The BAIC B40 Plus has finally arrived on South African shores, with the local arm of the Chinese car manufacturer saying “we believe this vehicle will be well received by the market and will find quite a following amongst consumers that want to stand out in a crowd”.

Ground clearance is rated at 210 mm.

The most distinguishable exterior elements of the B40 Plus’ retro-inspired bodywork are the five-slot front grille, LED daytime-running lamps, and fog lamps. Seven exterior paint options are on offer: Ice White, Onyx Black, Desert Red (seen here), Forest Green, Military Green, Ocean Blue, and Sky Blue.

Inside, the Chinese carmaker’s off-roader ships with an array of convenience and safety items. As standard, all models feature an infotainment display, a six-speaker sound system, dual-zone climate control, and a reverse-view camera. Safety features include airbags for the front occupants, Isofix child-seat anchorages, and tyre pressure monitoring.

Multifunction steering wheel wrapped in leather on top-spec model.

The B40 Plus can be had with the choice of two engine options, mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed self-shifter. These are a 2.0-litre turbopetrol engine and turbocharged oil-burner of similar displacement. The four-cylinder petrol and diesel units produce 160 kW and 320 N.m, and 110 kW and 350 N.m respectively. Transmission options include a six-speed manual gearbox and six-speed self-shifter.

The B40 Plus is “more than capable off-road”

“Tested in almost every condition, altitude, terrain, and application,” the BAIC B40 Plus is “more than capable off-road”, Basil Costa, senior manager for sales and marketing, says. The B40 Plus is equipped with a double wishbone independent front and five-link independent rear suspension setup. Ground clearance is rated at 210 mm, and the approach and departure angles at 37 degrees and 31 degrees respectively. Tow hooks are included in the package.

The roof can be detached for open-top driving.

Riding on a set of 17-inch wheels, wrapped in 65-profile rubber, the B40 Plus measures 4 645 mm bow to stern, 1 925 mm wide and 1 871 mm in height. The wheelbase measures 2 745 mm long. Claimed luggage is 532 litres, which can be expanded to 965 litres with the seats folded down.

The four-strong line-up is priced from R549 500 for the entry-level variant to R629 500 for the B40 Plus Champion petrol derivative. (Mid-tier models’ pricing has yet to be revealed.) A five-year/120 000 km warranty is included in the asking price, though a four-year/60 000 km service plan is optional.