Breaking Boundaries with the BAIC B40 PLUS SUV

Life was boring before the BAIC B40 PLUS

 

 

BAIC, pronounced bay-yek ( /bejik/ ) has been in the motor vehicle industry for over 50 years, and recently the BAIC Automotive Group Co. Ltd (BAIC Group) has become one of the five largest automotive groups in China.

The brand has been active in the South African market since 2016.

In October 2021 BAIC South Africa launched their iconic SUV, the B40 PLUS to the local market.

We got behind the wheel to test it out... 

The BAIC B40 PLUS is available in 5 Models:

  • B40 PLUS Diesel
  • B40 PLUS Petrol
  • B40 PLUS City Hunter Diesel
  • B40 PLUS City Hunter Petrol
  • B40 PLUS Champion Petrol

We tested the BAIC B40 PLUS Champion Petrol.

 

 

Exterior

The BAIC B40 PLUS is available in 7 colours:

  • Ice White
  • Onyx Black
  • Desert Red
  • Forest Green
  • Military Green
  • Ocean Blue

    The model we tested was the BAIC B40 PLUS Champion Petrol in Ocean Blue.

    All BAIC B40 models are fitted with:

    • 17" Alloy Wheels

    The B40 PLUS Diesel and B40 PLUS Petrol alloy wheels are single colour, while the City Hunter and Champion models are fitted with dual tone 17" alloy wheels.

    All the models have a full size spare alloy wheel on the rear tailgate.

      Standard features through the B40 PLUS models are:

      • Silver Front Grille
      • Side Step
      • Red tow hooks front and back
      • Black outside door handle
      • Black rear outside door handle
      • Halogen headlights
      • Electric height adjustable headlights
      • Front and rear fog lights
      • LED Daytime Running Lights
      • Follow me home lights
      • LED high mount brake light
      • Chrome outside heated electric rear view mirror

        Safety

        All models in the BAIC B40 PLUS range have the following standard safety features:

        • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
        • Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) 
        • Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) 
        • ISOFIX child seat restraint system 
        • Child safety lock
        • Front 3-point safety belts with pre-tensioners
        • Driver airbag
        • Front passenger airbag
        • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
        • Rear parking sensors
        • Reverse camera system
        • Alarm
        • Immobiliser
        • Central locking

        The B40 PLUS City Hunter and Champions models have the following additional safety features:

        • Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) 
        • Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) 
        • Traction Control System (TCS)
        • Hill Ascent Control (HAC)
        • Hill Descent Control (HDC)

        Interior

        The standard interior features in the BAIC B40 PLUS are:

        • Dual zone auto air conditioner
        • Power steering
        • Multi-function steering wheel
        • Electric windows, front and rear
        • Anti-glare inside rear view mirror
        • Manual 4-way adjustable driver's seat 
        • 6-way adjustable front passenger seat
        • 60:40 fold, flip rear seat configuration
        • Rear seat recline function
        • Rear centre armrest and cupholder

        The top of the range BAIC B40 PLUS Champion Petrol which we tested have the following additional interior upgrades:

        • Leather multi-function steering wheel
        • Electric 4-way adjustable driver's seat

          Connectivity

          The BAIC B40 PLUS range has a decent entertainment system with a:

          • Touch Screen Radio with AM/FM/MP5 functionality and USB / Bluetooth / Auxillary functionality
          • 6 Speakers

            Engine

            There are two engine options for the BAIC B40 PLUS:

            • 2.0L Petrol - In-line 4 cylinder turbo 
            • 2.0L Turbo Diesel  - In-line 4 cylinder turbo 

            The turbo diesel engine is available in a 6 speed manual transmission which produces 110kW of power and 350Nm of torque.

            While the petrol engine is a 6 speed automatic transmission with 160kW of power and 320Nm of torque.

            C02 Emissions on the BAIC B40 PLUS:

            • 250.4g CO2 / km for the 2.0L Petrol Auto
            • 272.15g CO2 / km for the 2.0L Diesel Manual

            Fuel economy claims of:

            • 10.6L combined cycle for the 2.0L Petrol Auto
            • 10.26L combined cycle for the 2.0L Diesel Manual

            Pricing

            The BAIC B40 PLUS is as follows:

            • BAIC B40 PLUS Diesel - R549 500
            • BAIC B40 PLUS Petrol - R579 500
            • BAIC B40 PLUS City Hunter Diesel - R579 500
            • BAIC B40 PLUS City Hunter Petrol - R609 500

              The top of the range BAIC B40 PLUS which we tested is the:

              • BAIC B40 PLUS Champion Petrol at R629 500

              Warranty

              All BAIC B40 PLUS models come standard with a:

              • 5 year/ 120 000km warranty plan

              Service Plan

              All BAIC B40 PLUS models have an option of a:

              • 4 year/ 60 000km service plan

                Competitors

                Ford Ranger R541 200

                Haval H6 R514 900

                Isuzu D-Max R533 500

                JAC T8 R452 400

                JMC Vigus R374 900

                Mahindra Pik Up R549 999

                Mahindra Scorpio R416 999

                Mitsubishi Outlander R549 995

                Nissan X-Trail R523 900 

                 

                Verdict

                We tested the BAIC B40 PLUS Champion Petrol in a short review (1 day) and we were quite impressed with what it was capable of.

                The 2.0L petrol engine had an automatic transmission which made it ease to navigate through traffic, on the highway, and over the rocky off-road terrains which we tested it on.

                Manual transmission is only available in the diesel models.

                The Daytime Running Lights (DRL) LED fog lights are actually so bright that you would probably forget that you need to turn the headlights on, which you do manually.

                There is start/stop ignition button but no keyless entry, you still need to use the remote for the central locking.

                The features in the BAIC B40 PLUS are basic, but it covers all the standard features you need in any vehicle in terms of comfort, safety, and connectivity. I liked the BAIC logo look air conditioner vents, and the leather padded doors gave a nice finish. Something to get used to is the door hinges which are very loose, so just be careful when opening the door if you are too close to a wall or another vehicle in a parking.

                You can switch from standard drive mode, to sport mode, snow mode, or from 2H, 4H or 4L with the touch of button or the turn of a knob for the latter options.

                In sport mode the SUV builds up speed quite quickly, but beware of the high fuel consumption that follows it. Generally the fuel consumption is relatively high as we averaged 14.0L/100km which is not very fuel efficient, especially considering the current petrol price and the claims of 10.6L/100km.

                But if you want to take a slow cruise and enjoy the scenery you can remove the hardtop roof - which you will need to do manually and leave at home if you are planning to do this. There are anti-roll bars fitted in the BAIC B40 PLUS should you wish to drive roofless.

                The tailgate has separate hinges from the rear window to make it easier to switch when switching from hard-top to topless. 

                What was quite impressive is the ground clearance of 210mm which results in a generous approach angle of 37 degrees, departure angle of 31 degrees and ramp-over angle of 23 degrees. This aids in the ease of moving from on-road to off-road, that the BAIC B40 PLUS handles very well.

                The BAIC B40 PLUS starts from R 549 500 which if you are comparing to mid-sized SUVs might seem reasonable, but if you add the fact that it is a fully capable Off-Road 4 Wheel Drive (4WD) vehicle then it is very competitive.
                Rating

                ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ / 10

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                Ziyaad Plaatjes is the Co-Founder of iloveza.com.

                He is a Bachelor of Commerce Honours graduate and has been running businesses since the age of 13. Ziyaad is a registered Financial Advisor, but has taken on many roles in various industries over the years. With his entrepreneurial skills and vast knowledge he assists individuals and businesses to grow and achieve their goals.  

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