Great driv­ing from Great Wall

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOTORING -

GREEN Or­anges Sdn Bhd, care­taker for Great Wall Mo­tors (GWM) in Malaysia, an­nounced last year that it would bring in the M4 small crossover.

We spot­ted the M4 at its show­room in Glen­marie and took it for a short test drive around the Shah Alam area.

The M4 is right in the Pero­dua Kem­bara/Nau­tica and Suzuki SX4 cat­e­gory in terms of size. This five-door crossover comes in var­i­ous con­fig­u­ra­tions but the ho­molo­ga­tion unit we drove was a left-hand drive and is a 2WD, cou­pled with a 1.5L VVT en­gine and a five-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion.

The styling is re­fresh­ing and has a good mix­ture of Euro­pean and Asian el­e­ments.

The front end def­i­nitely reminds of a Volk­swa­gen but the rear is to­tally Ja­panese. More im­por­tantly, the fit and fin­ish of the car are good, bet­ter than some na­tional cars.

The shut lines be­tween the body pan­els are even while the plas­tic com­po­nents used for the fender mould­ing feels durable and are put to­gether very well.

Judg­ing from the four re­verse sen­sors on the rear bumper, it is fea­si­ble that within three years, this par­tic­u­lar Chi­nese brand will be able to reach Ja­panese CKD qual­ity lev­els.

The boot is ac­cept­able for a ve­hi­cle of this size and can be opened us­ing the but­ton on the door lid. Press the rub­ber but­ton and an elec­tric mo­tor pops it open.

The in­te­rior uses plas­tic that reminds us of Pero­dua. Some of the but­tons are still iffy to its touch (those ro­tary knobs for the air-con­di­tion­ing) and the gear knob looks like it was taken off a 1960s car.

Air-con­di­tion­ing vents feel sur­pris­ingly durable and easy to op­er­ate. The slats are far from flimsy, and it shows just how much de­tail GWM has put Seats are too soft for long dis­tance driv­ing.

The GWM M4 shows great im­prove­ment in qual­ity com­pared with China-made cars five years ago.

Dash­board uses hard plas­tics and the au­dio head unit is touch screen.

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