CarWow Great Wall Steed Review

CarWow Great Wall Steed Review

The Steed is a double-cab pickup, a design that has become popular in recent years thanks to its ability to carry five adults plus a tonne of whatever floats your boat in the back. Itll tow 2,500 kg too, which is probably enough, unless your hobby involves steam engines.

It is also very cheap, with prices starting at just 13,998 (plus VAT, of course, given that it is a commercial vehicle), so it should, in theory, be very popular with those who lead an outdoor life -or at least those who would like other people to think they lead an outdoor life... So, nothing ventured, nothing gained, I booked one for a week. My expectations were low but after the surprise that was the MG3 I was in a receptive, if cynical, frame of mind.

Exterior

Picture a double cab pickup in your mind and youve nailed the Steed. Its not exactly handsome but when was the last time you looked at any commercial vehicle with lecherous eyes?

Alloy wheels and a nice paintjob go a long way to lifting any bargain-basement motor and the Great Wall Steed benefits as much as anything that has gone before on this well trodden path. Look closer and youll see that its a clean design with tight, even shut-lines and the judicious use of chrome. It looks good and more expensive than it is; many people thought it was a Ford Ranger. No concerns about the way it looks then.

Driving

The Steed is a pickup, so it doesnt handle like a sportscar and understeer is the name of the game. However, Im not convinced that playing with the tyre pressures wouldnt help enormously as the General Grabber AT tyres (unique on the Tracker edition that I tested) can be quite sensitive in that way.

The ride is, of course, a bit bouncy unless youve got some weight in the back and traction sometimes becomes an issue on leaf-strewn country lanes, but flicking the four-wheel-drive switch sorts that out, something that can be done on the fly. When you need to cross the muddy stuff low-range, four-wheel-drive and those great tyres kept me moving in dire conditions. So capable was it that it was used for everything from a tip run to feeding the livestock through to acting as a support car for a spot of light forestry work. It lapped it all up, although I did, as a result, send it back to the press office in a disgusting state. Sorry

Value for Money

The Steed is enormous value for money. My special edition Tracker (14,998 including General Grabber tyres, a towbar, load liner, rubber mats, and mud flaps) is several thousand pounds cheaper than its competitors and the basic Steed S is a grand cheaper than that. Yes, the Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi L200 are more modern, but does that matter when youre buying one as a working tool rather than a fashion statement?

Verdict

The Steed is almost perfectly judged. Yes, it could be fitted with disc brakes and coil springs at the back instead of drums and leafs. Yes, the stereo could be better and the steering improved and yes, the quality of the interior trim isnt brilliant - but then it would be much more expensive and pitched against newer models from more familiar manufacturers. By keeping things simple Great Wall has engineered the Steed into a niche that makes it almost unbeatable.

The well heeled will still enjoy the superior thrills of the Toyota Hilux but for those on a budget (which is -lets face it -most small sole traders these days) the Steed is the best pickup youve never heard of.

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