2009 Proton Jumbuck GLSi - Long Term Update
"It's odd, but I'm becoming quite attached to the little Jumbuck"
If someone had told me eight weeks ago that I'd grow rather attached to our long-term Proton Jumbuck then they may have been met with a rather snide "yeah right". Funnily enough the little utility's outright honesty, willingness to work and go-kart like tenacity have strangely come to make it feel like part of the CarAdvice family.
I've had cause to test the claim of a 560kg payload this week too, moving some shelving and tools from the farm down to Melbourne.
In recent times it's also carried my trail bike, a load of top soil, a dozen red gum sleepers, our new office furniture and a good many plants - all in addition to Paul Maric using the little lugger to move house a few weeks back (click here for the full story).
The other surprising aspect to the Jumbuck's tray is that the removable tailgate can actually hold up to 300kg of weight, which is rather useful when carrying oversized loads, not that the 1640 x 1390mm tray is what I'd call small.
The six tie-down hooks are extremely useful and apparently strong but in some applications would be better fitted to the outside of the tray or to the floor. I'd also have found a soft tonneau cover of use but at $395 am not about to rush out and buy one.
With 4200 kilometres on the clock so far the Jumbuck's 1.5-litre (4G15) engine is feeling decidedly more run-in and is loosing its reluctance to rev, which has greatly improved what little performance is on hand. In case you're curious, the number is 14.6 seconds for the 0-100km/h, err... sprint.
It has also become more willing in terms of torque delivery with good pull off the mark even when heavily laden. At the same time the Jumbuck still manages to adhere closely to the claimed fuel return figures of 5.8L/100km on the open road; 8.5L/100km around town and 7.1L/100km combined.
On the open road the Jumbuck cruises along without much fuss, though you will need to gear down to keep pace through the hills. The ride is quite stiff thanks to a leaf sprung rear but thankfully becomes more pliant with even a little bit of weight over the rear wheels.
Inside, as dated as things may appear, the Jumbuck has actually caused little in the way of concern with one faint plastic rattle noticeable from the lower left hand side of the dash and a slight squeak from the throttle spring. Otherwise everything is holding up really well.
On wet days the relay logic wiper dwell arrangement can get a little annoying with its constant "click-on, click-off" noise, but really it's a small complaint.
As a simple example of reliable, tough and economical machinery the Jumbuck is proving a great example of value for money in delivering exactly what it promises - and nothing less. We'll be back with another update on the Jumbuck in a few week's time.
To track the history of the Jumbuck long-term test, click here.