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The Great Wall Steed - Noble Carriage Or Chinese Junk?

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The DriveWrite Archives Cars in China Topics:  Great Wall Steed

The Great Wall Steed - Noble Carriage Or Chinese Junk?

Geoff Maxted
November 6, 2013

Great Wall Steed Great Wall Steed
Well, that’s our week with the Great Wall Steed Chrome. Today’s the day that we wave it goodbye and to be frank we still can’t decide one way or the other. As we said in our early thoughts here, it only costs £15,000 (Ex. VAT). You can’t buy a similar vehicle cheaper unless you buy second-hand and therein lies the dilemma.

From our very limited experience of this type of vehicle we have to say that the double-cab pick-up options from, say, Nissan, Toyota or Ford are better vehicles. They have a track record for a start. They are a known quantity but they are also considerably more expensive. Here in the West we have no real experience with the Chinese car manufacturing industry so longevity and reliability are likely to be a worry.

That said, the Steed seems very solid and well bolted together. There’s a uniformity to the panel gaps and nothing rattles - except the engine - and nothing has gone wrong. It looks like every other butch pick-up but what can we expect? It’s certainly not an ugly vehicle or overtly commercial in appearance.

We haven’t bothered measuring fuel economy but the 143bhp 2L turbo does seem to sip diesel if driven in a sedate manner, judging by how little we had to put in it. Emissions are a not unreasonable 220g/km, less than some of the competition although servicing is set at a disappointing 10K miles.

On poor surfaces the ride is fairly harsh although not as bouncy as we thought. The engine pulls well from low revs but does recall diesel motors from a few years back. Progress through the chunky six-speed ‘box is acceptable and, overall, the on-road manners aren’t too bad. Off road, in a very limited trial, it seemed more at home.

Although the interior has its fair share of hard plastic the Steed does come with heated seats and on-the-fly switching from two to four-wheel drive. There’s also a low range option for those stickier moments.

ABS and EBD are standard but there’s no ESP even as an option. After a week it is necessary to confirm that the brakes aren’t really good enough. It’s not particularly unusual to see a mix of discs and drums but you need a thigh of steel to really get some spontaneous braking force.

So; back to the dilemma. If you are a rural dwelling family that needs to do horse things and school runs and a bit of mud-plugging you could do worse. This is not a vehicle though for long holiday jaunts and the like - that’s more Dacia Duster territory in this price range.

A used double cab from one of the other manufacturers would be a good bet for £15k but, on the other hand, Great Wall have the confidence to offer a six year/125,000mile warranty which means peace of mind. That’s why we can’t offer definitive advice either way. We have enjoyed driving and had fun with the Great

Wall Steed because it differs from our usual rides but the trouble is with Chinese vehicles - you go for a drive and a couple of hours later you fancy another.

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