THE Great Wall of China is one of the most famous structures in the world and while Great Wall Motors with their Steed pick-up became the first Chinese car brand in the UK in 2012 are less well known in Britain they are slowly but surely making good sales progress over here writes Bryan Longworth.
And for 2015 the latest generation Steed offers even better value and higher specification in the budget basement of the UK 4x4 double cab pick-up market with their three model line-up starting at £14,998 less VAT which is the lowest price for such a vehicle and they also have a six year/125,000 mile warranty to make them even more tempting.
In China where Great Wall is one of the most successful car manufacturers and exporters the company has manufactured the best selling pick-up in China every year since 1998.
My test Steed was the top of the range SE costing £16,998 plus VAT which shares the same purposeful styling as the other two models and has a hard top canopy on the rear load area plus leather seats which are heated up front, roof rails, chrome rear lamp surrounds, side bar and chrome trim to the daytime running lights.
Considering its price the Steed is quite a good looker with its Audi style front grille and the rear canopy is well styled providing it with quite a smart appearance for a pick-up plus that large load area and towing capacity.
Power is from a 2.0-litre diesel which will tow 2.5 tonnes with a braked trailer and has a top speed of 87mph, an acceleration time of zero to 62mph in 17 seconds, a combined fuel consumption of 32.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 222g/km.
The roomy and comfortable leather clad interior will accommodate five people and four or two wheel drive plus low ratio gears can be easily operated on the move by push buttons on the fascia via the manually operated Borg Warner six speed gearbox.
On the road the diesel engine is reasonably quiet and smooth and the vehicle which has a payload of 1,050 kg offers adequate handling although I would have preferred the steering to have been lighter and more precise.
The canopy covered rear load area which adds to the overall styling of the Steed is easily accessed through a split rear door has a heated rear window that is very useful at this time of year but no wiper which results in visibility being impaired in wet weather.
Rear parking sensors are standard and are extremely useful because when reversing especially in tight parking situations the Steed is a long vehicle and with rear visibility through the canopy window being a bit restricted the driver has to be very careful.
Considering that the Steed is excellent value for money it very well equipped and apart from earlier comments my only grumble is that the speedometer is difficult to see in certain light conditions without the lights being switched on and the driver has to concentrate on the 30 and 70mph readings especially as they are not all that easy to see.
The Steed is an excellent value for money quite stylish pick-up being the lowest priced 4x4 double cab in the UK and it should have big appeal to those owners using it for business or for personal transport because of its price and enticing warranty.
Model: Great Wall Steed SE 4x4 pick-up.
Engine: 2.0-litre diesel.
Output: 139PS @ 4000rpm.
Transmission: Six speed manual with low ratio.
Top speed: 87mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 17 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 32.8mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 222g/km.
Price: £16,998 plus VAT.