Had you told me a couple of years ago that I would be driving a GWM for the week, I would in all honesty have declined. Recently however, I have read more promising reports of the Chinese manufacturer. And having never driven one of their products and a desire to find out for myself just how far they have come, I eagerly awaited delivery of the Great Wall Motors C20R. After all presumption is the mother of all…well, you know how that ends.
Considering that probably half of the items in my house — from the technological marvel that is the iPhone in my hand to the shoes on my feet — are manufactured in China, it is somewhat strange then that China has lagged so far behind in car design and manufacture on the world stage. It would seem though that China has a steep engineering learning curve.
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So, C20R? Not the sexiest name for a car is it?
Not quite no, but then China has never really been one to pride itself on naming products have they? Ranging from the strange to the just plain hilarious. GWM however has simplified things a little by referring to its entry level hatchback as the C10 and the slightly bigger, slightly higher one you see here, the C20R.
What does the â€˜Râ€
Having driven it for a week I can inform you that it certainly doesnâ€
Value for money?
I think the best way to answer that question is with another question: In relation to what? The C20R costs about as much as a Kia Rio or a decently specced Polo Vivo and I guarantee if I had to ask all of you who are reading this if you were presented with the following transportation options; walking, a bicycle, a bus, a taxi or the GWM C20R youâ€
Ok, so itâ€
The biggest surprise has to be that the interior is actually not as technologically spartan and budget orientated as you might expect and standard spec may raise an eyebrow or two. The driverâ€
OK, so it doesnâ€
I probably would actually, chief reason being that the C20R comes with a three year/45 000km service plan (a first for a GWM vehicle). It actually drives quite nicely too, sure the 1.5-litre (77kW and a lowly 138Nm of torque) needs to be thrashed within an inch of its life to get going, but once you hit 4000rpm thereâ€
But you know what, I enjoyed my time with the plucky C20R, it cut a bright profile in my driveway with its dapper red paintwork and it did everything I asked of it over the week I had it. Will it stand up to the test of time? Thatâ€