With a branding overhaul and a a lot improved product, GWM is able to dive into Australia’s 4×4 dual-cab market and hopes to make waves with the merely titled Ute.
The 2021 GWM Ute enters the market as the primary product from a revised and rebranded Nice Wall. In an try to distance itself from branding efforts of the previous, GWM desires to be identified for worth, versus Nice Wall’s deal with cut-price.
The naming, maybe, might have been a bit higher thought out. GWM’s ute known as the Ute. Three spec ranges can be found: Cannon, Cannon L and Cannon X – so then, why not simply the GWM Cannon?
Including to the confusion is the GWM’s home market identify, Poer. That is why there’s a stylised ‘P’ emblem on the grille, wheels, facet steps, guard vents, and key – however the conventional Nice Wall insignia on the tailgate and steering wheel.
Complicated branding apart, the GWM Ute hits the market with a few of the sharpest pricing within the section. The entry-level Cannon begins at $33,990, the mid-spec Cannon L proven right here is $37,990, and the top-spec Cannon X is $40,990.
An computerized transmission is normal, costs are drive-away throughout the vary, however metallic paint attracts a $585 surcharge. Nonetheless, that positions the Ute as one of many lowest-priced 4×4 utes in Australia.
Whereas the LDV T60 computerized sits at $28,990 to $39,990 drive-away for ABN holders, relying on the variant, it’s a step as much as nearly the rest within the class. Related 4×4 auto spec in a Triton GLX begins from $39,740 drive-away, or if you would like the nation’s best-selling automobile, a Toyota HiLux, $48,790 plus on-road prices begins you out in an identical mechanical spec.
For a full checklist of options and specs, read our price and features guide.
These financial savings have to come back from someplace, and whereas GWM nonetheless has to earn a status, and wishes value as some extent of distinction, there’s additionally a value to pay underneath the bonnet. Due to a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine rated to 120kW at 3600rpm and 400Nm at 1600–2000rpm, the Ute sits behind many of the dual-cab class.
|2021 GWM Ute Cannon L|
|Engine||2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel|
|Energy and torque||120kW at 3600rpm, 400Nm at 1500–2600rpm|
|Transmission||Eight-speed torque converter computerized|
|Drive sort||Torque on demand 4×4 with low-range switch case|
|Gas declare, mixed (ADR)||9.4L/100km|
|Gas use on take a look at||10.2L/100km|
|ANCAP security score||Not examined|
|Guarantee||7 years/limitless kilometres|
|Primary opponents||LDV T60, Ssangyong Musso, Mitsubishi Triton|
|Worth as examined (drive-away)||$38,575|
It’s practically neck-and-neck in comparison with the 110kW/400Nm 2.4-litre HiLux, a step behind the 132kW/430Nm 2.3-litre Triton, and additional nonetheless behind the D-Max, BT-50, HiLux 2.8, and both 3.2-litre or 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo Ranger. Nearer to its pricepoint, the GWM has a win in opposition to the LDV that provides both 110kW and 360Nm from its 2.8-litre base engine, or 120kW/375Nm in 2.0-litre Trailrider guise.
The engine itself is a growth of the one used within the Ute’s predecessor, the Steed, then rated at a paltry 110kW and 310Nm. So whereas it might not be a front-runner, it’s definitely been improved.
Placing spec comparisons and pricing battles apart, although, what’s the GWM Ute truly like? The Steed was one thing of a low mark within the ute section, so bettering it shouldn’t be too tough.
Certainly, GWM has leapt forward by generations within the new ute. I anticipated enhancements, however not fairly to this stage.
From the cabin match and end to the fabric high quality and the general styling, the GWM Ute convincingly places its previous behind it and settles alongside its 4×4 ute classmates, even leaving some in its wake.
All that tinsel counts for little, although, if the Ute can’t match rivals, and it’s right here that issues get extra sophisticated.
The engine appears to be like outgunned on paper, however surprisingly the diesel engine feels far more keen than uncooked numbers counsel, and the eight-speed ZF computerized provides it a spry set-off from a standstill, modifications gears easily, and is nicely mapped in most situations.
When you’re too keen with the accelerator and flooring it, the engine tends to pause for a second or two earlier than revving up. Roll onto the pedal progressively, although, and acceleration is extra linear.
