By Malusi Msomi
The leisure bakkie market in Mzansi is a highly contested one and the GWM P-Series is also vying for a piece of the pie. It boasts a bold appearance, impressive driving dynamics, and is equipped with advanced technology and safety systems. Enter the P-Series LTD, which has been beefed up in the terms of its exterior and is an off-road ready piece of kit.
As if the standard P-Series is not already imposing, GWM has made it look even more imposing. This is achieved through 18-inch black wheels with all-terrain tyres, a snorkel, black roof rails, and black sports bar to name a few. The P-Series LTD definitely gives its competitors a run for their money in the looks department. The bold looks has had quite interesting reactions which had some asking, “Eh, which one is this one?”. We ourselves are big fans of the looks.
Expanding on the bold exterior styling, the P-Series LTD offers practical exterior features, including a removable tow hitch, soft-drop tailgate, a concealed step within the tailgate, and a robust load bin.
The cabin of the GWM P-Series feels premium, boasting numerous soft-touch surfaces and the use of top-notch materials. In all honesty, it feels significantly better than some of its higher-priced competitors. The interior comes well-equipped, featuring a 360-degree camera, a 9-inch touchscreen with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a digital instrument cluster, and a push-button start. The leather seats provide comfort, and front passengers enjoy the added bonus of seat heaters. Rear passengers benefit from ample leg and headroom. In terms of practicality, there are two front USB ports, one by the rear-view mirror for your dash-cam, wireless charging, one USB port at the rear, and a 220V power outlet. If I were to nit-pick, one small issue I have with the interior is the rather loud turn signal sound which is played through the front speakers, but it’s far from being a deal-breaker.
Power and off-road capabilities
The P-Series LTD employs a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine that produces 120 kW/400 Nm. It is paired with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s great at highway speed in terms of changing gears and overtaking. However, at lower speeds it does suffer from turbo-lag, and the gearbox has a tendency holding gears longer. It’s worth noting that the ride is slightly choppier compared to the standard P-Series. While we didn’t embark on an off-road adventure, it does come with impressive off-road capabilities.
Beneath the surface lies a brand-new off-road system that offers complete control over the drivetrain. While the other P-Series models feature permanent four-wheel drive with a torque-on-demand setup to distribute power where it’s needed in case of traction loss, the P-Series LTD introduces a system tailored for the off-road enthusiast seeking enhanced performance from their budget-friendly double-cab bakkie.
This innovative off-road system incorporates a fully selectable setup with various driving modes, including 2H, 4H, Snow, Mud, Sand, and 4L. The off-road features also encompass Cross-Country Expert Mode and Drive Mode Memory, connecting to both front and rear differential locks (a new addition to this P-Series version). Some intriguing technological advancements have been introduced, such as off-road cruise control and Trail Turn Assist, which reduces the turning radius by 3 meters, proving valuable when manoeuvring in rugged terrain.
Coming in at R694,950, the GWM P-Series LTD is priced well considering that its R250k plus cheaper than its closest competitor. With that being said, there is a drawback in terms of ride quality. If you’re planning on doing regular off-roading and exploiting the P-Series LTD’s full off-road potential, then it’s the one for you.
A standard 5-year/100 000 km warranty and service plan and 5-year unlimited mileage roadside assistance are included in the price.
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