Home Cars & Bikes GWM P-Series LTD – Snap test

GWM P-Series LTD – Snap test

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GWM says it’s aiming the P-Series LTD Double Cab 4×4 at commuters, families, and adventure seekers. Also that it is value for money wrapped in a convenient and well-thought-out package. That sounds nice, but is there truth to the crowd-pleasing marketing speak? We drove it to find out.

What makes it unique?

The LTD, which ranks above the LS and LT variants of the P-Series, is distinguished by striking 18-inch gloss black wheels with Cooper all-terrain tires. These hiking boots, with their grater-like rubber soles, showed their mettle on a difficult 4×4 track, as recounted later in this story.

All the right accessories

Body-coloured door handles and mirrors are also unique to the LTD, along with a black sports bar, plastic body liner, off-road bumpers front and rear, and larger wheel arches. With all these characteristics, it looks ready for an afternoon expedition from Zastron to to Zanzibar.

Other functional features (limited to the LTD) include a black roof rail, a snorkel (for the Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar leg), a winch rated to 4,2 tonnes, a 12V socket in the engine compartment, and a 220V power point next to the rear USB port in the cabin.

What differentiates the LTD most from the LS and LT, however, is GWM’s newly developed all-wheel drive system.

Smart 4×4 features

The P-Series LTD uses the same 2,0-litre turbodiesel engine as the other P-Series pickups. It develops an adequate 120 kW at 3 600 r/min and 400 Nm between 1 500 and 2 500 r/min. It’s connected to a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox from the German manufacturer ZF.

In contrast to the others in the P-Series, the LTD feature a variety of drive modes, including 2H, 4H, Snow, Mud, Sand and 4L (low range). There’s also a Cross-Country Expert Mode that turns off all electronic aids.

In addition, the LTD pickup has a Drive Mode Memory function. This prevents it from returning the systems to default mode when you turn the ignition off.

A bit overeager

Something that hamstrung the P-Series LTD on the four-wheel track was its overzealousness. Initially we found it difficult to drive it smoothly. However, GWM has thought of this as well.

In low range (4L), the driver can engage Off-road Cruise Control to maintain any selected speed below 15 km/h. To make small adjustments to the set speed, the driver simply has to press the plus or minus buttons on the steering wheel.

Off-road specialist

Another function aimed at making technical off-road conditions easier is Trail Turn. It works like this: When the driver turns the steering wheel more than 85 percent to the left or right, the P-Series LTD can brake one of the rear wheels. GWM says this reduces the turning circle from 13,7 m to 10,7 m, which makes the pickup more manoeuvrable in corners.

Like a locked differential, it is not intended for hard surfaces, so only use it on dirt or gravel.

An additional feature that sets the P-Series LTD apart from its stablemates is oil cooling for the low-range gearbox. GWM says this is necessary because of the overheating risk when completing long journeys in low range.

Locking differentials

Another impressive feature that differentiates the P-Series LTD is the ability to lock both the front and the rear differentials. But that’s not all – the transfer case can be locked too. The P-Series LTD can therefore lock front, rear, and centre. This ensures that power goes to each and every wheel, even if only one of the four touches the ground.

With this feature, the P-Series LTD joins the company of other extremely capable off-road vehicles, including the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Land Cruiser 300, Ford Ranger Raptor, Land Rover Defender, and Ineos Grenadier. 

At the Kroonland 4×4 route near Villiersdorp in the Western Cape, we scaled an extreme incline on a surface of loose rock and pebbles shaped like hail stones. With all the differentials locked and the Coopers digging in like a Springbok scrum, the LTD casually walked up the slope.

Safety and entertainment

Among the P-Series LTD’s safety features are ABS brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, and electronic stability control. There are other notable standard items too, such as Hill Descent Control, a 360-degree camera, tyre pressure monitors, as well as seven airbags. One of them is a central airbag that offers additional protection to the front occupants in side collisions.

For information and entertainment, the LTD has a 7-inch screen for the instruments and a 9-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth. In addition, there are six speakers, two USB ports in the front and one for the rear passengers. Cell phones that are equipped as such can charge wirelessly.

Conclusion and price

“The LTD has some of the highest levels of comfort and safety features available on the market, and this at less than R700 000,” says Conrad Groenewald, Chief Operating Officer of GWM South Africa.

That’s a bit modest, because no other pickup in Mzansi offers so much for the relatively low price of R694 950. The LTD boasts a very spacious cabin that feels like that of a luxury SUV. It has a mountain of safety and comfort features. And finally, it can go where other 4×4 pickups fear to tread. It’s a “Yes!” from us.

The GWM P-Series LTD Double Cab 4×4 scores 4 out of 5.

4.0 out of 5.0 stars
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