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During the past few years, Chinese automakers have grown in leaps and bounds. Their stellar performance in many of the world’s leading auto markets has brought some of the top Chinese car companies to the forefront in the public’s eyes. And one of the most well-known and largest of these manufacturers is SAIC or Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation as it was known earlier. Today, SAIC has several brands under it, and Maxus is one of the most promising sub-brands among them. The marque sells quite a few models in the UAE – the all-new 2020 Maxus D90 is one of the latest entrants.
Based on the same platform as the T60 pick-up truck, the new Maxus D90 is a full-size, body-on-frame SUV. It made its first official public appearance at the Guangzhou International Motor Show back in 2016, and in our market, competes with cars like the Borgward BX7, GAC GS8, SsangYong Rexton, and even the Mitsubishi Montero Sport. With competition in this segment being so thick, the road ahead won’t be very easy for the Maxus D90 to tread on.
The 2020 Maxus D90 is built to be a proper seven-seater SUV for the family. So that means the D90 isn’t a dainty little thing – in fact, it measures an imposing 5.005 meters in length, 1.932 meters in width and 1.875 meters tall. Moreover, its 2.950-meter wheelbase means that there’s enough visual stretch between the front and rear wheels, too. Speaking of the Maxus D90’s design, the front is dominated by a big triple-slatted chrome-garnished grille, flanked by trim but stylish-looking headlamps. Then there’s the high-set hood, chiseled lower bumper apron that houses fog lamps and a couple of faux air vents.
Along the side of the D90, you will find bulging front fenders, stylish 19-inch alloy wheels, a flat-ish side facade, large wing mirrors and windows, sharp shoulder line, fixed side steps, and of course, acres of black plastic cladding all around is just as obvious and a mandatory prerequisite these days on SUVs. The back of the D90 looks tall and quite wide as well. Here you will notice a roof-mounted spoiler, an expansive rear window, and a fashionable set of tail lamps with 3D-design LED elements. There’s also a silver-painted faux diffuser and chrome-tipped dual exhausts here.
Depending on the trim level you go for, the interior look & layout of the all-new Maxus D90 can certainly hold its own against most cars in its price range. While the materials may not be the best in the business, Maxus has made liberal use of soft-feel leather with stitching and diamond patterns, accompanied by a large touchscreen display along with a digital driver’s MID, easy-to-operate controls and switches, ambient LED lighting, an expansive panoramic glass roof, and fairly comfortable seats.
As a seven-seater, the new D90 scores decently when it comes to actual useable room for occupants, with even the last row feeling spacious enough for short adults and kids. As for luggage space, things are a bit tight with all seats in place. However, folding down some of the seats will reveal the cavernous and practical square shape of the load bay. Overall, this interior seems quite adept at carrying people around in decent comfort.
Engine and performance
Under the hood, the 2020 Maxus D90 is packing a 2.0-liter four-popper with forced induction for further assistance. This means you get to command 225 hp and 350 Nm of torque with your right foot. With available all-wheel drive and a 6-speed automatic transmission, the D90 will hit a top speed of 175 km/h while also being capable of averaging around 9.5 L/100 km – not the best number in town but considering the heft and an older-gen gearbox, it isn’t horrendous.
At a shade under 120,000 dirhams, the fully-loaded trim of the Maxus D90 seems like a decent offering in a segment that does have pricier (but not necessarily more practical) alternatives.