New workhorse to become entrepreneurs’ friend

Ashok Leyland of India has entered the Southern African commercial vehicle market with the Dost 1.5 Turbo Diesel pick-up.

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Ashok Leyland, flagship of the Hinduja Group, is the second largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in India, the fourth largest manufacturer of buses in the world, and the 19th largest manufacturer of trucks.

Distribution of the Ashok Leyland model range in Southern Africa is through ETG Logistics (ETGL), a vertical of ETG. ETGL will operate dealerships for Ashok Leyland in seven Southern African countries. In South Africa, 14 dealers have already been appointed.

What is it?

Boasting class-leading attributes in the entry-level pick-up segment such as a load-carrying capacity of 1 250 kg, fuel consumption of 6.1 l/100 km and a 5-Year/500 000 km warranty, the Ashok Leyland Dost is set to appeal to small businesses, farmers and fleet operators alike.

In 2019, Ashok Leyland introduced an optimised version of the Dost with unmatched fuel efficiency, according to the manufacturer. This is the model that will be sold in Southern Africa.

Drivetrain:

The Dost comes with a 1478 cc, 3-cylinder, turbo-charged diesel common rail-engine (TDCR). which delivers 44 kW and torque of 158 Nm and a 5-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels.

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Exterior:

The semi-forward control Dost pick-up has a sharp fascia with minimal elements so that it does not appear busy in terms of design and construction.

Three models are available, namely a Chassis Cab (for unique load body configurations), a Fixed Sides Deck (FSD) model and a Drop Sides Deck (DSD) model.

The DSD model offers the convenience of easy loading and off-loading with the load body at 2 656 mm being 156 mm longer than that of the FSD model. The DSD model is also equipped with a sturdy cab protector.

Mounted to a ladder frame chassis with six cross members, the front suspension is rigid with underslung parabolic leaf springs and double-acting shock absorbers. The rear suspension comprises overslung semi-elliptic leaf springs with double-acting shock absorbers.

The wheelbase is 2 350 mm with ground clearance of 177 mm and 184 R14 LT 8-ply commercial tyres on steel rims.

All these attributes combine to give the Ashok Leyland Dost class-leading load-carrying capacity in the segment for entry-level pick-ups, of 1 250 kg for the FSD model and 1 205 kg for the DSD model with its heavier load body.

Interior:

The Ashok Leyland Dost comes with ample head- and footroom, as well as reclining seats. Seating capacity is for a driver and co-driver with extra parcel space between the two individual seats. It is fitted with a digital instrument cluster, a mobile phone holder, 12V power socket and a lockable glove box.

Range and price:

The initial model line-up for Southern Africa will focus on the Dost pick-up, followed by the 4.5-ton Partner light truck and the 1.86-ton carrying capacity Phoenix pick-up early in 2024. Heavier trucks and buses, including electric vehicles, will join the product offering at a later stage.

Dost 1.5 TD Chassis Cab (R229 999), Dost 1.5 TD Fixed Sides Deck (R249 999) and the Dost 1.5 TD Drop Sides Deck (R254 999).

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