NEW CAR DEBUTS:
China Has The Last Laugh With The UK Bound Great Wall Steed
By JAMES BROUGHTON
18th APRIL 2012

Great Wall Motor Company this month will become the first Chinese automobile brand to commence volume vehicle sales in the UK, with the launch of the 2012 Steed pick-up.

Prices start at £13,998 (CVOTR) for the Steed S model, and the vehicle’s newly-developed 2.0-litre, 16-valve turbocharged diesel powerplant delivers (30.1 mpg urban; 37.7mpg extra urban; 34.0 mpg combined).  To further keep down ownership costs, the Steed boasts the lowest insurance ratings (from 7A) of any vehicle in the pick-up segment.

Under the galvanised steel skin lies a ladder-frame chassis, strengthened and braced by reinforced middle cross-members, an impact-absorbing rear beam and a reinforced cargo bed. Carrying capacity compares very well with established pick-up rivals, the spacious cargo bay measuring 1,380 mm x 1,460 mm x 480 mm (length, width, depth).  The 1,050 kg maximum payload is also very competitive – and towing capability is an impressive 2,000 kg with a ‘braked’ trailer and 750 kg unbraked. 

When the terrain gets more challenging, the driver can engage the Steed’s low-range gearbox, as well as the ‘on demand’ four-wheel-drive system – the latter at speeds of up to 12 mph.  The entry-level Steed S (£13,998 CVOTR) comes with a host of features typically offered as high-cost options in competitor vehicles, including 16-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, remote central locking, a Thatcham-approved Category 1 alarm, electric front and rear windows, an Alpine CD/radio with USB/MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, air-conditioning, heated fronted seats and a full leather interior.

The range-topping Steed SE costs just £2,000 more (£15,998 CVOTR), and adds body-coloured hard-top canopy, body-coloured spoiler, chrome trim to the daytime running lights, chrome side bars, black roof rails, load bay liner, and rear parking sensors.

All Steeds come with a comprehensive three-year / 60,000-mile mechanical warranty, a six-year anti-perforation warranty, three-year paint warranty, and three years’ roadside recovery and assistance. The Steed will make its UK show debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show, being held at the Birmingham NEC (24 to 26 April)