GWM Steed 5E DC

Priced from R219,900

Action Bar Slide Out Toggle

DESIGN Leather-grain Door Trim Panel
ACCESSORIES Rear and front bumper
PERFORMANCE 4 Wheel Mudguard

GWM Steed 5E Double Cab

Designed to be tough

For the all-new reimagined GWM Steed 5E Double Cab, beauty comes with brawn to deliver you the full package of sophistication and toughness. Integrated fog lamps are featured in the front bumper while twin chrome-finished strokes accentuate the rugged air dam. True beauty resides in the detail; integrated indicators can be found in the adjustable side mirrors and 16’’ alloy wheels keep this beast of a beauty firmly on the road. Feel the undeniable power that this 2.4 litre, 4-cylinder engine has to offer: 93kW of power and 200Nm torque distributed throughout by a slick 5-speed manual transmission.

Comfort and entertainment

Sink into chic comfort with the whole world at your fingertips. The all-new reimagined GWM Steed 5E Double Cab brags with a spacious and sleek interior while keeping you entertained. Not too warm, not too cold; with the climate control setting the temperature you will always feel just right as you cruise. Listen to tunes on your radio which also features a USB and Aux port and a remote control setting. Electric windows and mirrors, a heated rear window and rake-adjustable steering wheel provide maximum convenience during your drive.

Adventure at your command

Why wonder when you can have the time of your life? The all-new GWM Steed 5E Double Cab; the world awaits.

By Lawrence Minnie

It would seem that GWM has placed the Steed to compete in the budget workhorse category but I don’t think it wants to stay there, it may just be one step ahead of the game here.

Taking on the big guns

The GWM is something of an oddball, it’s a largely capable bloke who seems to have picked a fight with the local gang of bodybuilders.

GWM has placed the Steed to compete in the budget workhorse category but I don’t think it wants to stay there, it wants to go and rough it up with the big boys. Despite its rough and tumble appearance, there’s something about the Steed which just won’t let it be relegated to the workhorse class.

We put the GWM Steed 5E through its paces to see if it could indeed take on the big guns.

Styling

The Steeds styling is not offensive, in fact, it is very familiar. It does bear a striking resemblance to a previous generation Nissan Hard Body. The 5E carries a very low silhouette and hugs the ground making it lower than what it actually is.

This is most likely due to a lower than normal ground clearance of only 194mm, many of the competitors mostly exceed 220mm. I am also not completely sold on the rear bumper solution as it comes across as a bit of an afterthought.

The Xscape derivative does have a few style fitments such as the wheels and roll over bar fitted which lends it an air of rough and tumble durability.

The Drive

The drive is much what you'd expect from a rough and tumble workhorse double cab. Its comfortable on long drives and has a decent low down torque to deal with a potential load.

Without a payload, the back end does tend to bounce quite a bit on uneven road surfaces but as tested, any load approaching its 670kg capacity settles it down.

Performance

The 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine produces a healthy 105kW and 305Nm at its 400orpm peak. When the engine is outside of this boost range it can feel very laggy. The turbo does spool quickly so it is only momentary but can be distracting when pulling away on an incline.

The Steed also has a rated towing capacity of 750kg which the engine handles with ease.

Space and Comfort

Overall dimensions of 5090mm length x 1800 width x 1730 height ensure that the interior of the Steed is incredibly roomy.

There is plenty of legroom and headroom for passengers and not surprisingly, the shoulder room is more than ample. The interior surfaces are all leather and there is automatic air conditioning.

Safety

Much like a Nissan Hardbody, the Steed only has rudimentary features. Driver and front passenger airbags are fitted and you get a tyre pressure monitoring facility that projects itself in the rearview mirror.

Fuel Consumption

This is where the Steed won us over. Manufacturer claims of 8.3l/100km were not only met but surpassed.

We handed the GWM back with the onboard computer reading 7.6l/100km this would have netted us a projected 920km on a single 70-litre tank of diesel.

Price

The GWM Steed 5E Xscape comes it at R 279 900 for the top end full house model that we tested.

You also get the 5-year warranty and an optional 5 year / 60 000km service plan.

Rating

2.5 out of 5

Verdict

It’s hard to put one’s finger on it but the Steed just stands out from the rest in class. This is earmarked to go up against Foton, JMC and Jiang Ling but it seems to me that it’s just one step ahead of the game here. In a head’s up fight with the likes of Hilux and Ranger, it may lose every time but at the same time it will get back up and go for another round.

The mere fact that you could probably buy two Steeds for the price of one of the big boys says a lot. I like cheering for the underdog and hope that more buyers will look at a GWM in future.