From underneath the bonnet it appears like a diesel engine, however a contemporary one, not a rough old-school rattler. Refinement is on par with a few of the higher fashions within the section.
The Ute additionally boasts four-wheel disc brakes, which stands out in opposition to many of the class that prefers rear drum brakes. Pedal really feel is even and progressive with an empty tray – not picket, not grabby.
Staying nearer to the section formulation, entrance suspension is by way of a double-wishbone set-up, whereas the rear makes use of a leaf-sprung stable rear axle.
And it’s most likely right here that GWM must make the largest enchancment. Roadholding is secure and predictable, however dips and bumps within the highway floor rattle the rear finish and reverberate by the cabin.
Even easy roads that usually wouldn’t trouble most utes are likely to really feel uneven and vibey from behind the wheel of the GWM Ute. Just a little Aus-spec tuning right here would make a world of distinction.
Then once more, you possibly can make the leap and, with the cash saved in comparison with a rival ute, spend on some suspension tweaks. Hopefully, the Australian arm has this as a must-fix for the long run.
For probably the most half, although, there aren’t any main flaws or failings. The dealing with is respectable and neither alarmingly unstable nor class-leading in any manner.
The steering is gentle, sluggish and never at all times constant in its weighting relying on situations. The turning circle is way from compact, too, at 13.1m.
The trip is definitely livable however positively wants finessing.
Inside fittings, then again, are nearer to the passenger automotive realm than most utes in the marketplace. In the identical manner the LDV T60 and Ssangyong Musso have ventured into SUV territory, the design and finishes of the Ute are rather less utilitarian and a bit extra plush.
The Ute vary packs in a wholesome checklist of normal options. All fashions include keyless entry and begin, body-coloured bumpers and wheel arch flares, facet steps, 18-inch alloy wheels, rear differential lock, air-conditioning with rear console vents, a 220-volt energy outlet, dusk-sensing LED headlights and full LED tail-lights.
That checklist is already forward of what most mid-to-high-spec rivals embrace, however the mid-grade Cannon L proven right here provides in further chrome trim on the mirrors, door handles and grille, a chrome steel sport bar within the tub, and fuel strut-assist tailgate with fold-away rear step.
On the within, the Cannon L provides heated entrance seats, single-zone climate-control air-conditioning, a powered driver’s seat, auto-dimming inside mirror and power-folding exterior mirrors.
The fold-out tailgate step is a section unique, and makes scrambling out and in of the bathtub a lot safer and simpler. It’s load-rated to 150kg, too, placing it on par with most industrial ladders.
The gas-assist tailgate can also be uncommon, and makes the tailgate even simpler to function than comparative torsion spring-assisted gates.
The inside trim is ‘Consolation-Tek’ fake leather-based, the steering wheel adjusts for tilt solely, and auto up-down is on the driving force’s window solely within the two base grades. The highest-spec Cannon X addresses all this stuff whereas including wi-fi telephone charging, a powered passenger seat, and a 7.0-inch instrument show (rather than the three.5-inch low-spec unit).
GWM additionally takes factors for its infotainment system. The 9.0-inch show is crisp however the contact sensitivity can often miss or misinterpret inputs. There’s AM/FM radio (however no DAB+) and Bluetooth inbuilt, however no built-in navigation or CD participant.
There’s wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility stacked in. The automobile menu entry, to change settings for security programs and warnings, is fast and straightforward to entry, in addition to being clear and concise to regulate.
To not level the finger, however Isuzu’s UI might study from GWM’s.
There are some legacy quirks in some menus. As an alternative of ‘off, low, med, excessive’ settings for the heated seats, they’re labelled “shut, 1 gear, 2 gear and three gear” for some purpose – and regardless of all language settings in English, the reverse digicam and a few visitors signal recognition alerts are both bilingual or Chinese language-only.
The Audi-style rocker gear selector would possibly take a interval of adjustment, however in any other case controls and buttons are laid out as you’d anticipate, although a few of the climate-control markers are on the small facet.
There’s an electrical park brake with auto-release and auto-hold capabilities, too – a primary for the section in Australia.
The cabin is large, so there aren’t any qualms with elbow house and key measures of head, shoulder and leg room all stack up nicely. I’m quick, so I match all over the place. I additionally examined with a 188cm passenger, who might sit within the rear behind their entrance seating place, and whereas knee room was slim, there was sufficient.
