Solid cargo capacity coupled with a powerful and efficient engine and a robust suspension are key differentiators for pickup trucks. When these features are paired with a spacious double-cabin, enjoyable driving experience and a great value-for-money ratio, the result is a solid contender for the pickup segment. Meet Frison T6, one of JAC Motors’ latest additions to its Mexico lineup. Mexico Automotive Review took the truck for a test drive down the streets of Mexico City, across the highways of the State of Mexico and Guanajuato and up the dirt roads of Michoacan’s woody hills to find out what this truck has to offer. Here are our findings.
A Truck that Meets Expectations
Size matters when it comes to pickup trucks and Frison T6 delivers. Its truck bed is 1.5m wide per 1.5m long and 0.47m tall with enough capacity to carry up to 900kg of payload thanks to a heavy-duty rear differential that is larger than the average diameter used in light-duty pickups. At 1.81 meters of height, 1.83m of width and 5.3m of length, Frison T6 is taller, wider and longer than several midsized double-cabin competitors including the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Nissan NP300 Frontier.
The JAC pickup truck is powered by a four-cylinder, in-line turbocharged 2.0L engine connected to a six-speed manual gearbox. This configuration delivers 190hp at 5,000rpm and more than enough torque to transport both cargo and passengers without any issues. Frison T6’s transmission responds swiftly to gear changes and can effectively take advantage of the engine’s capacities and reach a top speed of 150km/h with relative ease. The fast responsiveness of its powertrain both on highways and dirt roads makes Frison T6 a safe and reliable option for a weekend getaway in the country.
When driving uphill in the sharp turns of the Sierra Madre Occidental’s roads, Frison T6 demonstrated superb handling. Not once did the truck’s bottom scratch a rock or speed bump, even when loaded. In terms of fuel-efficiency, Frison T6 delivered an average of 13L/100km during our whole test of approximately 850km. However, the truck’s Euro V engine is designed to deliver a combined mileage of 10.6l/100km (13l/100km in cities and 9.2l/100km on highways), which makes it an attractive choice for Mexican buyers interested nl/ robust and efficient vehicle.
Comfort and Safety
Among the advantages that make Frison T6 a solid go-to option for a passenger car are the enjoyable driving experience it offers and the comfort and safety features it equips. The truck’s double cabin was designed to optimize the use of space for the comfort of all people onboard. It even offers plenty of leg room for passengers riding in the back seat. Its interior finishes and comfort advantages are more similar to those usually found in a medium-range SUV than in your average light-duty truck. Six speakers support the Frison T6’s audio system, which offers a solid audio experience at low and medium volumes.
In terms of active and passive safety features, Frison T6’s includes some of the most common systems to SUVs. Frison T6 comes with two frontal airbags and a reinforced steel cage including horizontal bars in the doors to absorb the energy of a collision and ensure resistance to impact from any direction. JAC also paid close attention to ensuring that Frison T6 has solid braking power with ABS and EBD systems that ensure greater control during braking and sudden swerves.
A Testament to Mexican Quality
The 2019 Frison T6 is sold at a list price of MX$364,000 (US$18,700), which makes it a solid contender in the midsize, double-cabin pickup segment. Its direct competitor, Nissan’s NP300 Frontier, is listed at a price of MX$353,700 (US$19,200) in its entry version. Though the difference may not seem much, buyers must be aware that Frison T6 offers greater horsepower thanks to its turbocharged engine and includes features only found in medium and top-range versions of the NP300 Frontier such as more speakers and Bluetooth connectivity.
Another noteworthy point about the Frison T6 is that it is a 100-percent Mexican truck. This vehicle is the result of a collaboration between China’s JAC Motors and the 100-percent Mexican OEM Giant Motors Latinoamérica. “JAC is a Chinese brand, but all the vehicles that Giant Motors produces for the Mexican market are made in Mexico, designed for the Mexican market by Mexican people and using Mexican components,” told Elías Massri, Director General of Giant Motors Latinoamérica to Mexico Automotive Review in 2018.
Car buyers that may be concerned about spare parts availability and maintenance centers that can support their cars need not worry. All vehicles in JAC’s Mexican lineup are backed by a bumper-to-bumper warranty of five years or 100,000km and the support that only having a locally-based assembly plant can offer. Owners of Frison T6 can approach any of the 23 JAC stores that cover between 90 and 95 percent of the Mexican territory to service their JAC vehicles.