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HomeDRIVENROAD TESTEDGWM P SERIES 2.0TD DLX 4X4

GWM P SERIES 2.0TD DLX 4X4

TRUCKIN’ ON A BUDGET |

Hypothetically speaking, what if the Chinese ‘bakkie’ movement reached a point where it might, quality-wise, be on the same level as the mainstream bunch that hail from Japan, or the United States of A, and even Germany?

NO PLAYING IT SAFE

It may be a hypothetical question, but the range-topping GWM P Series DLX that I recently tested was, indeed, on the level of the more established players and even, in some areas, surpassed what the big boys bring to the table. 

And speaking of big, this is one sizable bakkie albeit a single cab. To my knowledge, it is load-rated to carry one tonne of whatever you can find. It’s my opinion, though, that they just ran out of test material and stopped at the one-tonne marker because the load area is so enormous that it’s closer to the 1.5-tonner marker if we’re to give a conservative estimate. So yes, it can not only carry more, I’m guessing, than the mainstream offerings; it also towers over them in terms of sheer size.

VALUE FOR MONEY

Here the GWM has a significant edge over, let’s say, its closest matched like-for-like Ford Ranger rival, which costs nearly R150,000 more. With it comes a high-res (during the day) reverse camera, a decent and relatively easy to operate media system with Bluetooth and all the other bells and whistles. It even has an electrically adjustable driver’s seat. Then there’s the overall fit and finish of the cabin, which is so masterfully done that it’s hard to believe that this is indeed a single cab workhorse. 

And that’s undoubtedly an element that I don’t quite grasp: a workhorse bakkie with all the luxuries of a highly-specced SUV – I don’t see too many potential buyers opting for this. But there are, fortunately, other specifications available. 

POWER MATTERS

As far as trucks go, power matters. A 2.0-litre turbodiesel lives under the bonnet of the P Series and produces a seemingly conservative 120 kW and 400 Nm of torque… well, when the turbo lag isn’t hampering you from taking a window of opportunity, that is. Compared to the 2.2 Ford Ranger that produces 118 kW and 385 Nm or the 110 kW and 400 Nm of the 2.4-litre Hilux, that quite quickly settles the power-is-everything debate.

Also impressive was the towing ability of the P Series with a fully wooden-stacked trailer behind it – this bakkie means business. 

LAST WORD

GWM has come a long, long way in a relatively short time. My first-ever test car was the GWM Steed 5 E and, while admittedly naïve at the time, I deemed it the best thing since sliced bread – how wrong I was when I finally got to experience what other manufacturers had on offer. Still, at that price…

It’s almost like GWM has come full circle – six years later, and this is a serious contender for the title of “best-buy-bakkie”. Even with its shortcomings – like the low-lying brake lines that look prime for causing hassles when going rock-crawling with the 4×4, the aforementioned turbo lag or even the wispy-sounding sound system – I’ll definitely consider this truck should I be in the market for a bakkie.  

Text: Deon van der Walt | Images: GWM

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