Great Steed Indeed: Pickup from China Surprises

13 Replies

When I first talked about the Great Wall, the owner of another brand of pickup truck was slating the Great Wall as an unknown quantity and “what good is a warranty when the pickup spends most of its time in the Dealers rather than working”, surmising that they are terrible and have a huge warranty to justify how poor they are.

With a 125k miles, 6 year warranty the Great Wall Steed certainly got the backs up of many other commercial vehicle manufacturers out there. Such a warranty is one which is hard to stand over for many brands, however Great Wall have so much faith in their product they can stand up with pride and offer such a comprehensive warranty with ease knowing that vehicles won’t see much of the workshop other than routine servicing.

Great Wall Steed Review

The hardware of the Steed is a mish-mash of Japan, China and Europe as the Engine block (only one engine available)  is a 2.0L turbo diesel Chinese engine equipped that was developed alongside Bosch with a BorgWarner turbocharger whilst a lot of the ancillaries come from the parts bins within top European brands.

This engine, although being small compared to most of the Steed’s competitors puts it ahead slightly as it allows for more humble annual tax and a greater return in fuel economy and due to the lighter weight of the Steed means that it is more than ample and pulls adequately enough.

Great Wall Steed Review

The drive train and I would assume six speed gear box, is from what I can gather that of the Isuzu so in that respect a good proven choice to run with that offers 2wd, 4wd low and 4wd high via push button switches on the dash, switching between modes can be done only at low speeds.

Speaking of Isuzu, the general silhouette of the Great Wall Steed may well look distinctly familiar to many as being that of the Isuzu Rodeo, and in fact, it more or less is with a much more attractive front end design and rear end changes with front fog lights standard on all models.

All of the three models available S, Tracker & SE come with full leather interior with heated front seats, air conditioning, tyre pressure monitoring, eclectic windows and mirrors, Bluetooth media system with usb connectivity and alloy wheels to list just a few of the highlights that many competitors don’t offer on all models.

Great Wall Steed Review

We tested the SE model which see’s the addition of a rear canopy, chrome side steps, rear load liner, rear parking sensors and roof rails and to be quite honest from the outside looks fantastic and is more than practical with the double cab being the only option for the Steed of any model. All of these SE extra’s come in at a very affordable and sensible £2k more than the base model.

Inside there was plenty of room and it could be described as utilitarian for want of a word, with no soft touch plastics around the cockpit nor does it have any huge luxury features inside, but let’s face it, this is a commercial that can tow 2.5 ton legally and pricing starts at just shy of £15k so as an affordable package it fits the bill and could be lived with easily.

Great Wall Steed Review

Driving the Great Wall was relatively effortless, however some more support on the seats would be ideal and there is a lot of steering compared to others in the commercial sector, which I also found a little too light perhaps.

Body roll on the Great Wall Steed was less than expected and the general comfort was more than acceptable. With a lower ground clearance than many competitors, getting in and out was a touch easier than a lot of the higher up commercials.

This lower ground clearance meant that when we visited Walter Corr at his Ireland Offroad Experience within Clandeboye Estate, Bangor we couldn’t tackle the hardcore offroad areas due to very deep tracks created by heavy machinery, however it coped well with rutted mud lanes, sodden grass slopes and undulating forest tracks with absolute ease.

With a rust proofed chassis and galvanised panels, I believe that the Great Wall Steed is Attractive, Affordable and Capable as do dozens of open minded owners in Northern Ireland who have given this “new brand” a chance and with its unrivalled warranty and proven reliability on Irish Roads it is definitely a pickup worth considering for the game keeper, builder or landscape gardener.

