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Review: GWM’s Steed 5 bakkie is a solid workhorse at a brilliant price

By Graeme Lund - Jan 12, 2018
Review: GWM’s Steed 5 bakkie is a solid workhorse at a brilliant price

GWM South Africa, the local subsidiary of Chinese-based international automotive giant, Great Wall Motors Company Limited, in 2017 worked hard to up its reputation on the local car market.

The automaker introduced several new models that I found more refined in every detail than the first GWM vehicles to set foot in South Africa a few years ago. 

Besides improved drivability and comforts, their bakkies, both the double and single cabs, now come with better warranties than ever before and the vehicles are lighter on fuel – in line with GWM’s goal to supply South African drivers with quality, affordable vehicles, which seamlessly utilise the latest technologies.

The GWM Steed 5 single cab bakkie comes with a three-year/100 000km warranty and, with a retail price of just R149 900. It is the least expensive 1-ton bakkie on the market!

You may be thinking that you won’t get much for such an extraordinarily low price, but you would be very wrong. All Steed models feature comfortable individual bucket seats, and for the driver there is also a rake-adjustable steering wheel.

A neat padded centre armrest doubles as a large storage box between the seats. Most models feature a heated rear window, power steering, air-conditioning and an audio system (radio with USB/SD support on the 2,2 MPi and radio/CD with USB support on all other models, excluding 2,0 WGT). In addition, the 2,4-litre petrol and 2,0-litre VGT models also add leather upholstery, remote audio controls, power windows and electric mirror adjustment.

The cab is spacious and ergonomic with remote audio controls on the steering wheel.

As a previous GWM single cab bakkie owner, I know how durable these vehicles are. My work bakkie covered 200 000km in the five years of my ownership.

It regularly carried in excess of one ton in the load box, which it would deliver every time to some remote parts of the Eastern Cape via very rough roads that would push any bakkie to the edge.

I found the drive is that of a typical workhorse and becomes noticeably more comfortable when the load box has some weight.

This workhorse is powered by GWM's proven 2,2-litre petrol engine that develops 78 kW and 190 Nm of torque. This engine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels. The combined-cycle fuel consumption figure for this model is an economical 9,7 L/100 km.

Meanwhile, the Steed 5 Double Cab is offered with a range of two engines, catering for a wide variety of needs. The entry level model is powered by GWM's proven 2,2-litre petrol engine that develops 78 kW and 190 Nm of torque. This engine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels. The combined-cycle fuel consumption figure for this model is an economical 10,2 L/100 km.

And last, but not least, is GWM's very popular and in-house developed 2,0-litre VGT (variable geometry turbo) diesel power plant that punches out a strong 105 kW and 310 Nm of torque. This engine is exclusively mated with a six-speed manual transmission and the 2,0-litre VGT engine boasts exceptionally low fuel consumption of only 8,3 L/100 km.

Because South Africans use bakkies for business and active lifestyles as well as family vehicles afterwards, safety is a high priority. GWM has equipped the Steed 5 Single Cab (Safety Version) and the Double Cab 2,2-litre petrol and 2,0-litre VGT turbodiesel models with a comprehensive safety package that includes dual front airbags and ABS with EBD (except the 2.2 Double Cab).

Furthermore, all Steed 5 bakkies feature fog lamps to boost visibility during poor weather conditions and adjustable safety belts. Rear door child locks are also standard in the Double Cab.

The colour palette includes Sky Silver, Noble Grey and Titanium White.

If you want further convincing, book a test drive at GWM PE on 041 402 9000 or visit their showroom at 770 Govan Mbeki Avenue, in North End, Port Elizabeth.