To essentially stress-test it, I additionally requested my 200cm-tall brother-in-law to strive the Ute on for measurement. Entrance seat house was positive, however as with nearly each different automobile he’s ever ridden in, the rear seat had him wedged in opposition to the headlining and entrance seatback.
The rear seat has just a few little quibbles. There’s no centre armrest (it is a Cannon X unique) and the seatbelt buckles drop right into a recess within the seat base, which means you’ll should fiddle about to fish them out each time.
The seat base flips as much as reveal a shallow storage nook, whereas the backrest additionally flips ahead. There are two ISOFIX mounts and two top-tether youngster seat mounts within the again seat.
Trim high quality appears as much as snuff. The sprint is roofed in onerous plastic, not the squishy sort, and the stitched sprint topper and two-tone leather-based proven in Chinese language-market promo photos didn’t make its method to Australia.
Padded sections on the sprint face, door playing cards and squishy armrests on the doorways and console lid make for snug and classy-looking lodging.
Who is aware of, although, if the Ute is a roaring success there’s a luxed-up premium mannequin and a extra off-road-focussed mannequin within the vein of a HiLux Rugged X obtainable abroad. The latter comes with entrance, rear and centre locking diffs and extra off-road assist tech, whereas the native vary comes with a rear locker solely.
Not every part within the inside is rosy. Lengthy focused by GWM/Haval in Australia, there are some market-specific quirks that Australian patrons might do with out. The digital speedo and journey laptop display screen time-out, defaulting again to the driving force assist show.
Adjusting it to the place you need it entails a two-button course of. It’s important to maintain ‘OK’ earlier than you possibly can unlock the centre show, then arrow by to the digital speedo. When you’re utilizing adaptive cruise management, you’re locked out of the journey data, too. That’s odd, to say the least.
There are fewer beeps and chimes than Haval merchandise of the previous, however there are nonetheless affirmation chimes for issues like drive-mode choice and cruise-control mode. The drive modes themselves are a bit odd, too.
In keeping with GWM Australia, Eco is the one method to drive in 4×2, nevertheless it softens throttle response as nicely. Regular and Sport modes are 4×4, utilizing a ‘torque on demand’ Borg Warner switch case to ship drive to the entrance wheels when wanted.
On the plus facet, this set-up means the GWM Ute may be pushed in 4×4 modes on sealed surfaces, and nonetheless has a low-range switch case for heavy going off-road (as heavy because the road-biased tyres will enable, a minimum of). There’s no high-range 4×4 lock mode, nonetheless.
Maybe the largest concern is the remote-start system. Whereas you can begin the automotive remotely to pre-cool or warmth the cabin, most programs of this nature require you to verify the bottom line is with the driving force by way of a re-press of the beginning button.
GWM’s system enables you to climb in and drive off… That appears a bit dangerous.
To place the Ute to the take a look at, we loaded it up in two phases to see the way it stood as much as a working load and a maxed-out payload.
The primary load noticed 420kg dropped into the bathtub, and whereas the rear suspension hunkered down a bit, it didn’t sag within the rear in any respect. Actually, on the highway the driving behaviour stayed just about the place it ought to.
The rear felt extra planted, however at no stage did the dealing with or trip disintegrate. Including a load to the rear didn’t clear up all of the GWM’s issues, although, and even with half a tonne between the bathtub and the driving force, the jiggle-back over largely easy roads nonetheless appeared.
Extra worryingly, the brakes felt quick on chew sooner than they actually ought to have for the payload. Conversely, the automated transmission held gears longer and demonstrated its nous with gradient downshifts on downhill runs, to convey engine braking into play, taking the load off the brakes.
Spherical two noticed 825kg dropped within the tub and 180kg within the cabin. With a 1005kg on board, that’s close to on the 1050kg payload most. It’s right here that issues ought to have actually come undone, and but they didn’t.
Sure, the rear dropped barely, however not alarmingly, and on the highway the GWM by no means as soon as collided with its bump stops, and by no means exhibited any alarming dealing with behaviours. The steering lightened up with load off the nostril, and brake distances stretched out a bit additional, as anticipated, however that was the worst of it.
Clearly by this stage the rear finish was as settled because it might get, however nonetheless had some motion to maintain the cabin secure over dips and bumps.
The engine was clearly working a lot more durable, however once more the transmission has the smarts to compensate. Whereas progress was slowed a bit, the two.0-litre engine dug deep and labored with momentum.
