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.
Still bargain-priced, often up to $10,000 under 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 crash rating, leather, alloys, climate control air conditioning, Bluetooth phone, disc brakes front and rear, power windows and door locks, rain sensing wipers and auto headlights and other goodies.
Price up something like a Nissan X-Trail to similar spex and you'll need a good sit down.
Heading the list of new attractions is the availability of a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine hooked up to a five-speed automatic transmission. 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 first X240 ran a 2.4-litre petrol engine with a manual box and was just OK.
The diesel auto is a game changer for Great Wall as it 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.
It also has on-demand all-wheel-drive complete with 4WD lock up if you get caught in a slippery situation.
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 gen' one and 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.
Better to drive, to look at, better riding, better built. And like the ute, not far away from full confrontation with its Japanese (and European) competition. Hopefully Great Wall can keep the price super competitive.
Great Wall X200 diesel
Price: $28,990 drive away.
Warranty: 3 years, 100,000km
Thirst: 9.2L/100km; CO2 209g/km
Crash rating: 4 stars (This model hasn't been tested by ANCAP. Safety rating based in Great Wall X240 ANCAP rating)
Equipment: 2 airbags, ABS, EBD
Engine: 4 cylinder 2.0-litre Turbo diesel. 105kW/310Nm
Transmission: 5-speed auto. Single range selective AWD, torque on Demand 4WD.
Body: 4-door Suv, 5 seats
Dimensions: Length 4649mm, width 1810mm, height 1735mm, wheelbase 2700mm
Tyres: 17" Alloy wheels