Great driving from Great Wall
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.