Great Steed Indeed: Pickup from China Surprises

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About Author

Graham is a professional photographer and motoring writer with over 15 varied years of coverage from manufacturer press launches to international motorsport and rally events throughout the world. Graham is a full member of the Guild of Motoring Writers. See more at grahamcurry.com

RMS Forum Comments

Nicky 12:31 | Sun 27 Dec, 2015 | Report
Drove 1 of these briefly, and compared to the L200 Trojan, base model Hilux and latest model Navara I have driven recently, I would opt for it before the other 3 competitors as far as the 'ride' goes. I liked the steering, and imagine it would be handy for the rough terrain. It's only down side with being as light as it is, albeit a great factor towards fuel economy, is the restricted towing capacity. The latest Isuzu offering can legally tow 3.5 tons, whereas the Steed's 2.5 ton is close to the Hilux's rather disappointing 2.8 ton limit, yet boasts a price tag in excess of £11,000 less, which should leave the Hilux's sitting on the forecourt for anyone needing a pickup with the maximum tow capacity. The warranty is another great aspect of this new brands great sales pitch, as it's twice that of the aforementioned overpriced Hilux, and a further year more than the £25k Isuzu can offer. I'd definitely like to put a Steed through its paces off the highway, and indeed with a loaded trailer, just to see if it really is the best all round option for anyone in the market for a new crew cab commercial. Don't be afraid to ring me the next time you're offered one for the weekend :p
Gavlar 12:37 | Sun 27 Dec, 2015 | Report
Was there not talk when these first cane out that after a year they had a ridiculous amount of rust etc?
Nicky 12:44 | Sun 27 Dec, 2015 | Report
| Was there not talk when these first cane out that after a year they had a ridiculous amount of rust etc?
Possibly surface rust, but if I was to take pics of the 2011-2014 commercials I work on, you'd be disgusted if you owned 1. That includes the Hilux, Navara, L200, Shogun, Transits, Sprinters etc. The Amarok is 1 of the few that doesn't show signs of scabs, as with the Crafters and Caddys compared to other manufacturers in their categories, showing that VW are 1 of the only brands that seem to take rust protection seriously. The first time Great Wall have to warrant a vehicle due to rust issues will be when they step up their game to take over the market further, though with galvanised panels and coated chassis', they're going the right way already from what I can see.
zafturbo 13:08 | Sun 27 Dec, 2015 | Report
Neighbour has two 2013 Merc vito I think there called and the rust on them is laughable.not for him I'm sure but when you by a Mercedes in 2015 it should not be like that in 24 months or less.they have been like that from around 12 months old .
weeloaney 13:13 | Sun 27 Dec, 2015 | Report
You say rust but I imagine most of the people that buy these kinds of vehicles are for farm use and from what I've seen they don't get wash too often and when they do its just a blow over with a power hose or an mot wash once a year with wheel barrow loads of muck hanging off them. All that helps the damp soak into the paint and rust to set in.
Coog 13:21 | Sun 27 Dec, 2015 | Report
The biggest draw back for them is the availability of spares. Thump a warrior into a gate post and you'll have plenty of choice of spare parts to sort it. Do it to a great wall and it'll more than likely be open wallet surgery at the dealer. By design nearly all pick ups and those based on pickups are poor at towing. Restrictive turning circle, light on the back end and usually have limited capacities, presumably because they can take a large load in the bed (ooh err lol). There's plenty enough of them in Australia so they must be alright.
big_pete 13:22 | Sun 27 Dec, 2015 | Report
Reminds me of my Dads Ssyangyong thing. He has had two of the horrid things now and I can't for the life of me see why. Slow, uncomfortable, noisey, unrefined, ignorant driving thing.
weeloaney 14:05 | Sun 27 Dec, 2015 | Report
| The biggest draw back for them is the availability of spares. Thump a warrior into a gate post and you'll have plenty of choice of spare parts to sort it. Do it to a great wall and it'll more than likely be open wallet surgery at the dealer.
Bound to be some Chinese non genuine panels made for them already :P
Graham 18:38 | Sun 27 Dec, 2015 | Report
The rust thing i haven't heard of from the dealers and with galvanised panels isn't something that can easily happen unless the panels have been mistreated. As for parts, they would be handy enough got, the Great Wall's are huge in OZ and South Africa from what I know meaning blueprinted parts will be easily imported
Coog 19:03 | Sun 27 Dec, 2015 | Report
LJ70's are also huge in both OZ and SA and I struggle to get some bits for mine at sensible money.


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