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2011 Great Wall Steed

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Great Wall is a less known Chinese automotive company, which recently has started to sell vehicles in Europe too. The Steed was the first Chinese vehicle launched on the UK market and it’s basically a four door double cab pick-up priced pretty competitively at $22.000.

Offered only in two wheel drive configuration, Great Wall Steed is equipped with a 2.0 liter engine which comes with a variable geometry turbocharger. The engine churns out 143 hp and it is married to a six speed manual gearbox.

The truck has a gross vehicle weight of 2,885kg with a maximum payload of 1,095kg. When properly equipped, the Great Wall Steed can tow up to 2,000kg.

Service intervals are set at 10,000 miles, and the vehicle is covered by a three-year/60,000 mile mechanical warranty.

Design

Great Wall Steed

Surprisingly, for a Chinese car, the Great Wall Steed features a pretty attractive and unique design language.

As most trucks of its type, the Steed has a purposeful stance, enhanced by its raised headlights and the oversized bumper.

The grille features a “U” shaped design and bears the company’s logo in its center.

We’re impressed by the dynamic lines of the bumper which gel seamlessly with the rest of the body and we also like the three piece air intake.

The front and rear wheel arches are slightly oversized, giving the truck an aggressive appearance, which is also enhanced by the high ground clearance and the massive wheels.

Moving on to the back, we’ll find a pretty modern set of taillights and a useful foot step integrated into the rear bumper.

The cargo area can be accessed via a tailgate that drops to 90°. The bed measures 1,380mm long, 1,460mm wide and its walls are 480mm high.

Interior

Great Wall Steed

Climb on board and you’ll be impressed by how much space there is inside. We’ll also have to admit that the dashboard looks pretty good and we like the ergonomic center stack which features an intuitive layout with easy to reach buttons and switches.

As it’s the case with most utility vehicles, the Steed’s plastics are hard, but durable, being ready to endure the abuse of harsh jobs without whining. The build quality however, is where the truck is showing its Chinese origins, as a closer inspection will reveal many poor fittings and unpolished areas.

The driver is met by an attractive looking instrument panel which is easy to read during both night and day trips. Though, the speedometer markings appear cluttered making it hard to read the vehicle’s speed at a glance.

The four spoke steering wheel is also pretty ergonomically designed and offers a confident grab. For increased comfort, it’s also available with rake adjustments.

The leather wrapped seats are very comfortable, offering a decent driving position for both long and short trips. The rear bench offers space for another three passengers and all of them are treated with reasonable head and legroom as well.

The cabin is also fitted with a fair amount of storage places and includes standard equipments like remote central locking, twin front airbags, daytime running lights, air conditioning, heated leather seats, alloy wheels, twin airbags, electric windows front and back and an Alpine radio/CD player with remote steering wheel controls, USB input and Bluetooth connectivity.

The superior trim levels add a body-coloured hard top canopy, load bed liner, chrome sidebars and rear parking sensors.

Engines and performance

Great Wall Steed

Power comes from a 2.0 liter turbo diesel engine which delivers a maximum output of 141 hp. On paper the engine stacks up well, but commercial vehicles aren’t driven on paper. On road, the truck doesn’t feel as nimble as its 141 hp suggest, so don’t expect to any thrills.

Though, the turbo diesel deals reasonably with heavy loads and thanks to its strong low end torque it won’t disappoint you in the towing department either.

The engine is mated on a six speed manual gearbox which is a bit notchy. Great Wall claims that its truck scores an average fuel consumption of 34 mpg with CO2 emissions of 220 g/kg.

Great Wall Steed Engines specifications

Enginehp@rpmNm@rpm
2.0 liter141 @ 4000200 @ 2500

Ride and handling

Great Wall Steed

At moderate speeds the Great Wall Steed’s ride feels pretty jiggly, but it will smooth out on highway. Adding some load to the tray will also noticeably improve the suppleness of the suspension over small bumps and potholes.

The truck body roll isn’t as small as other vehicles in its class, but it’s not something to worry about either.

Steering feel is generally reasonable and you can rely on it with confidence, though it’s a bit weighty.

The high range 4x4 can be engaged from as low as 12 mph by means of the dash-mounted push buttons. On off-road driving, the Steed is a decent performer despite the fact that it’s not fitted with a lockable rear diff.

Verdict

Great Wall Steed

The Great Wall Steed seems a pretty good truck, well suited for arduous working conditions. The exterior design is modern and the cabin is more comfortable than expected, being fitted with a lot of common sense features. The materials and built quality aren’t part of the first class, but this is the usual treatment found in this segment, so we won’t complain too much about it.

The engine is acceptable, as is the on-road ride quality. Moreover, the Steed gets along well with off road driving too. In the end it’s worth the money, but its frequent service intervals and the Chinese origins could mean that you will need to deal with some reliability issues.




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