Celebrating Jiangling Motors Company South Africa has launched the latest Vigus double cab – the Vigus 5. The Vigus bakkie line was introduced locally in 2014 and has gone on to become JMCSA’s best seller. This latest version is expected to build on the solid foundations of its predecessor where rugged design and purchase/ownership affordability has positioned it clearly in the mind of the buyer who requires a double cab that’s mantra read – and remains – “no nonsense”.
Vigus 5 nevertheless encompasses many improvements while calling on a legacy extending more than 50 years when it comes to vehicle manufacture. It retains a body-on-frame construction with the chassis comprising no less than eight lateral braces. This results in a stiff, flex-free platform: this rigidity has real handling and safety benefits. Independent, double wishbones with coil spring front suspension and a solid rear axle suspended on leaf springs complements an all-disc high-performance stopping system with ABS and EBD.
Confirming that this Vigus isn’t shy when it comes to hard labour is a pair of burly and generously-proportioned exterior tie-downs each side and an additional two on the inside – the load is going to stay where intended. Incidentally, the Vigus can carry a load of up to 815 kilograms.
The bold grille is a standout feature of the striking styling, while smooth, flowing flanks ensuring the Vigus cuts easily through the air. The windscreen is steeply raked contributing to the efficient aerodynamics. Even the cab protector is neatly integrated to give the transition from cab to ‘bakkie’ for a smooth and integrated look. Wraparound tail lights incorporate foglamps and the tailgate is opened with a sturdy central latch.
A willing yet refined, four-cylinder, 2.4-litre turbodiesel is the default engine choice and with 103 kW and 310Nm there’ll be no waiting around. This Puma engine – uprated in this guise – is the result of JMC’s successful collaboration with Ford. It is an outstanding powerplant for this kind of commercial application and the Puma is renowned for its long and trouble-free service life, along with low service costs.
A five-speed manual gearbox is standard and both two- and four-wheel drive versions are offered. A sophisticated cabin with soft-touch panels in key areas contributes to the new Vigus being a great all-rounder. The cabin is trimmed to LX – luxury Extra – level, which means a generous array of equipment. Getting comfortable will pose no challenge thanks to a steering column that’s adjustable for height, and leather-clad seats are well positioned to provide both a commanding view of the terrain and offer staying power when long stints at the wheel are required.
More importantly, it was designed from the outset to bring JMC’s mainstream LCV right up to the minute in terms of overall look and feel. A new feature for this generation is the large touchscreen, mounted high up in the centre of the dashboard.
Chrome detailing and brushed aluminium garnishes around the outer air vents and the hangdown centre section add to the ambience, as does the sense of quality in the tactility of the steering wheel, gearlever and the switchgear. A pair of multifunction stalks take care of lights and wipers while steering wheel controls allow for the cruise control to be operated, along with the key functions of the entertainment system and phone. The Vigus is generously equipped and reducing driver load still further is the standard rear park distance control, a multifunction steering wheel and cruise control. Passengers benefit from the likes of standard air conditioning, electric windows and central locking. With Bluetooth, dual 12 Volt outlets – along with Aux and USB ports – staying in touch and in charge is easy.
The latest Vigus double cab bakkies represents a significant step forward. The proven reliability of the drivetrain and overall ruggedness of the design has been complemented by significantly improved comfort and refinement levels. Hassle-free ownership is further ensured by a three-year/100 000 km warranty and a six-year/60 000 km service plan.
Prices start at R308 000.