P-Series single cab built for ‘versatility’ but under extreme exhilaration it struggles

This was evident following the test drive of a single cab P- Series recently.

The bakkie “reimagined” its tag line, “is a brand new addition to the range of “robust GWM bakkies that are built for versatility” it continues.

When GWM unveiled its P-Series back in 2019, the Chinese automotive giant made it abundantly clear that it wanted its newcomer to rank in the “Top 3” pick-ups worldwide, whether that would be achieved, we await results.

But for certain, having done reviews on the single cab and its sister models, I vouch for it.

It is 5 410 mm long, 1 886 mm tall, 1 934 mm wide and has a 3 230-mm wheelbase. Yes, at times it was a mission to take it out from the yard, even though its boast rear camera, 17-inch aluminium rim wheels, Bluetooth, Hydraulic brake assist system, Automatic door lock and 2V Power outlet.

The P-Series also wears what just might be the biggest and thickest chrome grille and brand logo ever seen on a bakkie (in the South African market.

Talk about making an entrance… that’s one huge shiny schnozz! The large-and-in-charge grille is flanked by LED headlights with integrated daytime running lights, while smart-looking LED clusters are fitted at the rear.

The chunky grille is further complemented by an equally-chunky chrome sports bar that completes the brightwork.  

The single cab P- Series is well-equipped with safety technology that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find in a bakkie at this price point, such as blind-spot warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, lane-centre keeping, rear cross-traffic alert and traffic-sign recognition.

The engine is a 2.0-litre 4-pot that produces 120 kW and 400 Nm and while those outputs are not class-leading, they compare favourably with those of its rivals and the powerplant is mated with an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission.

It’s worth mentioning that the engine sound has a typical diesel thrum to it, but it’s more refined than we expected and thankfully it’s not overly noisy or intrusive. 

On the road, the P-Series’ power delivery isn’t lacking, but a noticeable degree of turbo lag is evident under harder acceleration, especially from a standing start, but it’s fair to say that the P Series’ on-road performance is dutiful and about on par with its equivalent rivals.  

Fuel wise, single cab P-Series GWM claims 9.4 L/100 km for this derivative, we saw figures of between 11.5- and 12.0 L/100 km, which is comparatively on the higher side for bakkies with similarly-sized engines in this segment. 

A key point of difference of the P-Series is that it offers a torque-on-demand all-wheel-drive system (developed by Borg-Warner) that means, if you are driving on-road, the system will direct torque to the rear axle (2H). When the road surface deteriorates, on a gravel road, for example, the system will automatically switch into 4H in an effort to improve traction.

Yes, as indicated in my top opening stanza, investment has been made from tech point of view! Its worth trying it out…

It offers a 5-year/100 000 km warranty and a 5-year/100 000 km service plan are standard.

Retail pricing begins from

R 339 900R 359 900R 384 900R 404 900


Performance 1-10 (5)

Diesel 1-10 (4)

Image (The P- Series single cab is worth investing).

(P-Series single cab may struggle under extreme exhilaration but it ticks the boxes).

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