TEST DRIVE | Great Wall Steed Pickup
I do like a pick up truck, there’s just something so manly about them, never having had a ‘proper’ job that would require me to own one, test driving them is a rare treat for me.
Today is double exciting for me as it’s also the first time I’ve driven a Chinese manufactured vehicle. Great Wall are the first mass market manufacturer to sell directly in the UK.
All the motoring experts say that over the next 10 years Chinese cars will take a huge market share in the UK, I’m sure you’ve all seen the Top Gear episode when they travel to China to see the progress the Chinese have made over the last 10 or so years.
So anyway, let’s get on with testing the pick up.
It’s a pick up, it looks like pretty much every pick up out there, the only issue you will find here is people asking you what make it is because they don’t recognise the badges.
It’s certainly not an ugly thing but it’s not stunning either, you certainly won’t stand out in a crowd but maybe that’s what they were aiming for.
It’s all in here, part leather trim, heated seats, bluetooth, air con etc, but it all feels a bit cheap. the plastics certainly aren’t up to European standards.
The switch gear is solid and functional although the buttons all look about 10 years old. The bluetooth is built in to an aftermarket radio so isn’t as good as proper factory bluetooth and the call quality I’m told by people I tried to call is rubbish.
So if you take calls when driving for your business you will want to spend on having a proper phone kit installed.
It all feels quite solid in here, just cheap. But the truck is cheap, you’re only looking at buying one because it’s cheap. So I’m sure anyone who buys one won’t mind the quality that much. Plus it’ll all be covered in mud after a weeks anyway!
The engine is actually not bad, a 2.0 litre turbo diesel, but the turbo is a clever little variable one so you get nice torque, 310Nm of it in fact. Great wall claim it will do 34mpg, I got close to these numbers with a mixture of driving, of course I had no weight in the back.
The steering is light with no feel, which in a pick up doesn’t matter one little bit. The brakes seem to work nicely, although again I had no weight on the back so they weren’t properly tested I guess.
The clutch is light and you won’t struggle to find the gear you need, it all feels like a pick up should, no nasty surprises here.
It’s also not that loud on the move either, there a fair big of wind noise around the cabin at motorway speeds and a fair bit of tyre noise but nothing that was really a problem.
Cornering defiantly isn’t it’s forte, lots of understeer and leaning going on, yes, yes I know that’s not the point of the vehincle but one day a corner will sneak up on you that you wasn’t expecting and you’ll have to throw it round, when that day does come make sure you have spare underwear in the glovebox as you’ll need it.
Should I Buy A Great Wall Steed?
So should you buy a Great Wall Steed instead of one of the main rivals like the Nissan Navara or the Mitsubishi range?
A lot of me says yes, it’s cheaper which matters when you’re in business, you also get a 6 year warranty. So if your only motivation when buying your new pick up is cost, then yes try a Steed. But you’ll have to run it until it dies because the second hand market is full of bargain Navara’s and Mitsubishi’s so you’ll be selling it on very, very cheaply