Great Wall is back from the dead, but not quite as we know it. The Chinese company relaunched its brand here this week, with a new-generation budget ute called the Steed, this time imported by a big-money in-house distributor.
The Great Wall Steed is now a dual-cab only offering designed to tackle the Foton Tunland, but also lure buyers who either can’t or won’t buy a Mitsubishi Triton or Isuzu D-Max (or any other product from the established big players).
With light commercial ute sales booming — about one-in-six of all the new vehicles sold this year in Australia are pick-ups — Great Wall deemed it a good time to return, having recently taken the reins from Sydney-based private distributor Ateco.
The company, which is based in the same office as global sister brand Haval, has signed on 51 existing Great Wall dealers, and is intent on improving the sales and service operations to keep existing owners (45,000 previous models were sold here) and new buyers alike happy and working.
The rough-and-ready Great Wall Steed range kicks off at a a sharp $24,990 plus on-road costs (the RRP is higher, but the company won’t be charging it) for the 4×2 petrol, climbing to $26,990 for the 4×2 diesel and $29,990 for the 4×4 diesel.
The familiar “reworked” 2.4-litre petrol engine makes 100kW at 5250rpm and 205Nm at 2500rpm, while the diesel produces 110kW at 4000rpm and 310Nm between 1800 and 2800rpm. The oil-burner uses a claimed 9.0 litres per 100km. All use manual gearboxes, a six-speed in the diesel and five-speed in the petrol.
The payloads of all variants are slightly over one-tonne, ground clearance on all versions is 171mm , and the towing capacity is 2000kg — below the class-leaders. The new Great Wall Steed is a sizeable 305mm longer than the old model, and the tub is 155mm longer.
“The new Steed is the ute Australian farmers and tradies have been looking for,” claims Great Wall Motors Australia general manager Tony Carraturo. The company is confident of 5000 annual sales, which is ambitious but based on volumes under Ateco, achievable.
All Steed variants come standard with a chrome grille, daytime running lights, side steps, a stainless steel sports bar, 16-inch alloy rims and a protective tub-liner.
From an ownership perspective there’s a three-year/100,000km warranty and free roadside assistance available 24/7. The company acknowledges the servicing issues inherent under the old model and has pledged to win back alienated owners.
Great Wall Steed pricing:
Dual Cab Petrol 4×2 — $24,990 drive-away
Dual Cab Diesel 4×2 — $26,990 drive-away
Dual Cab Diesel 4×4 — $29,990 drive-away
The Great Wall Steed range will consist of one single specification, with:
Steed Dual Cab Petrol 4×2
Steed Dual Cab Diesel 4×2
Steed Dual Cab Diesel 4×4