Getting the job done

Changan Double Cab

For someone who needs a reliable vehicle that will get his workforce, tools and materials safely to and from a job, the Changan Double Cab is one to consider

The Changan Double Cab is a perfect fit for a small contractor. It offers comfortable seating for five people in the cab, while the back is great to haul loads to and from jobsites.

Yes, it is not the most luxurious cab you will find on the market, but what’s in the Changan Double Cab will get the job done. The seats are covered with durable material, which should withstand the punishment of getting the workforce to the job and back, with seatbelts for all five passengers. Looking at the console, you will find a radio to make the time on the road a little easier. The air conditioner will be handy in summer and cup holders around the cabin make for a safe holding space for everyone’s coffee in the morning as well as a well- deserved coke after you have laid down tools for the day.

I did miss the power steering the first time I got behind the wheel. Although power steering shouldn’t be the reason why you won’t consider this workhorse. It takes a little getting used to in the beginning, but after a week on the road, you don’t miss it all that much.

My first impressions hitting the road was that the 1243cc petrol motor won’t take you from zero to sixty in a record time, but that the machine is capable of what it was built for. With the available 72Kw and 119Nm of torque at your disposal you get from A to B. On the open road and cruising at a comfortable 100-120km/h is light work. I never felt that the five speed transmission was working overtime and although cabin noise was a little louder than what I am used to, it is at an acceptable level. Having a conversation with a fellow passenger is easy.

The suspension is a little stiff and the bumpy ride would be contained a bit more with a crew or a load on the back, so that is exactly what I did. I got tools and a load of wood loaded onto the back, which wasn’t just for the test, but because I was really on the way to install built in cupboards in a bedroom. The load did firm up the suspension and I felt comfortable hauling a big load to the worksite. I didn’t load the maximum one ton load, but I can say with confidence I believe the Double Cab will carry it with ease.

The brakes are made up of discs in the front and drums at the back. I am always a cautious driver and never have the need to brake suddenly, yet the bakkie handled well when braking with or without a load.

What makes this bakkie unique is the drop sides on all three sides of the loadbox. You don’t realise how handy they are until you have them. It makes a big difference to load and offload heavy materials without having to fling it over the sides. The rubberising also helps to protect the back when you do a bit of manhandling and drag or drop something heavy.

So weighing up the pros and cons of the Changan Double Cab, there is very little to complain about. Yes, you can always do with a bit more power, space, less noise and looks but this bakkie should definitely win a prize for least attractive vehicle on the road. Still, you get a reasonable vehicle at a very reasonable R166 880.

For someone who needs a reliable vehicle that will get his workforce, tools and materials safely to and from a job, this is the one to consider, especially if you run a new or small operation. This is a nice entry level set of wheels. Take the 3 year/100 000km warranty into account and I think it comes with the necessary peace of mind that any start-up needs.

Room for improvement

  • Power steering would be welcome
  • A stronger engine for a bit more speed
  • Bigger wheels for more road clearance
  • It could be better looking.

What I like

  • The comfortable drive
  • It is light on fuel
  • The electric windows
  • It gets the job done.

Vehicle specifications

  • Name: Changan Double Cab
  • Engine size: 1243cc Petrol
  • Transmission: 5 speed
  • Max speed: 120km/h
  • Load box: 2 060mm x 1 520mm x 370mm
  • Fuel tank: 40 Litres
  • Fuel consumption: 7.2l/100km
  • Max power: 72kW
  • Max torque: 119Nm
  • Warranty: 3 year/100 000km with 24 hour roadside assistance
  • Price: R156 880 – R166 880.
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