Changan a Star in the city limits
The biggest deal about the only real workhorse in this year’s Best Bakkie, is the fact that the little Changan Star III can haul a 1-tonne payload. The load-bay is 2.06 meters long and 1.52 metres wide and suitably rubberised for heavy workload with sturdy side flaps for easy uncomplicated and handy loading and off-loading procedures.
With a 40-litre fuel tank and overall range of 555km, the Changan 1.3 Double Cab Plus handles city limits working conditions well, although its respectable cruising speed abilities also allows highway work too. Boasting a road clearance of 155mm, Star III gets 14” steel wheels shod with 175/70R14LT tyres and a spare wheel housed under the rear of the load bay.
Road holding is good, but rather rigid due to its impressive payload capabilities, so ride is rather bumpy. In fact, for city limits work, it performs well enough, especially with its tiny 6-metre turning radius, while front disc braking proved quite acceptable, although the Changan lacks ABS.
Rather tiny when compared to run of the mill bakkies, the comparatively well-appointed cabin is ample with comfortable cloth covered seats.
The 1243cc 4-cylinder petrol engine does get somewhat noisy, especially beyond 120km/h, but the handy 5-speed manual gearbox adds a sporty and positive feel and it felt like a little race car through our coastal performance tests.
Lofty Gauteng altitudes do however challenge its performance. Still, Star III performs energetically enough on the open road where it easily runs 120km/h.
What the Changan perhaps needs for our South African highveld conditions is a turbocharger, which a host of small engines are fitted with. However, at coastal climes, the tiny normally aspirated mite will do a somewhat better and at just R151K, it should do very well in the workplace. All in all, the Changan Star III is a pretty cool little workhorse.
Special thanks to JMC Paarl – 021 871 1317
BEST BAKKIE FINALIST 1 - Changan Star III Single Cab Lux
Engine: 72kW 119Nm 1243cc petrol I4
Drive: 5-speed manual RWD
Braked Towing 1000kg
0-100km/h: 12.29 sec
400m: 18.0 sec @ 119km/h
80-120km/h: 12.22 sec
Fuel: 7.2 l/100km
CO2: 139 g/km
Warranty 3y 100K
LIST PRICE: R151K
Best Bakkie 2019 Index