Top Gear review - Did anyone order a chinese? The Great Wall Steed...
If success were measured by fabulous naming, the
Great Wall Steed would be a hit. But we require more…
As you gaze upon the glorious visage of the Great
Wall Steed, the first Chinese-brand car to go on sale in the UK (yes, we've had
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Chinese produce in Britain before - the current generation of 'MGs', most
notably - but the mighty Steed is the first to appear under its original
Chinese badging), you may see where this one is going. We've spent a decade
guffawing and thigh-slapping at the laughable horror of China's home-grown
cars: the Mini-aping knock-offs, the rickety saloons that folded like papier Mache
in crash tests. Our collective inability to believe that a country once
incapable of building decent cars could somehow, y'know, learn is about to bite
us again. The dawn of the acceptable Chinese export is soon.
Not that the Steed is astonishing. It isn't. But
it's not bad: an acceptably average pick-up truck with an acceptably
below-average price tag and, more significantly, proof that the Chinese
Revolution is far closer than you might think. The Great Wall badge might not
have quite the cachet of, say, Porsche or SsangYong, but it's hardly a global
minnow. China's tenth-largest automaker employs 42,000 people around the world
and builds 700,000 cars every year. The Steed has been China's best-selling
pickup since 1998, shifting 120,000 examples each year.
And if you're picking a corner of the UK car
industry on which to mount an assault, the utilitarian pickup sector is a good
place to start. Pickup buyers want value, reliability and the ability to
squelch across a post-Glastonbury mudpocalypse without sinking up to the window
line, and aren't worried about immaculate panel gaps, Savile Row
leather-stitching or a satnav system that knows where the nearest Pret A Manger
For more information or to book a test drive of the
Great Wall Steed please call Denbury Diesels on 01803 220548