ROAD TEST – GREAT WALL STEED
SOMETIMES a motor manufacturer hits the nail on the head when naming one of its products.
Chinese brand Great Wall is a case in point with its budget 4×4 the Steed – because driving this big brute of a vehicle is rather like riding a horse.
Not a thoroughbred mind, more like a bucking bronco as the suspension shakes your bones and your head bashes the roof every time you encounter a speed bump.
Agricultural, you bet. The Steed has little in common with those smooth, luxury-tinged double cab rivals that have proved staples of the fast expanding pick-up scene.
But hang on a second, the Steed has a suit of clothes that wouldn’t look out of place at Royal Ascot or Glorious Goodwood.
And what about that price – £16,998 for a model in upmarket kit. We’re talking value for money with a capital V.
The beauty of the Steed is its up front, no nonsense appeal. Okay the steering feels wallowy and loose, the gearshift is clunky and the engine is noisy, but it gets the job done.
There’s not a lot of acceleration from the 2.0-litre, 139bhp diesel engine. It takes a tedious 17 seconds to reach 62mph, while the top speed is only 87mph and the fuel return an unspectacular 32.8 miles per gallon.
That said, people won’t be investing in a Steed for blasting along motorways or scorching through suburbs.
It’s a proper workhorse, which I for one, really came to appreciate and enjoy – almost an old fashioned driving experience, but one that feels dependable and can cope with a knee-deep quagmire.
Interior space is adequate for five and the load area with its split tailgate can accommodate the kitchen sink and more.
Go for the leather-clad top spec model and the amount of included kit is vast, while you also get silver wing mirrors and rather fetching alloy side steps.
As for Great Wall, it is one of China’s most successful car manufacturers and has built the best-selling pick-up in its home country every year since 1998, selling nearly one million vehicles worldwide.
In the UK, there’s a three-model line-up with prices from £14,998 for the Steed S model – the lowest tab for any double-cab 4×4 pick-up – increasing to £16,998 for the flagship SE.
In terms of metal for the money it’s pretty compelling, especially as every Steed also comes with a six-year / 125,000-mile warranty and the lowest insurance rating of any pick-up.
- MAKE Great Wall.
- MODEL Steed 2.0 TDI 4×4 SE.
- ENGINE 1,996cc 4-cyl diesel.
- POWER 139bhp at 4,000rpm.
- PERFORMANCE 0-62 in 17 secs, top speed 87mph.
- ECONOMY 29.1mpg Urban, 35.8 Extra Urban, 32.8 Combined.
- CO2 EMISSIONS 222g/km.
- BiK RATING 35%
- INSURANCE Group 8 (1-50)
- PRICE £16,998 on the road.