Zhongxing Terralord Is An American-Styled Chinese Pickup

Could this Terralord make its way to Malaysia?

Chinese automaker Zhongxing probably has one of the coolest sounding pickup names in the business. 

Forget Ram or Ranger, or even Raptor or Gladiator, the Terralord name probably has it beat. Even if taken literally, Terralord equates to ‘Lord of the Earth’. Pretty cool name to have on a manly truck. 

School boy jokes aside, it is probably worth having a closer look at Zhongxing’s latest update on the most upmarket pickup truck in its lineup. Mainly because it is actually quite a sensible truck despite its outlandish name, and might be a credible alternative to the current crop of pickups here in Malaysia if it were to be officially imported. 

To those who have not heard of Zhongxing (also known as ZX auto to some), Zhongxing is a Chinese automaker that predominantly manufacturers mid-sized pickup trucks and SUVs. Founded in 1999, most of their historical line-up bears striking resemblance to pickup trucks originating from Japan or America. 

Unusually for a Chinese automaker, Zhongxing has managed to achieve moderate success with exports of their vehicles for a number of years now. Something that other Chinese automakers have only recently been able to do. Complete knock down (CKD) kits of Zhongxing pickup trucks have been assembled in the Middle East and Africa, and even Poland for a time. Malaysia was also considered to be an assembly hub for these Zhongxing kits but nothing has came to fruition as of today. 

That being said, maybe things might change with this new revamped Terralord pickup truck. 

In terms of the design of this mid-sized pickup, the Terralord name certainly fits the front end design with its bold, brash, chromed-out front grille. It almost looks like a smaller version of a Dodge Ram from some angles. 

The rest of the truck continues that American aesthetic by looking almost like a copy of the current Ford Ranger. On the side, aside from the chrome wing mirrors and chrome rock sliders, that fender vent is unmistakably Ranger. Same goes for the bed at the back, which is not helped by the oval Zhongxing emblem having the same outline as that of the Blue Oval. 

As for the powertrain, Zhongxing has ditched American influence in favour of a Japanese engine in the form of an Isuzu-sourced 2.5 litre turbodiesel that outputs 136 hp and 320 Nm of torque. Unlike other automakers who normally hide the fact that they borrow bits from other car makers, Zhongxing has done the opposite and are proudly advertising that the Terralord comes with the same engine as in the previous generation D-Max.

Mated to a six speed Punch Powerglide automatic transmission, and driving all four wheels thanks to selectable all wheel drive, this Chinese pickup touts itself to be a dab hand when the going gets rough. Riding on 17 inch rubber, the Terralord claims to have best-in class off-road capabilities and unrivalled toughness thanks to a strengthened chassis that is allegedly stronger than all its rivals. 

Like any other modern pickup truck though, the Terralord has a decent car-like interior. Standard features include a multifunction steering wheel, leather seats, climate control and a 9 inch central infotainment display. Other modern conveniences like a 360º reverse camera, cruise control, automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers, keyless go and heated seats are also standard for this Chinese pickup.

The Terralord is also not short on safety kit. Featuring the usual alphabet soup of safety acronyms which include ABS with EBD, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, Hill Start Assist and Emergency Brake Assist. A tire pressure monitoring system and an electronic parking brake also makes its way into this mid-sized truck, not to mention the four airbags. 

With prices in China ranging from 109,800 yuan (RM 66,400) to 161,800 yuan (RM 97,800), the Terralord is a perfectly adequate mid-sized pickup with one cool name. As mentioned before, Zhongxing does have the experience with CKD kits for trucks in addition to prior plans to build an assembly plant here locally, so it won’t be entirely surprising if the Terralord does make it to our shores one day. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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