One of GWMs most popular local offerings, the Steed bakkie, has received a restructuring within the South African range, bringing it more in-line with what is demanded in our competitive home market.
â€œThe realigned Steed line-up is the result of close cooperation between GWM South Africa and Great Wall Motors in China,â€ says Hannes Oosthuizen, Brand Manager of GWM SA. â€œSouth Africa loves bakkies, and GWM is already well-established in that regard, but with this new line-up, we will offer a model range that not only stretches wider than most, but one which is made up of variants that have been carefully specified and positioned to comply with South African consumer trends and requirements,â€ he explains. â€œFrom the fitment of a rear differential lock as standard on some models, to the development of a new, more affordable turbodiesel engine for the local market, the revised line-up shows that GWM South Africa listens to its customers.â€
The new Steed line-up consists of three individual models, the trusty Steed 5 which is already a favourite among South Africans, and which continues in single and double-cab forms, the Steed 5E, to be offered as a double-cab only and, the flagship Steed 6 leisure double-cab.
GWM is shrewdly targeting different segments of the market with their revised line-up.
The Steed 5 is to be offered in single and double-cab form, and priced from R154 900 to around R230 000. Steed 5 Single-Cabs primarily target customers looking for a working vehicle, while the double-cab derivative offers a measure of lifestyle appeal at a very attractive price.
The Steed 5E: Double-cab only, and priced from just under R230 000 to around R280 000. The 5E is based on the Steed 5, but significant changes to its interior and particularly in the area of NVH control (noise, vibration, harshness) make it a more refined option that will also appeal as a family do-all.
And the Steed 6: Leisure double-cab only. Priced from just below R300 000 to around R350 000. Targets customers for whom an upmarket Double-Cab is a leisure tool and status symbol, and who demand modern conveniences and the latest safety features.
Powering the revised range, the existing single-cab 2.2-litre petrol engine continues as a comfort-oriented workhorse (audio system, air-conditioning and power steering as standard), and the top-selling double-cab, also driven by the proven 2.2-litre petrol engine, remains as one of the most affordable vehicles of its type in the local market, priced at R179 900.
The new engine is a close relative of the more powerful VGT, but employs a simpler waste-gate turbo as well as a Bosch control system (as opposed to Delphi on the VGT). The WGT engine delivers 78 kW at 4 000 rpm and 225 Nm from 1 400 to 2 800 rpm. It is mated with a five-speed manual transmission and the claimed fuel consumption figure is 8,1 L/100 km (single-cab).
Moving upmarket, the Steed 5E is set to become a mainstay of the GWM line-up in South Africa. â€œThe Steed 5Eâ€™s refinements go beyond the very obvious cosmetic changes â€“ in fact, it drives like an all-new product!â€ says Oosthuizen.
A few changes are notciable inclduding new, quieter and more effective windscreen wipers. Side indicators have been incorporated into the rear-view mirror housings. Extra sound-insulation material have been used to isolate the cabin. Inside, the rear seat cushions have been revised to improve long-distance seating comfort.
Furthermore, the Steed 5E receives a significantly revised facia with a new instrumentation panel and modernised centre console layout with new audio and climate control interfaces. Piano-black trim is used throughout and leather inserts are used on the door panels (even on SX derivatives). Attention to detail is once again evident in the rubber matting provided in the floors of all the various storage spaces.
GWM is offering the Steed 5E (which is only offered as a Double-Cab) in two trim levels, SX and Xscape. The SX offers such features as climate control, radio/CD with USB support, dual front airbags, ABS/EBD and 16-inch alloy wheels as standard, with the Xscape adding leather upholstery, a touch-screen media system with Bluetooth, rear diff-lock, side steps, roll bar and tyre pressure monitoring.
The engine line-up consists of the proven 2,4-litre petrol unit that develops 93 kW and 200 Nm of torque, and the brandâ€™s further-refined 2,0-litre VGT turbodiesel (105 kW and 305 Nm). A four-wheel drive version of the 2,0-litre VGT Xscape will join the local line-up shortly.
The Steed 6 is effectively GWMâ€™s new flagship and is positioned as an upmarket leisure vehicle. â€œGiven its cabin comforts, its size and not to mention its very bold styling, the Steed 6 will force the public to take notice,â€ Oosthuizen explains. â€œYou simply canâ€™t miss it, or ignore it.â€
Featuring a big, bold chrome grille with contoured louvres, flanked by high-intensity projector-style headlamps. Lower-down, it boasts standard LED strips (a segment first) above the fog lamps, and an integrated SUV-style skid plate.
Much of the Steed 6â€™s presence is a direct consequence of its dimensions. At 5 345 mm, it is one of the lengthiest bakkies on the South African market, and its 3 200 mm wheelbase is also among the best in class, with obvious benefits to cabin space and particularly rear legroom.
Two trim levels are offered, with the SX derivatives boasting such items as climate control, radio/CD with Bluetooth, height-adjustable driverâ€™s seat, Eaton rear diff-lock, 16-inch alloy wheels, dual front airbags and ABS/EBD. Flagship Xscape variants offer a full-house package that includes leather upholstery, electric driver seat adjustment, six airbags, cruise control, auto lights/wipers and, for the first time in a GWM product sold in South Africa, Bosch ESP (electronic stability) and hill-start assist. The exterior package of Xscape models further benefits from the addition of factory fit side steps, roll bar and roof rails.
At launch, both Steed 6 derivatives are powered by the brandâ€™s proven 2,0-litre VGT engine that delivers 105 kW and 305 Nm of torque through a six-speed manual transmission. The line-up will be further expanded in 2015 with the addition of 4×4 derivatives.
GWM Steed 5 Single-Cab 2,0WGT R199 900
GWM Steed 5 Double-Cab 2,0WGT SX R229 900
Steed 5E 2,4 SX R229 900
Steed 5E 2,4 Xscape R244 900
Steed 5E 2,0VGT SX R259 900
Steed 5E 2,0VGT Xscape R274 900
Steed 6 2,0VGT SX R294 900
Steed 6 2,0VGT Xscape R319 900
Source: GWM Press Release