Excellent value 4x4 double cab with surprisingly good manners on and off the road.
Great Wall may not be a well known brand in the UK, but it’s a hugely successful manufacturer in its home country of China. International Motors is in charge of importing Great Wall product into the UK — it’s also responsible for Isuzu and Subaru — and the first model to reach these shores is the Steed pick-up.
Available solely as a double cab with electronically selectable, dual-range four-wheel drive, Steed is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel which benefits from a variable geometry turbocharger. Capable of producing maximum power of 143hp (at 4,000rpm) it develops 305Nm of peak torque between 1,800rpm and 2,800rpm. A six-speed manual gearbox comes as standard; currently there is no auto option.
Suspension is independent double wishbone/torsion bars at the front with a solid rear axle controlled by leaf springs and dampers. Brakes are ventilated discs at the front, drums to the rear and ABS is factory-fitted.
Accessed via a tailgate that drops to 90° — it can’t go any farther because of the large bumper — the load area is 1,380mm long, a maximum of 1,460mm wide and has sidewalls 480mm high. Gross vehicle weight is 2,885kg, maximum payload is 1,095kg and Steed can tow a braked trailer up to 2,000kg.
Where the Steed really scores highly is the specification. Even the base ‘S’ comes with remote central locking, twin front airbags, daytime running lights, air conditioning, heated leather seats, alloy wheels, twin airbags, electric windows front and back and an Alpine radio/CD player with remote steering wheel controls, USB input and Bluetooth connectivity. Move up to the SE and the additional equipment includes a body-coloured hard top canopy (subtract 45kg from the payload), loadbed liner, chrome sidebars and rear parking sensors.
Steed feels well put together, there’s no problem with the driving position and the gearchange has a surprisingly short-throw, smooth action. Refinement levels are acceptable, as is the on-road ride quality. Rear seat passengers are not short-changed with regard to legroom, either.
Four-wheel drive is engaged using dash-mounted push buttons and high-range 4x4 can be engaged at speeds up to 12mph; should be higher. Steed performs well off-road, despite the lack of a lockable rear diff, and from our experience so far seems to have more than enough axle articulation for all but the toughest situations.
Service intervals are a bit too frequent at 10,000 miles, but Steed is covered by a three-year/60,000 mile mechanical warranty and a similar length roadside recovery and assistance package.