Following on from our road test of the 2WD Foton Tunland, we managed to get our sweaty hands on a 4WD one for a bit of farm-based off roading, just to see how well it acquits itself off the sealed stuff.
The 2WD Foton Tunland impressed us quite a bit on road with its blend of high specification, low price, strong performance and surprisingly
goo dried good ride (damn you, autocorrect!) and handling and we expected nothing less from the 4WD version.
And so it proved to be, with the extra drivetrain weight proving no disadvantage to the Tunland. In fact, if anything, it added to its impressive poise and handling.
Off road was where it really interested us though and here it proved to be even more impressive.
Dropping the Tunland into 4WD is as simple as pressing a button on the centre dash console. Up comes a light telling you that you are in 4h or 4L and away you go. The 5-speed Getrag manual transmission has nicely spaced ratios for off road use, with first and second being particularly well spaced for descending steep hills. The Tunland doesn’t have a hill descent control system and, quite franky, doesn’t need one.
The Tunland boasts a minimum ground clearance of 210mm, an approach angle of 28 degrees and a departure angle of 23 degrees, putting it pretty much slap in the middle of the higher-priced pack in terms of clearances.
Off the road the strong, flexible nature of the engine in its mid range really comes into play in low range, endowing the Tunland with a relentless feel towards obstacles. It is also here that the value of the licensed technology makes itself felt via the Dong Feng/Dana rear axle, complete with a limited slip diff.
The Tunland simply felt muscular and almost unstoppable over the rocky farm land at our Port Waikato test farm. The big bugbear – its lack of stability control – was not an issue off road, and its high build quality, strong engine and quality drivetrain components really helped it to shine.
Engine: 2.8-litre inline four-cylinder turbo diesel
Transmission: Five-speed manual
0-100km/h: 13.5 seconds
Fuel consumption: 8.4L/100km
CO2 emissions: n/a