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2025 GWM Cannon Ute update debuts in China with new engine and cabin tech, but when will we see the Toyota HiLux, Isuzu D-Max, and Mitsubishi Triton rival upgraded in Australia?

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2025 GWM Cannon Ute
2025 GWM Cannon Ute

GWM has revealed the facelifted version of its Cannon Ute range in China, featuring a new diesel engine option and a completely overhauled and more upmarket cabin.

The facelift was first revealed over a year ago in official images, with the upgrades now arriving to match the rest of the new arrivals in GWM’s international range, which includes its larger Cannon Alpha sibling, the new-generation Haval H9, as well as the Tank 300 and 500.

Headlining changes to the GWM Ute range is a 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine producing 135kW/480Nm mated to a new nine-speed automatic transmission, although the 2.0-litre diesel unit producing 120kW/400Nm mated to an eight-speed auto which is currently exported to Australia continues as usual.

The new interior includes a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 12.3-inch touchscreen, a 50W wireless phone charger, as well as “more than 100 insulation/sound absorption design treatments” to improve cabin ambiance, a built-in dash cam, and a re-designed centre console to be more familiar to the Cannon Alpha. 

In Chinese specification, the 2.4-litre version maintains the same 3000kg towing capacity as the 2.0-litre version. Interestingly the 2.4-litre nine-speed version is only the equivalent of $500 more like-for-like compared to the 2.0-litre version in the Chinese market.

Expect the usual high level of safety equipment, including auto emergency braking, lane keep aids, blind spot monitoring and more. The current 2.0-litre diesel version wears a maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating it was awarded in 2021.

GWM Australia has been contacted for comment on the facelifted ute’s arrival in Australia. Its recent focus has been on launching its larger Cannon Alpha and Tank sub-brand, although the brand has also confirmed it will bring an array of new models to Australia (including the tough-looking Haval H9) in the wake of the Beijing motor show earlier this year.

2025 GWM Cannon Ute
2025 GWM Cannon Ute

The future of the current ute remains unclear as the GWM range expands rapidly, but also faces fresh competition from rivals, both established and new. The new Mitsubishi Triton will no doubt be a threat to GWM’s ute sales, which are down 16.1 per cent year on year, while a new-generation ute is also expected from LDV in late 2024 or early 2025. 

New entrants in the ute space include a low-cost offering from JAC, and an intriguing plug-in hybrid offering from BYD

Of course the Kia Tasman, confirmed to be a diesel offering, will launch late this year or early next year.

GWM has indicated its range will undergo some changes in the near future as it shifts more toward hybrids in light of Australia’s New Vehicle Efficiency Standards (NVES) which just passed into law. It also confirmed it is now highly unlikely it will import any examples of the Cannon Alpha or Tank 500 powered by its new 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine (260kW/500Nm) instead choosing to wait for incoming versions utilising its new Hi4-T hybrid drivetrain.

Tom White
Senior Journalist
Despite studying ancient history and law at university, it makes sense Tom ended up writing about cars, as he spent the majority of his waking hours finding ways to drive as many as possible. His fascination with automobiles was also accompanied by an affinity for technology growing up, and he is just as comfortable tinkering with gadgets as he is behind the wheel. His time at CarsGuide has given him a nose for industry news and developments at the forefront of car technology.
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