 JAC T8 Ultimate 4×2

Industrial Practicality

JAC Motors has launched their best pick-up truck yet: the award-winning T8. The automotive industry’s monikers have gotten considerably more confusing over the past few years exacerbated by the steady and bountiful influx from our region. The T8 pick-up truck exterior aesthetically looks familiar which is deliberate. Where it distances itself by design from the competition is in the interior. The contrasting brown leatherette is quite appealing but it actually conversely exposes some fit-and-finish issues with the abundant hard plastics, which is a pity. The analog gauge clusters are straightforward and good; however, the central LCD information screen is dated.  

In the China market, the JAC T8 is offered with both gasoline and diesel versions, short wheelbase and long wheelbase versions, and 4×4 or 4×2. Our blue test unit, the top-spec “Ultimate model”, was a short wheelbase 4×2 variant that is actually slightly longer than a new Toyota HiLux. The attractive and very useful Thule roof rack, purposeful rear bed rollbar, and hitch ball mount are optional dealer installed items. There is also a P70,000.00 cheaper variant offered which JAC Philippines named the “Luxury” model which looks very similar but has some key features removed. The Luxury model uses rear drum brakes instead of disc, loses the smart key with push-button ignition, loses the folding mirrors, loses the front sonar and 360⁰ camera parking feature, and also loses the comprehensive safety suite that includes stability, traction, hill-start hold, and tire pressure monitoring, and others. So you are losing way more than the value of the price reduction which is why I would highly recommend buying the top-spec model which is already reasonably equipped and priced well.

Compared to a Toyota HiLux 2.4J 4×2 5-speed M/T that retails for P952,000.00 with 15-inch steel wheels, rear drum brakes, no front fog lamps, and halogen headlights that is 5,285 mm long, 1,800 mm wide, and 1,700 tall with a wheelbase of 3,085 mm, the JAC T8 is 5,325 mm long, 1880 mm wide, and 1830 mm tall with a slightly longer wheelbase of 3,090 mm. The Toyota has a stronger turbodiesel engine though by 11 bhp and 17 lb-ft of torque. But what the JAC T8 has standard are HID headlights, LED rear lights, 18-inch alloys wrapped with Chao Yang SU318 H/T 265/60R18 110T tires, an 8-inch infotainment system with 6-speakers and parking cameras, bed-liner, full safety equipment, smart key, cruise control, multi-function steering wheel, side stepboards, and more. Its most formidable direct competition is the larger and more powerful Maxus T60 Pro 4×2 which comes with less equipment and less creature comforts to even out comparable costing.

The JAC T8 has an approach angle of 29.6 ⁰, break-over angle of 23.5 ⁰, and departure angle of 22.4 ⁰ with a ground clearance of 220 mm. It has a payload of 900 kg. So, as you can see on paper, the JAC T8 has the ingredients to perform with competence the expected duties required of it. Its pricing and packaging certainly can be compelling for new and fleet buyers.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Inline-4
Displacement 1999 cc
Cylinder Head dohc 16V
Fuel Injector Direct Injection Intercooled VGT Turbodiesel
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 137 bhp @ 3600 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 236 lb-ft @ 1600-2600 rpm
Transmission 6-Speed MT

Performance

Top Speed 154 km/h (96 mph)
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 12.8 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 11.23 km/L Overall

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 998,000.00
What's Great Affordable utility, nice contrasting interior appointments, good value, good standard equipment, good transmission, comfortable.
What's Not So Fit and finish, numb steering, narrow and conservative powerband, a bit too industrial.
C! Editors Rating 8/10
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