Up entrance, the added load resulted in a little bit of a chugging diesel soundtrack, however nonetheless nothing too grating.
I’ll admit, the Ute did a lot better than I assumed it could. Color me impressed.
And not using a towbar fitted to the launch automotive, we couldn’t put the 3000kg max towing declare to the take a look at, however for what it is value, the GWM Ute falls wanting most within the section with 3500kg capability.
|2021 GWM Ute Cannon L|
|Size / width / peak||5410mm / 1934mm / 1886mm|
|Floor clearance||232mm unladen / 194mm laden|
|Tow score / payload||3000kg braked, 750kg / 1050kg|
|Strategy / departure / rampover angles||27 / 25 / 21.1 levels|
|Wading depth||Not equipped|
|Tub dimensions, size / width||1520mm / 1520mm|
Official gasoline consumption is rated at 9.4L/100km. On take a look at, together with the load testing, a steadiness of metropolis and freeway work skewed barely in the direction of the latter, and a DPF burn cycle (there’s a handbook purge button for this too), the Ute returned 10.2L/100km.
To make sure house owners carry on smiling after their preliminary buy, GWM has backed the Ute with a formidable seven-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee – placing it proper close to the highest of the pack for manufacturing unit guarantee. Roadside help for as much as 5 years or 100,000km can also be provided.
A capped-price servicing program is within the works, however at this stage GWM Haval hasn’t finalised the pricing schedule.
In an effort to stamp out lingering doubts about security, the Ute additionally takes an enormous leap ahead.
Commonplace on all variants is an autonomous emergency braking system with pedestrian and bicycle owner detection, lane-departure warning and lane-keep help, lane-centring steering help, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and visitors signal recognition linked to the adaptive cruise management with visitors jam help.
The bottom mannequin has a reverse and kerb-view digicam, the Cannon L and Cannon X add a 360-degree digicam with interactive 3D flyover view operate. The Cannon X additionally provides door-open warning to let occupants know if a automobile or bicycle owner is approaching to forestall door strikes.
That’s a protracted checklist of inclusions, and may most likely embarrass a few of the costlier utes that also have gaps of their spec sheets. Higher nonetheless, the programs all appeared to work nicely on take a look at. No erratic behaviour, nor false alarms.
I’d just like the adaptive cruise management to be a bit extra alert when choosing up velocity from a sluggish begin, however so far as gripes go that’s fairly minor. The L examined right here additionally has the door-open warning operate (as a small spec distinction from an early construct automotive), and it proved genuinely useful when parked on a busy biking route.
ANCAP hasn’t but examined the GWM Ute. Its superior security tech ought to assist it rating nicely (there’s a centre airbag, similar to the five-star BT-50 and D-Max), however with out figuring out how the Haval H9-based construction will stand as much as an influence, we’re going to err on the facet of warning (and maintain the two-star Steed and four-star H9 in thoughts) and supply a 7.5 security rating till such time as ANCAP turns in its outcomes.
What to make of the GWM Ute, then?
I’ve to say, the specification – particularly given the sharp pricing – is an absolute spotlight. Manufacturers like LDV and Mitsubishi, with equally value-oriented positioning, actually must be frightened.
Efficiency isn’t wherever close to the highest of the category, and but operating round city the Ute by no means left me hanging for extra. It’s not quick, nevertheless it’s swift sufficient for day-to-day use.
There are some things, just like the trip and steering, that must be addressed. Nonetheless, they don’t current main points, simply minor disappointments, actually.
There are additionally issues to like, just like the cabin fit-out, inside house and normal tech. Only a contact extra electronics tuning to hush a few of the chimes and take out the overseas language origins, and GWM shouldn’t have any hassle convincing patrons to the model.
In an effort to instil some confidence, GWM drops loads of hints concerning the established part suppliers it makes use of, itemizing Bosch stability programs, a Borg Warner switch case, ZF transmission and Cooper tyres (265/60R18 Discoverer HTS freeway terrain) among the many big-ticket gadgets.
Whereas it might not fairly go toe-to-toe with the best-sellers within the 4×4 ute class, the GWM Ute treads precariously shut. This isn’t the dual-cab to place the HiLux and Ranger on discover simply but, however it’s positive to lure loads of patrons who don’t see the necessity to pay a premium simply because established manufacturers demand it.