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 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.