Auto Review - GWM P Series
Jamaican roads are slowly becoming more populated with Chinese manufacturers, Great Wall Motor’s vehicles. Some months ago, I reviewed the Haval H6, which had great suspension and fuel economy. So naturally, I wanted to see what the pickup arm of the company had to offer.
Production of the P Series started in 2019, in Shanghai, and was originally branded as the Pao. It shares a platform similar to the Haval H9 SUV and is available in three different versions. The vehicle has a rugged exterior that is very visually proportionate as the company tries to learn from the mistakes of other Asian manufacturers, in the past, like SsangYong Musso.
At the front, there are LED headlights and a menacing front grille that projects power and confidence. The character lines are few, and the side panels do look bigger than the average pickup.
The quilted interior
Fortunately, I got one of the higher-spec models, which came with leather finishes and electric seats. The first thing that meets the eyes are the quilted patterns of the leather, on the door panels, and the base of the seats.
The dashboard is layered with chrome accents and a protruding nine-inch infotainment touchscreen, which comes with a host of features, including access to the climate control. The seats feel well padded and sturdy, and the only thing missing was a lumbar support.
Around back, are rear a/c vents and spacious leg and head room for passengers, and there is a large area to fit three persons without discomfort.
The P Series comes with a respectable 2.0-litre Turbo Diesel Engine that provides 120 KW of power and 400 NM of torque. This gives it enough power for almost any situation, however, the engine is a bit louder than I would have preferred. Nonetheless, it functions in a very fuel-efficient manner, giving an impressive 14.2 L/100 km for ‘out-of-town’ driving.
There are three driving options -Sports, Eco, and Standard - that can be selected from a circular knob located behind the gear lever. When in Sports mode, the vehicle is kept in a lower gear for responsiveness, and the steering stiffens to give the driver better control. I rarely used Eco mode as the vehicle was already fuel efficient as is, so for the most part, I drove in Standard mode.
The pickup is complemented by a host of useful technologies, which makes driving it easier than most pickups. The first is the surround-view camera, which allows the driver to get an overhead image of the pickup from every angle. With a vehicle this large, it is great when the driver can see if there is any object close to it, especially when navigating narrow roads. The cameras also work in sync with the sensors, which give an audible alert if objects are close to the vehicle. All this makes it very hard to hit an object as there are visual and audio cues to alert the driver.
Next are the Hill descent and Hold features, which can be activated both automatically and manually. These aren’t features that the average person would appreciate while driving around town. However, when on the hill and the vehicle is coming down a steep gradient, it is crucial not to ride the brakes, and as such, the vehicle uses Hill Descent control. This is where traction-control technology is used with the anti-lock brakes system to continually adjust braking pressure to help control slippage and maintain a constant pre-set speed.
The reverse is also true with the ‘Brake Hold’ button, which automatically activates when the P Series is going up an incline. In most scenarios like these, when a vehicle is behind the driver, he would have to engage his hand brake to ensure that the pickup does not roll back.
It’s going to be hard to put a dent in the existing pickup market and the P Series seems very aware of this, hence them selling it at a price range much lower than competing models. It can do a little of everything, as it offers both luxury and practicality with features persons will appreciate. At the end of the day, it’s these features, along with a six year 150,000 kilometre warranty that Automotives believe will make a difference.
Price of tested model: $8.1m
Mid-spec model: $7.3m
Engine: 2.0 litre Turbo Diesel Engine
Torque: 400 NM
Towing Capacity: 3,000 kg
Transmission: Four Wheel Drive, 8-speed automatic
Fuel tank: 80 L
Gas consumption: 14.2 L/100 km for ‘out-of-town’ driving
Competition: Toyota Hilux, Mazda BT50, Mitsubishi L200, Nissan Frontier