GWM P-Series is changing perceptions

The GWM P-Series signals the start of the next chapter for the Chinese brand

Reuben Van Niekerk
GWM P Series
Chinese car

While Chinese bakkies have been available in South Africa for some time now, they have been a bit of a hit and miss affair in terms of quality and refinement.

The arrival of GWMs P-series is set to change that, with a high quality, well refined and well equipped product.


The P-Series is available in commercial and passenger models, with the double cab being available in both models and the single cab only in the commercial version. In total there are 16 versions of the P-Series on offer in South Africa featuring 10 very attractive specification lists.


We recently had the opportunity to test the double-cab four-wheel drive model.


Getting the basics right

The ladder frame underpinnings feature double wishbone suspension at the rear coupled with a leaf spring rigid axles and disc brakes all round.


The design turns heads with headlights that look like they are ready to pounce, a menacing grille and an aggressive stance that gives it everything it needs in a segment that demands a good looking vehicle.


High quality interior

The interior quality is akin to that of a premium SUV with soft touch materials and a well-designed layout. A slush moulding dash board, leather seats, leather door panels and matching cross pattern themes and steel trim inserts are ready to welcome five occupants.


The P-Series offers a refined driving experience and relies on a full technology suite to achieve an excellent overall driving experience. This includes fully automatic adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, and traffic sign recognition.


Behind the steering wheel is a seven-inch instrument cluster and in the centre console is a nine-inch multimedia screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. A wireless charging tray ensures that your cellphone remains charged.


All models feature at least two airbags, while the top of the range model tested features a total of seven airbags. Vehicle stability and traction control is standard across the range as is hill hold assist.


Convenience features include park distance control on all models or a 360 view on higher spec models.


Exterior specification includes 18-inch alloy rims, chrome finishes, a plastic drop in bed liner for the visibly large load box, rear deck step and easy lift tailgate.


Ticking all the boxes

Under the bonnet is a 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine that offers 120kW and 400Nm that is coupled to an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox. The engine and gearbox are well matched and offer a smooth, refined driving experience and good fuel consumption.


4x4 derivatives feature 232mm of ground clearance as well as approach and departure angles of 27 and 25 degrees respectively. The Intelligent all-wheel-drive is of the highest quality, courtesy of Borg Warner and features 2H, Auto and four-wheel drive with low range as well as various off-road modes.


The GWM P-Series has the technology, build quality and refinement to make it a real contender in South Africa’s very popular bakkie market. There is really nothing on which one can fault this bakkie and it is a real competitor for the stalwarts of South Africa’s bakkie market at a significantly more affordable price point.

The GWM P-Series has also been awarded 5 stars by ANCAP.