Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Great Wall Steed SE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Great Wall Steed SE

Article excerpt

Byline: Robin Roberts

FARMERS always have one eye on the weather and the other on value for money.

This split view means they are rarely surprised and usually end up with a bargain, or two.

It is the season of county shows and don't be surprised if this year you get to look over the Great Wall.

No, not The Great Wall of China, but the Chinese pick-up range of the same name which launched in Britain last year and is very slowly gaining ground.

There are fewer than 50 dealers across the country, but they are well-placed to serve the rural community and the odd builder or two still in business.

So, our down to earth farmer does not have to look far to see a Great Wall Pick-Up, and its comparatively-good specification will bring a cautious smile to any weathered face.

While most trucks for the same price as the Steed only come with two-wheel drive and a very basic trim, these Chinese double-cab models have two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive selection and range-change transmission, a reasonable specification including leather upholstery even for the entry level ones and a good warranty.

Essentially, there are now four models, the Steed S from less than PS14,000 plus VAT, with the more stylish Chrome or purposeful Tracker at PS15,000 or the Steed SE we tried with its hardtop and load-bed liner as well as body-trim for PS16,000.

The powertrain is nothing exceptional, but it felt very sturdy, with power coming quickly and easily, the clutch was slightly heavy and the gear change direct while the steering could have done with a tighter turning circle. The hand brake and foot brake operated well and securely held the Steed SE on slopes and slowed it without drama from speed.

The ride is firm over bad surfaces, but that's not going to trouble many users, and the comfort is better than most at moderate and high speed, while the motorway performance is better than some small cars and vans. …

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