Great value SUV

At $23,990, Great Wall’s first passenger ve­hi­cle has plenty to of­fer, re­ports PETER BARN­WELL.

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

WHEN we clapped eyes on the Great Wall X240, it didn’t reg­is­ter be­cause the cheeky Chi­nese sport util­ity ve­hi­cle looks just like any Toy­ota or Mit­subishi you might see out on the street. In fact, the Great Wall X240 com­pact SUV looks BET­TER than many of its com­peti­tors.

Just goes to show you. The Chi­nese have been in the thick of the auto in­dus­try for years and haven’t been slow in pick­ing up tricks of the trade and plenty of the good bits and pieces.

The X240 is third cab off the Great Wall rank in this coun­try and ush­ers in the first China-built passenger ve­hi­cle af­ter the two Great Wall utes.

And as ex­pected, it’s sharply priced at $23,990 drive away – not bad for a ve­hi­cle this size with se­lectable 4WD and high and low range.

But that’s only the half of it. Also in­cluded are leather up­hol­stery, air con­di­tion­ing, a de­cent sound­ing au­dio sys­tem, 17in al­loys with Goodyear rub­ber, re­mote cen­tral lock­ing and an elec­tri­cally ad­justable driver’s seat.

We were a bit shocked to hear rev­ers­ing sen­sors chim­ing away this far down the food chain.

The leather is a bit on the rough side but sit­ing on skins is bet­ter than sit­ting on plas­tic any day.

X240 is built on a tried and true lad­der chas­sis with the body bolted on – just like they used to do and it of­fers rea­son­able off road ca­pa­bil­i­ties with ad­e­quate ground clear­ance and the gear­ing to get you out of tight sit­u­a­tions. A shift-on-the-fly 4WD se­lec­tor sys­tem adds to X240’s ap­peal.

Power comes from a 2.4-litre, petrol four cylin­der driv­ing through a five-speed man­ual gear­box – the only choice so far.

At 1830kg, X240 is a bit on the porky side which dents per­for­mance es­pe­cially when fully loaded. Fuel con­sump­tion is 10.4 litres/100km.

The gear change could do with shorter throws be­tween ra­tios but th­ese mat­ters are just fine tuning rather than any­thing se­ri­ous.

It has dual airbags and ABS with sta­bil­ity con­trol to fol­low soon.

The drive ex­pe­ri­ence is pretty good given X240’s in­tended pur­pose – as a fam­ily hack that can be taken a fair way off road without trou­ble. Some fine tuning of the sus­pen­sion, en­gine and gear change would make a world of dif­fer­ence but as it stands, the X240 of­fers plenty of ve­hi­cle for not a lot of money.

And its backed by a three year/100,000km war­ranty. That should make this Chi­nese take­away more palat­able.

4WD ap­peal: The X240 of­fers shift-on-the-fly 4WD.

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