While this Chinese brand's SUV division, Haval, continues to make impressive inroads in terms of respective local market share, GWM's South African footprint can be traced to its Steed pick-up range. Basic in terms of fit and finish, the Steed nevertheless impresses with its workmanlike character and competitive pricing.
GWM's second bakkie range, the P-Series, represents the brand's ambitions towards a share of the ever-popular lifestyle-focused bakkie segment. Altogether more comfortable and sophisticated than its stablemate Steed, the P-Series range brims with modern conveniences and up-to-date safety systems.
Introduced in South Africa in 2020, the P-Series range consists of 16 models, including single-cab derivates and a choice of either 4x2 or 4x4 drivetrain. As a leisure-focused double-cab, the P-Series is offered in either LS or range-topping LT trim.
One of the largest of all the vehicles in this segment in terms of overall dimensions, the P-Series is powered by a 2.0-litre turbodiesel motor mated with a Germany-sourced eight-speed automatic gearbox. Comfortably able to manoeuvre the GWM's substantial frame, a corresponding claimed fuel consumption of 9.4L/100 km is a bit ambitious. In real world terms, this figure will be closer to 11L/100 km.
All-wheel drive models feature an intelligent drivetrain setup that includes the ability to drive in 2H, 4H or, indeed, 4L for more serious off-road endeavours. All derivatives include hill-decent control and a rear differential lock.
Mirrored by its Haval-branded SUV offerings, the GWM brand continues to woo South Africans to its more than 70 showrooms countrywide with highly competitive pricing and impressive levels of standard specification. This includes features and technology that some more established double-cab manufacturers have yet to consider or introduce.
Including leather-covered upholstery and the liberal use of soft-touch surfaces throughout the cabin, highlights of the P-Series' broadly comfortable interior include a comprehensive suite of modern infotainment technologies, a broad selection of storage options throughout the cabin and the peace of mind of various parking assistance programmes.
While 18-inch alloy wheels are fitted on LS and LT models, there's further appeal in both the easy-lift tailgate system and the fact that the large load bin features a rubber lining as standard. An enticing optional extra is a retractable footstep hidden within the tailgate until needed. The Chinese brands like to add chrome highlights to top-of-the-range derivatives. In this application, the LT spec P-Series gains a chrome roll bar, sidesteps and more prominent grille compared with the LS model.
GWM's modern bouquet of safety systems includes lane change assistance, collision detection, auto-emergency braking and traffic signage recognition.
GWM P-Series 2WD LS R486 900
GMW P-Series 4WD LS R553 000
GWM P-Series 2WD LT R535 500
GMW P-Series 4WD LS R602 400
All GWM vehicles are sold with a 5-year/100 000 km warranty. This includes a body and corrosion clause, as well as roadside assistance. A standard 5-year/100 000 km service plan can be extended via the dealership experience.
As part of a major drive by this Chinese company to both grow market share in South Africa, as well as establish a foothold into the rest of the African continent, GWM claims easy access to a broad selection of spare parts and serviceable items.
Resale values will inevitably improve as the brand continues to sell in impressive numbers.
In 2021, the P-Series achieved a full five-star crash test rating as per the independent Australasian NCAP protocol. All models include seven airbags, as well as an autonomous emergency braking system with pedestrian detection.
With no in-house insurance options available yet, both the GWM brand and its Haval SUV division are now well established in our market and, as such, well known to various insurance houses.