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Wall Of Steel - But Will It Be Great?

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Cars in China Topics:  Great Wall Steed

Wall Of Steel - But Will It Be Great?

Geoff Maxted
November 1, 2013

Great Wall Steed Great Wall Steed
This is the Great Wall Steed, seen here in its middle of the range ‘Chrome’ Version. We’ve had it for a couple of days now and these are our first impressions. Basically, it all depends upon what you want from a vehicle.

First, it is absolutely vital to mention the price, because that has to affect how this double-cab pick-up is perceived. This version is just £14,998 exc. VAT and you can’t find a similar vehicle for less new. It also comes with a class leading six year/125,000 mile warranty which at least suggests that Great Wall have confidence in their product.

The Steed appears solidly made and there are no obvious deficiencies in build quality. The body is galvanised and the underside rust proofed. Inside, the leather, heated seats are firm and really quite supportive but there’s nothing new in there, in fact, it is all a bit dated with hard plastics and so on but, you have to keep coming back to what this vehicle is designed for and, again, the price. The CD/Radio (with Bluetooth) looks like something you might have bought after-market in Halford’s twenty years ago but it works. In fact, we christened it with a little AC/DC - Back in Black, what else? - and the sound quality is very good.

There is tons of room in the back and will be an instant hit with ankle-biters who will love the high-riding style. We expected the ride to be bouncy but in fact it’s actually a bit harsh, although on good rolling surfaces progress is reasonably sedate. It’s a truck - what can you expect?

The 2.0-litre turbo engine has adequate pulling power, but is fairly grumbly in that old-school diesel style and sounds a tad harsh at higher speeds. Against the form, we liked the slightly notchy long-throw gearchange which is slow and basic but at least means the driver is unlikely to miss a cog. The steering is quite vague and imprecise and the brakes - discs forward, drums back - take a strong push to make them work effectively. You get used to it.

A brief foray off -road and unladen showed that this truck is perfectly capable when the going gets sticky. Two and four wheel drive are standard plus there’s the bonus of a low range.

So, to recap this brief look, the Steed is no match for the established pick-ups from the usual brands but, once again, it undercuts them by thousands. The warranty demonstrates faith from Great Wall but, of course, we have no idea how the Steed will stand up to the rigours, say, of a country life. Reliability is an unknown factor too. Oh, and in China it is known as the Wingle. Good job somebody noticed.

A full review appears later next week.

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