This fully-loaded and tough looking workhorse ute is close to $20,000 cheaper than some of its better known rivals.
A new wave of fully-loaded dual-cab utes from China are challenging their much more expensive Japanese rivals. We find out if Great Wall Motors’ latest arrival is worth a look.
Competitive prices are central to the appeal of Great Wall Motors and its Cannon ute. Priced from an eye-catching $38,990 drive-away in all-wheel-drive diesel trim, the China-built Cannon undercuts equivalent Toyota HiLux models by about $14,000. We tested the GWM in range-topping Cannon X trim priced from $45,490 drive-away – which is $4500 more than it cost when launched in late 2020.
Loaded with toys such as wireless phone charging, a 9-inch touchscreen with smartphone mirroring and much more, the Cannon X justifies its ask beyond lesser models.
It also has a 360-degree camera, 18-inch alloys, climate control and LED headlights – the sort of gear that requires customers in name-brand dealerships to part with the best part of $60,000.
GWM backs the car with a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. Capped price servicing is affordable at $1700 for five years.
The Cannon X delivers little luxuries such as leather-trimmed seats with power adjustment for the driver and front passenger. Those heats are heated to take the chill out of cool mornings, and the driver also benefits from a steering wheel that adjusts for height and reach – something missing from some other dual-cab utes. That said, the seats aren’t the most comfortable ones we’ve tried, and the Great Wall doesn’t match the on-road refinement of more expensive machines.
The GWM is loaded with gear such as auto emergency braking, active cruise control, lane keep assistance and rear cross-traffic alert. It has seven airbags – including front-centre protection positioned between the driver and passenger – and scored well in ANCAP crash testing, returning a five-star result.
Here’s where the GWM isn’t quite as impressive. Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine with 120kW and 400Nm, about 30kw and 100Nm less than class leaders. The engine isn’t as smooth or effortless as the best in class, and its 3000-kilogram towing capacity is half a tonne shy of the best utes. An eight-speed automatic fitted as standard to all Cannon models does a decent job keeping the engine on the boil. Suspension ready to accept a 1050kg payload feels bouncy when unladen and the steering doesn’t feel particularly precise.
A well priced ute that would benefit from more engineering polish. For folks looking for a loaded ute that doesn’t break the bank, it could be just the ticket.
Toyota HiLux SR5 auto, about $63,500 drive-away
The best-selling ute is expensive but a sure thing – particularly when it comes time to sell.
Mitsubishi Triton GLX-R, from $49,990 drive-away
Splits the difference between budget Chinese brands and class leaders, making plenty of sense.
LDV T60 Max Luxe auto, about $42,600 drive-away
Strong pricing and impressive 160kW/500Nm power are offset by a lack of safety gear.
GWM UTE CANNON X VITALS
PRICE From $45,490 drive-away
ENGINE 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel, 120kW and 400Nm
WARRANTY/SERVICE 7-year/unlimited km, $1700 for 5 years
SAFETY Seven airbags, auto emergency braking, active cruise control, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert