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GWM P Series

Great Wall Motors (GWM) has produced a bakkie since the year 1996. That’s a long time actually, and many of us probably did not know that. In fact, ov

By Thami Masemola on 17 Dec 2020
Great Wall Motors (GWM) has produced a bakkie since the year 1996. That’s a long time actually, and many of us probably did not know that. In fact, over the past 22 years GWM has led the bakkie market in its home country of China. Of course we know the Steed range, which has been in the Mzansi market for some years now. Over 50 000 units of Steed have been sold here. So they are not new to that segment at all. And the new P Series range cements that in many ways.

P Series is brand new and features a range of bakkies, from single cab to lifestyle-oriented double cabs. There are three model ranges; single cab, commercial double cab and passenger double cab. Both 4x2 and 4x2 models use the same engine, while two transmissions will be available. A bit more on that later.
When looking at the P Series you will notice that the commercial and passenger range have different front grilles, headlight structures, side mirrors and wheels among others. A really neat feature is the rear step which pulls out for people to climb on easily on to the load box. P Series is large. At 5.4 metres long, 1.9m wide, 1.88m tall and with a wheelbase of 3.2m, these double cabs are the size of some big SUVs.

One can feel that spaciousness when stepping inside too. Open air design has been impressive, and the fittings are straight from the Haval SUV book. High grade materials have been used for the interior, which takes a number of items from the big Havals. It all looks solid. The surfaces are modern and in most cases, on par with existing rival double cabs.

Plenty of features are included in the P Series range, depending on the model. Standard features in the single cab range include adjustable power steering systems, electric handbrake, 17-inch alloy wheels, side steps, fabric seats, USB ports, cruise control, ESC, rear parking sensors, dual front airbags, remote central locking, electric windows and more. Higher up models get stuff like adaptive cruise control, leather seats, a 360-degree camera system, hill descent control and others. Those who like current touch screen technologies will make use of the 22.9cm screen that accesses the infotainment system, which also includes Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Wireless cell phone charging is also included.

Only one engine is being made available for the entire P Series range here. It is a 2.0-litre turbo diesel motor that produces 120kW of power and 400Nm of torque. While the power output looks miniscule compared to some rivals from Japan, the US and Germany, it is quite a puller when it gets down to it. Two transmissions are paired to it, namely a 6-speed manual for the single cabs and a mix of that same manual or an 8-speed automatic in the double cab range. The Passenger double cabs only come with the 8-speed. I drove it.

I must say, the P Series is pretty comfortable to drive in either guise, manual or automatic. The engine seems to have enough grunt, even though at lower revs there is some turbo lag. Once it gets going though, the pull is more than adequate. We were unable to tow anything, so I cannot comment on that. We did, however, put the 4x4 models through a tough off-road track and they did as well as their competitors which have tried the same track previously.

With the new P Series, GWM has raised the level of quality, capability and overall utility of its bakkie range from the historical Steed. In all the areas that count it at least matches its more reputable competitors and beats most of them on price. On the other hand we don’t know what the resale values are going to be on this range and also how it will do in terms of durability.
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