You are here:


GWM’s gallant Steed

26.11.2014

FOR South African motorists, bakkies are part of a staple diet. They form the backbone for many businesses and are becoming a popular lifestyle option for families.

It’s no wonder then that GWM has aggressively stomped its mark on this crucial market with its high-value offering in the Steed range. Comprehensively refreshing the Steed - in the last seven years - has led to the launch of the new Steed 6.

Design

Built to be an upmarket leisure vehicle, this double-cab has come a long way since its inception.  The styling has evolved to embrace a European-type design, as the bulkiness hints purposefully. The chrome grille and standard LED strips above the fog lamps and skid plate all add to the aggressiveness of the 5 345mm-long body.

Moving inside the Steed, the upmarket appointments are immediately evident thanks to the leather-wrapped, four-spoke multi-function steering wheel and piano-black trim on the facia. The high level of standard spec and quality finish reveals just how far the brand has come. The cabin is well laid out and practical in its design.

Two trim levels are offered, with the SX derivatives boasting such items as climate control, radio/CD with Bluetooth, height-adjustable driver’s seat, Eaton rear diff-lock, 16-inch alloy wheels, dual front airbags and ABS/EBD.

Flagship Xscape variants offer a full-house package that includes leather upholstery, electric driver seat adjustment, six airbags, cruise control, auto lights/wipers and - for the first time in a GWM product sold in South Africa - Bosch ESP (electronic stability) and hill-start assist.

The exterior package of Xscape models further benefit from the addition of factory-fit side steps, roll bar and roof rails.

Power up

In the engine department, the new Steed will be available with the tried and tested 2.0-litre VGT powertrain, capable of producing 105kW and 305Nm of torque through a six-speed manual, with a 4x4 derivative expected to arrive next year.

Drive

While there is no denying GWM has come of age, with a good touch and feel as well as looking good, the overall drive quality isn’t there yet. The bakkie floated along the road like a canoe on a windy lake, and a fair amount of wind noise also entered the cabin.

The new Steed 6 has a lot to offer as it takes the fight to strong competitors and with good pricing and for the first time on a GWM bakkie, safety has been a primary focus, giving customers added peace-of-mind.

More Steeds to the stable

Joining the new Steed 6 is the Steed 5 WGT, which finds its place in the rest of the line-up, but boasts a new entry-level turbo diesel engine designed exclusively for our climate.

Furthermore, the Steed 5E is now available, which is based on the Steed 5, but receives significant cosmetic changes to refine its appeal. Having driven this bakkie, I can report that the updates are immediately noticeable as it feels planted and delivers a drastically improved ride.

Pricing:

Steed 6 2.0VGT SX  R294 900
Steed 6 2.0VGT Xscape R319 900
Steed 5 Single-Cab 2.0WGT  R199 900
Steed 5 Double-Cab 2.0WGT SX R229 900
Steed 5E 2.4 SX R229 900
Steed 5E 2.4Xscape  R244 900
Steed 5E 2.0VGT SX R259 900
Steed 5E 2.0VGT Xscape  R274 900

                

                                

Article written by Stuart Moir
26.11.2014
Comments
You have an opportunity to be the first by writing a comment about this article. Ask a question or share your opinion!
 
Notify me via email when someone comments or replies
- Enter security code