Editor – Jason “The Bok” – Date: 29 May 2021

I think it’s fair to say that in South Africa, in general, we tend to be very brand loyal. We tend to go with products and brands upon which the general market has placed value over time. It is a steadfast mindset that may have you questioning yourself, especially if you have the opportunity to drive some of the more recent comers to the market, such as the new GWM P-Series Doublecab.

Built by Great Wall Motors (GWM) one of China’s largest automakers, and running on the new P71 platform, GWM says the Chongqing-built bakkie measures 5 410 mm long, 1 934 mm wide and 1 886 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3 230 mm. It is also immediately distinguishable owing to its large size scale, and bold styling features.

A Brand With Confidence

When GWM unveiled its P-Series back in 2019, the Chinese automaker made it clear that it wanted its newcomer to rank in the “Top 3” pick-ups worldwide alongside Ford and Toyota’s established players.

Bold the P-Series certainly is, and big on size as well. load-bin, meanwhile, measures 1 520 mm by 1 520 mm by 538 mm. The interior is also incredibly spacious and well equipped too. the P-Series is packed with safety technology that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find in a bakkie at this price point, such as blind-spot warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, lane-centre keeping, rear cross-traffic alert and traffic-sign recognition. A total of 7 airbags are also fitted, as is an autonomous emergency braking function with pedestrian detection within top-spec P-Series models.

Couple this with one of the most intuitive and high-definition touch screen displays which we have ever seen in a bakkie here in Mzantsi and you have a pickup interior fit for a luxury SUV.

The Drive

The engine is a 2.0-litre 4-pot that produces 120 kW and 400 Nm, while there are certainly more powerful bakkies on the market when you hit 2000 rpm, power delivery comes on in a wave and pulling power is impressive too.

You have the option of the 6-speed manual transmission as I experienced or an 8-speed ZF automated transmission which I believe is better suited to a large luxury lifestyle, something which this vehicle certainly aims at.

With both on-road comfort and an array of offroad modes, its fair to say that the GWM P-Series is set to take on the job of utility during the week and family leisure during the weekend. It is also fair to say that if you are looking for top-spec features, size and a bold image but don’t have the near one big ones required for a top-spec doublecab from the more established brands in SA, its well worth taking a test drive in the new P-Series, it might well just win your heart!

Pricing for the GWM P-Series starts from R339 900, but the top-specification P-Series LT 4×4 automatic is priced from R544 900 (as of May 2021). A 5-year/100 000 km warranty and a 5-year/100 000 km service plan are standard.

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