Xenon XT packs powerful punch

Bobby Cheetham

A NEW bakkie on the South African market is always greeted with enthusiasm. Stirring up the mix, is the new-generation Tata Xenon XT bakkie range which is packed with features.

Launched last week in the Western Cape, the Xenon comes with impressive features that give it a competitive edge among other lifestyle bakkie options in the South African market, says Tata.

The range comes in four variants – single cab (4x2), single cab (4x4), double cab (4x2) and double cab (4x4).

It is powered by a new generation 2.2L VTT DiCOR (variable turbine technology, direct injection common rail) engine that is controlled by a 32-bit electronic control unit and incorporates state-of-the-art technology.

This is the same Euro V engine that powers the Xenon range across the world. It has been fine-tuned to meet domestic Euro II requirements.

The new engine delivers peak power of 110kW at 4000rpm and peak torque of 320Nm over a wide rpm range of 1500 to 3000.

The vertical centralised injector and the variable swirl system, together provide good air and fuel-mixing that result in complete combustion and good fuel-efficiency and therefore, low emissions.

Our test vehicle was the 4x2 double cab and the World of Wheels was able to drive it under all conditions, including very bad dirt roads with its fair share of mud, washaways and potholes.

Power and handling were good, but we were a bit disappointed in the gearbox which kept on jumping out of gear on the very bad sections of road.

I am sure it's not a major issue and can be sorted out but should be sorted out before it is put out as a demo vehicle.

We would also like to suggest, not only to Tata but also to other motor companies, that when demonstrating a bakkie, it should be available with a load on the back of the bakkie to be able to evaluate the vehicle properly under real world working conditions.

Where the Xenon is a winner, is in the price department and, as we have mentioned, the features one gets at no extra cost such as navigation, Bluetooth, dual airbags, ABS, differential lock (double cabs), and limited slip differential (single cabs).

And there's still more – electric windows, power steering, radio, MP3, side steps, bucket seats with armrests and tiltable steering column add to make the Xenon XT an attractive option.

The Xenon XT range comes standard with a four-year/120000 km manufacturer's warranty, four-year/120000km anti-corrosion warranty, five-year/90000km service plan and four years unlimited kilometre roadside assistance.

The Xenon XT will be available in South Africa at the price ranges below:

Prices (inc Vat) are:

Single Cab 4x2: R189995

Single Cab 4x4: R 245995

Double Cab 4x2: R 239995

Double Cab 4x4: R 269995