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by Tim Beissmann

Great Wall Australia will introduce its first automatic model in April when the self-shifting variant of the X200 medium SUV goes on sale.

The Great Wall X200 4×4 five-speed automatic will be priced from $28,990 driveaway, making it $3000 more expensive than the six-speed manual model that first hit showrooms late last year. The X200 auto adds cruise control as standard, a feature not available in the X200 manual.

The X200 is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine with 105kW of power (at 4000rpm) and 310Nm of torque (1800-2800rpm). The automatic has an official fuel consumption rating of 9.2 litres per 100km, making it significantly less efficient than the manual (7.6L/100km).

Unlike the petrol-powered X240, the X200 is equipped with the potentially life-saving electronic stability control (ESC), meaning it can be purchased in Victoria. Other safety features include dual front airbags, ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, reversing sensors and a rear-view camera.

There are no plans to offer an automatic option or include ESC in the X240 however. Daniel Cotterill from Great Wall’s Australian distributor Ateco Automotive said fitting ESC and the auto gearbox to the petrol powertrain would require more engineering work, and said this was not planned at this stage.

Cotterill said the cheaper but less advanced X240 could eventually be phased out and replaced by the X200, depending on the popularity of each model and their availability from China.

Last year, Great Wall sold 3047 X240s, down 6.8 per cent compared with the previous year, giving it a 3.7 per cent share of the medium SUV segment.

The X200 matches the X240’s equipment level, coming standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, front and rear fog lights, leather upholstery, climate control, and a six-speaker touchscreen audio system with CD/DVD player, AUX/USB inputs and Bluetooth connectivity.

Note: Manual model pictured.




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