CHANGER

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

GREAT Wall is about to tick over 20,000 sales in this coun­try, many of which were the X200/240 SUV. It sells on price but now there’s more to rec­om­mend the medium-size Chi­nese SUV, es­pe­cially the avail­abil­ity of a 2.0-litre tur­bod­iesel en­gine hooked up to a five-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

The first X240 ran a 2.4-litre petrol en­gine with a man­ual gear­box and was just OK.

The diesel auto now pushes the X200 into un­charted ter­ri­tory for the brand.

It is now knock­ing on the door of its com­pe­ti­tion, of­fer­ing tur­bod­iesel econ­omy and strong mid-range throt­tle re­sponse plus the con­ve­nience and smooth drive feel of a good (Korean-made) au­to­matic.

PRICE AND EQUIP­MENT

Of course, it has ex­tremely gen­er­ous equip­ment as stan­dard and also has on-de­mand all-wheel drive com­plete with 4WD lock up if you get caught in a slip­pery sit­u­a­tion.

Still bar­gain priced, of­ten up to $10,000 less than com­pa­ra­ble ve­hi­cles sim­i­larly spec­i­fied, the new pow­er­train gives X200 much more ap­peal and is priced from a tempt­ing $28,990* drive away.

That’s for a five-seater, tur­bod­iesel auto SUV with on-de­mand all-wheel drive, a four-star ar crash rat­ing, leather, al­loys, cli­mate con­trol ontrol air­con­di­tion­ing, Blue­tooth phone, disc brakes front and rear, power win­dows and door oor locks, locks rain sens­ing wipers and auto head­lights plus other good­ies.

Price up some­thing like a Nis­san X-trail to sim­i­lar spec­i­fi­ca­tions and you’ll need a good sit down.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

ON THE ROAD

The en­gine is a 2.0-litre turbo four with a max­i­mum out­put of 105kw and 310Nm of torque, the lat­ter from 1800rpm. It con­sumes fuel at a claimed com­bined rate of 9.2-litres/100km.

The five-speed auto of­fers a se­quen­tial change mode and drive goes mostly through the front wheels with the rear axle en­gaged as needed.

The X200 is built on the same lad­der chas­sis as Great Wall’s X240/200 ute, but you wouldn’t know driv­ing down the road.

The SUV has a much more com­pli­ant ride, lower noise lev­els and bet­ter feel than the ute.

The steer­ing isn’t quite where it should be and floor­ing the ac­cel­er­a­tor off the line causes some lag – it’s best to squeeze it from a stand­still.

The en­gine isn’t as re­fined as some but won’t an­noy once you are up and run­ning.

While the in­te­rior isn’t as slick as the com­pe­ti­tion, it’s func­tional and the dash con­trols are easy to use.

There’s a good-size (ex­pand­able) load space and a full-size spare un­der the floor.

We like the look of the new X200 bet­ter than the first-gen­er­a­tion model and it’s nearly com­pa­ra­ble with some­thing with a Ja­panese-build plate.

Like the V200 diesel ute we drove a cou­ple of weeks ago, this new Great Wall is a big step up the lad­der in many re­spects when com­pared with ear­lier ve­hi­cles.

THE VER­DICT

The lat­est X200 is bet­ter to drive, bet­ter to look at, bet­ter rid­ing and bet­ter built.

Like the ute, it’s not far away from full con­fronta­tion with its Ja­panese (and Euro­pean) com­pe­ti­tion. Hope­fully Great Wall can keep the price su­per com­pet­i­tive. * Con­tact Mo­toco Great Wall, Westcourt, for full drive-away prices, phone 4051 9211.

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