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STEED 5 proves Chinese bakkies are quality not quantity!

STEED 5 one of Great Wall Motors brands, has been regarded as best quality Chinese bakkie on the market, was given a visual makeover, new engine and revised specifications at least in the double cab form.

 GWM refers to this facelifted model as the Steed 5 Double Cab range – the previous range continues in workhorse form.

Beneath the skin, a new 2.5 petrol engine replaces the previous Isuzu-based 2.8. The new mill is good for 80kW at 3000rpm and 300Nm between 1800 and 2600rpm.

GWM continues to offer the existing 2.4-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, which produces 100kW at 5200rpm and 200Nm at 4000rpm. Both engines are available in 4×2 and 4×4 format and all models have a 70-litre fuel tank.

Standard features across the range include air conditioning, power steering, a CD/MP3 player with steering wheel controls, electric windows and mirrors, remote central locking, 16-inch alloy wheels, dual front airbags and ABS brakes.

During our test drive, Chiefs’ and Queens’ afforded us the responsibility we could not turn-down, which was to take over their daughters for a ride, and they obliged. Lucky chaps!

Driving STEED 5 is tantamount to having kids in their carts with helmets bigger than their heads. It is subtle, brakes far impressive and gears move swifly.

Although, not in the same market as your Toyota and Mazda in terms of features, it did provide some sense of responsibility as we did with the Chiefs’ daughters. What happened as we traverse from one province to another in our company is another story for another day. Stru!

Many Chinese makes have been offered here over the past few years but only a few survived the big recession. Already quite well established since March 2007 and with major industry muscle behind it, Great Wall Motors SA (GWM), has not just survived, but come out ahead of some long-established traditional players.

Their assembly in Durban is growing at an alarming rate, thus had to double staff and technicians to meet the demands.

 The company boasts some 30 000 of its products on SA roads and is currently selling about 500 units a month,  and  SUVs pickups are making inroads too.

The excited Swemmer, who should swop positions to marketing, articulately boasted that GWM is here in SA to stay.

“Our position is clear and we’re happy the head-honchos in China are realising that, and committed to expanding investments in this country,” says the gigantic Swemmer with broad shoulders and huge body which could be mistaken for wrestling. Although the latter claims he played soccer.

The latest and possibly most ‘westernised’ of these is a range of four Steed 5 pickups with 2.4 petrol and 2.5 diesel engines, available with either 4×2 or 4×4 drive trains. STEED 5 features is 25 mm shorter, 80 mm wider and 55 mm taller.

Ground clearance is 18 mm greater while approach and departure angles are a few degrees more interesting from an off-road point of view.

Suspension, tyre size and five-speed gearbox remain unchanged. There are two reading lamps in front and another at the back.  Being a more modern vehicle,  the Steed 5 panders to vanity with a single makeup mirror.  

Taking some getting used to, are foot pedals offset to the right.  This is awkward at first, but one adjusts.

As our guests all agreed in once that, STEED 5 is worth taking to their fathers, our overall impression is of a rugged and potentially long-lasting vehicle that should look after daily transportation and leisure needs. Amen!

As for the loadability aspect, the Steed 5 comes to the party with a double insulated load bin.  

PETROL:

2.4 4×2 Luxury – R184 990

2.4 4×4 Luxury – R199 990

DIESEL:

2.5 TCI 4×2 Luxury – R199 990

2.5 TCI 4×4 Luxury – R217 990

Prices include a three-year /100 000km warranty and two years of roadside assistance

 

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