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HomeDRIVENGWM P-Series 2.0TD DLX 4x4

GWM P-Series 2.0TD DLX 4×4

CELESTIAL WORKHORSE |

Manufactured by GWM, renowned for its Haval SUV range, which continues to grow in popularity among South African motorists, the P-Series is certain to gain similar recognition on local shores. In a competitive market, GWM has positioned the P-Series perfectly within the bakkie segment, excelling the brand to a new level through its commendable value proposition, to appeal to consumers loyal to the mainstream brand options in this segment.

Great Wall Motors Company Limited (GWM) is China’s largest producer of sport-utility vehicles and pick-up trucks. Renowned for its range of robust, reliable and “workaholic” bakkies, built for true versatility, GWM believes that the P-Series will hold great appeal for new customers in South Africa.

The P-Series range of commercial and passenger bakkies are a recommended budget alternative to the offerings from Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Isuzu, and others. Designed for enthusiasts seeking a premium lifestyle experience, the P-Series offers both luxury and quality packaged in this resilient workhorse.

EXTERIOR HIGHLIGHTS

Driven was afforded the opportunity to test drive the double cab 2.0TD DLX 4×4, which has a slightly less leisure feel to it than the range-topping LS and LX variants. While it may not be as visually exciting as these other variants, the interior is treated to the same high standards as its more expensive brothers. Body-colour fixtures, 17” aluminium alloys, and LED DRLs come standard. You can readily identify the P-series through the giant grille upfront, which is as imposing as the dimensions of the bakkie itself, offering a bold appeal. Badging is scant on the P-series, save for a lone GWM badge on the tailgate and the vehicle logo fore and aft.

CABIN AND PRACTICALITY

Superior to the Steed 5, the contemporary cabin design of the P-series is amplified by comfort and convenience, including a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, partial leather seats as standard, of which the driver’s side boasts six-way electric adjustability. Also included are electric windows, a sunroof, automatic climate control, automatic headlights and wipers, and an automatic anti-glare rearview mirror to complement the comfortable ride. The hard plastics on a few surfaces, which barely detract from the overall premium, are forgivable given the commercial nature of the bakkie.

As far as tech is concerned, a nine-inch infotainment system is standard, allowing the user to control the vehicle’s multimedia and electronic systems, together with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The tech savvy and intelligent networking system also includes a reverse camera, functional with two rear parking sensors that enable effortless reverse capability, particularly in tight spaces.

With regard to appearance, and given the hefty dimensions of the P-Series, the topic of practicality is somewhat of a moot point. Be that as it may, the cabin has ample space for five adult passengers, and the exceptional increased load bay capacity allows for greater ease when required to haul that tonne of whatever tickles your fancy.

Overall, the P-Series DLX derivative comes exceptionally well equipped for what is, essentially, a workhorse. One would be hard-pressed to name drop competitors within the price range that can compete with these levels of standard features and comfort.

GWM did not cut back on safety either. The P-Series comes standard with many passive safety features, including lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, lane centre assist, blind-spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, traction control, and rollover mitigation. And, to drive the point home,  the P-Series comes standard with dual front and curtain airbags, hill assist and descent control.

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

The P-Series range is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, which produces 120 kW and 400 Nm of power, and includes either a six-speed manual or eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Additional options include either 4×2 or 4×4 configurations. 

Once the turbos spool up, the engine has sufficient power to impress. However, it does take time to get accustomed to the turbo lag, which is most evident when accelerating from a standstill, although overtaking can also be challenging, depending on gear selection in the manual version. Having previously driven the LX derivative with the automatic gearbox, it is undoubtedly better suited to the relaxed and comfortable nature of the bakkie.

Apart from the turbo lag, however, the P-Series drives well, and the suspension feel is of the most comfortable in the segment. The level of comfort and sense of composure make it easy to pilot this formidable workhorse. With regard to fuel consumption, GWM claims 9.4-l/100 km.

LAST WORD

The P-Series is an impressive offering. The build quality is commendable, and the kit you get as standard is far superior in comparison to its mainstream rivals. While the GWM brand may not yet have the market share and brand loyalty that other brands have achieved, it most certainly has what it takes to become a household name in Mzansi. 

Report by BRYAN KAYAVHU | Images © HAVAL SOUTH AFRICA

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