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Great Wall Steed pick-up (2012 - ) expert review

By Andy Goodwin

Verdict
“If you are brave enough to take the plunge, the first Chinese pick-up in the UK makes an interesting and affordable alternative to other models.”

Overall: 3 out of 5

Pros
Very affordable
Gets the job done
Turbo whistle

Cons
Vague steering
Suspension bouncy
No ISOFIX for child seats

1. Exterior
The Great Wall Steed is a smart looking pick-up, which few will distinguish as being anything out of the ordinary. Only the well-read will know it’s the first Chinese branded model to go on sale in the UK, unless they spot the many badges on the tailgate. The high-set headlights, long double cab and roof rails add up to a cohesive package. It doesn’t stand out like the new Ford Ranger or Volkswagen Amorak, but those are much more expensive vehicles.
Our rating: 3

2. Interior
Like a bottle of no-frills ketchup, the Steed doesn’t have any pretentions of grandeur, but still gets the job done. It’s fitted with simple dials, a tough plastic dashboard, leather seats and an Alpine stereo which has controls on the steering wheel for ease of use.
Our rating: 2

3. Practicality
Space in the front is good, while the rear seats have just enough legroom, but a very upright rear squab, making them uncomfortable for longer trips. There aren’t too many cubby areas to store things securely, which could be an issue considering there is no enclosed boot – unless you go for the SE model, with its hard-top canopy for the load area.
Our rating: 3

4. Ride and handling
Like most pick-up trucks, the Steed has suspension designed to cope with heavy loads, but not the most finessed handling. The steering is vague, and the suspension is bouncy over speed humps and through pot holes (we tested the Steed unladen). This is forgivable for a working vehicle, but we doubt you’ll want to do large mileages in the Steed.
Our rating: 2

5. Performance
The 2.0-litre diesel motor is smaller than commonly found in this type of pick-up, but it has 16-valves and offers a decent 141bhp. The trade-off is less grunt at low engine speeds (maximum torque arrives at 1,800rpm), but keep the engine in its sweet spot and we found it had enough power. Refinement is not its forte, however, with a gruff note and turbo whistles all clearly audible over the stereo.
Our rating: 3

6. Running costs
The Steed returns 34mpg on the combined cycle and emits 220g/km of CO2, making it slightly more expensive to run than the Mitsubishi L200 2.5 DI-D 4WD Double Cab – 35.8mpg and 208g/km of CO2.
Our rating: 3

7. Cargo area
With a maximum payload of 1,000kg, the Steed is a classic one-tonne truck. Its load bay measures 1,380mm long, 1,460mm wide and 480mm deep, with intrusion caused by the wheel wells making the bed narrower behind the cab. It’s finished with a toughened, ridged plastic coating. Choose the SE version and a load-bay liner and cover further protect it from the elements.
Our rating: 3

8. Safety
Anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, driver and passenger airbags are fitted as standard. If you plan to fit a child seat, there are no ISOFIX mounting points, which are standard in the Mitsubishi L200.
Our rating: 3

9. Equipment
The Steed S ticks a lot of boxes, with remote central locking, alarm, electric windows, CD/radio, Bluetooth, air-con, heated front seats and leather upholstery all standard – a spec list hard to beat at this price. Step up to the SE trim level and a body-coloured canopy, spoiler, chrome trim, side bars, roof rails, load bay liner and rear parking sensors are added to the mix.
Our rating: 5

10. Why buy?
“If you need a simple work horse to get on with a job, you might find a brand new Steed fits the bill better than a used model of the same price. This is also the cheapest double cab pick-up currently on sale."
Our rating: 3

 

See Great Wall Steeds for sale in our classifieds.