Two years after commencing volume vehicle sales in Britain with its Steed pick-up, Great Wall Motors is launching the latest generation of the 4×4 double-cab onto the UK market, promising improved quality, a higher specification and even better value.
As one of China’s most successful car manufacturers and exporters, the company boasts impressive credentials in the production of pick-ups. Great Wall has manufactured the best-selling pick-up in China every year since 1998 while globally the brand has sold nearly one million vehicles.
Prices for the new Great Wall Steed start at just £14,998 (CVOTR) for the Steed S model – the lowest price for any double-cab 4×4 pick-up in the UK – increasing to £16,998 for the top-of-the-range SE. Despite carrying a premium of only £1,000 over the old model, the 2015 Steed is packed with even more practical, standard features.
On sale from 1 October, the new Steed will be available through a carefully selected network of fifty dealers, many appointed in 2012 at the launch of the franchise in the UK. The dealers are mainly small, privately owned enterprises.
The vehicle retains its chunky looks, amplified by muscular wheel-arches and high ground clearance, but now with a slightly sleeker profile with the side indicators incorporated into the door mirrors instead of the front wing. The Steed is available in Titanium White and three metallic colours (optional at extra cost) – Pearl Black, Sky Silver and Noble Grey. The Tracker special edition will be available in Titanium White and Noble Grey.
Inside the new Steed is where some of the more significant improvements are to be found. Higher quality materials, such as that used on the seat facings and a sharper, more contemporary design of instrument cluster, creates a more comfortable and ergonomic feel to the cabin. New technologies have been added to improve convenience and enhance the ownership experience, including a multi-function rear view mirror with automatic dimming and an outside temperature display. A tyre pressure monitoring system is also incorporated which will display the working pressure for each tyre.
Carrying capacity compares very well with established pick-up rivals as the cargo bed measures 1,380 mm x 1,460 mm x 480 mm (length, width, depth). The Steed has a maximum payload of 1,050 kg and is now certified in the UK to tow 2.5 tonnes with a ‘braked’ trailer. The increase in towing from 2.0 tonnes followed independent tests at the Millbrook Proving Ground in 2013 where it was put through stringent tests by an independent team of engineers and consultants, subsequently resulting in the Steed being fully validated by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).
Under the galvanised steel skin lies a separate, rust-proofed ladder-frame chassis, strengthened and braced by reinforced centre cross-members, an impact-resistant rear beam and a reinforced cargo bed.
The Steed is fitted with an ‘on-demand’ part-time, four-wheel-drive system that delivers numerous customer benefits. When slippery conditions are encountered on-road – or an all-terrain capability is required off-road – the driver can select all-wheel-drive simply by pressing a button on the dashboard, up to speeds of 12mph.
The advanced transmission system, manufactured for Great Wall by BorgWarner, is the dual-range type seen in other serious off-road vehicles. To further aid its usability, the Steed has selectable low-range ratio gears for when serious off-roading is encountered.
For 2015, the Steed is also equipped with rear disc brakes replacing the old drum units to increase stopping power and stability.