"One of the Great Cars of China" The Great Wall has been in the Family for five years now, bought with 230km on the clock as a demo model. It is fantastic. Being one of the first models imported from China, it has the elegant flowing lines that personally I find the models prior to the facelift somewhat more endearing as it is definitely more of a head turner and always a good conversation starter.
As for performance, it's sensational. The Mitsubishi 2.4 litre engine revs freely, giving the sensation of driving a sports car as it allows swift and easy double clutch shifting on even the smallest inclines. The sporting nature of the V240 is only amplified by the "supercharger-like" whine that accompanies the engine's stunningly sonorous exhaust note; slightly concerning when the vehicle was new, it never seems to have eventuated to anything so I can only assume the Chinese engineers designed it this way to ensure maximum driver involvement.
Fuel consumption seems to be relatively reasonable, I filled it up today and it took about 52 litres, I think I had driven a little over 400km but Hobart has a few hills and I've been doing quite a lot of city driving. Back to the styling, I wasn't quite sold on it initially, but I believe that as time has gone on, it's only gotten better. Like I fine wine, The Wall is a wonderful addition to the aesthetics of Salamanca and Sandy Bay, with such elegant poise and confident stance this uncommon two wheel drive utility is often mistaken by those in the upper echelon of society to be a rather exotic four wheel drive beast.
The Great Wall has always done everything that has been asked of it, it has been completely unperturbed by the several trips to the tip it has done since first acquired, nor has it broken under the weight of a tray load of wood. Even when reversing out of the driveway, it almost always stays in gear.
The headlights work, it even has ABS; which I can assure you actually works because a little light comes on the dash when I turn the key....as long as the battery isn't flat. Which really doesn't happen that often, and I can't really fault the vehicle for it, as those exceptional engineers at GW have graced this vehicle with what seemingly must be the most air-tight cabin in the industry. I'm sure that's the reason why the doors need to be closed authoritatively.
Other features include windscreen wipers, that are only just starting to show signs of rust, and despite the driver's side wiper lifting a bit off the windscreen. I can confirm that with new blades on it still removed most of the water from view when it rained the other day.
The cupholders also hold takeaway coffee cups brilliantly.
The stereo is fitted with a CD player, and two whole bands, AM and FM. There seems to even be tweeters fitted, which I'm pretty sure work quite well as the mid range and treble response from the standard setup is surpassed by only the best "wireless'"
It has electric windows and mirrors too, and they still work. Seriously.It's been absolutely faultless in all it's 7048km involving numerous hills and roundabouts. I even went over a speed hump once and not one bit of trim fell off.
It was serviced just 500km ago, or about 15 months ago and it still starts first go. I haven't even checked the oil, but it seems to be working just fine. The servicing costs have been relatively low, despite the uncommonly high kms on the clock. The service adviser was so impressed by the longevity of the engine...he gave me a discount. He may have just wanted to get away from me as the cobwebs from the gear lever to the passenger seat leading up to the passenger window may have gave him a fright.
In all seriousness, the Great Wall has actually been exceptionally average, and that's brilliant. People may be outraged at the safety ratings of Chinese vehicles, but five years ago if you were to spend under $17k on a single cab ute, you wouldn't get: Airbags, ABS, Electric Windows and Mirrors, Alloys and a new car warranty.
It's noisy, slow, uncomfortable with incredibly questionable styling, but it makes me laugh when I have to drive it, for a while anyway. It's pretty useful too.