The name Great Wall immediately identifies the origins of the range of utilities that first
went on sale here in 2009. They were the first serious attempt by Chinese automakers to
gain a foothold into the Australian market.

That original Great Wall dual cab 4×4 ute initially made a name for itself with a sub-
$30,000 drive-away price. The later model, named the Steed, continued the trend, just, at

While plenty of tradies took the opportunity to cut their costs, they did so with an element
of risk, given the vehicle’s two-star ANCAP rating, based mainly on structural weaknesses.

The latest GWM comes in three variants: Cannon, Cannon-L and Cannon-X. All are dual
cabs powered by an upgraded 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine driving through a ZF eight-
speed automatic transmission. The entry-level Cannon comes with the choice of two- or
four-wheel drive. The L and X variants are 4WD only.

Driveaway prices range from $34,990 for the 2WD Cannon to $44,490 for the Cannon-X.
All get a seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty and five years of roadside assistance.

Our test vehicle was the top-of-the-range Cannon-X

First impression with the GWM Cannon is its size. Its longer and taller than its big-selling
competitors such as the HiLux, Ranger, BT-50, Triton and D-Max. Only the current RAM
1500 and the upcoming Ford F-150 are bigger.

It’s also a big step forward in styling compared with the bland looks of the Steed. The giant
three-bar chrome radiator grille dominates the front of the Cannon. The large circular logo
in the centre is a stylised letter ‘P’ for Poer, the ute’s name in China.

All models get 18-inch alloy wheels with a luxury rim in the L and X. The two high spec
models also add a stainless-steel sports bar, hydraulic tail gate and a clever cargo ladder
that comes out from the back of the tailgate. Very handy, given the vehicle’s size.

There are five external colours to choose from, only white is standard the other four are
costed options.

The seats are Comfort-Tek eco leather in the Cannon and L with full leather in the X.
We found them to be comfortable and supportive. L and X get heated front seats with
power adjustment for the driver and, in the X, also for the front passenger.

Rear space is excellent with good leg and headroom. Unusually for a ute the rear seats
have a 60/40 split to access some hidden storage space. The seat bases also fold back to
provide practical storage for items that you don’t want to carry in the tray.

Display is through a 9.0-inch LCD touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard with the
most used features such as sound volume and air con. There’s wired smartphone
mirroring for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, AM/FM radio but no digital. Only the
Cannon-X has voice recognition.

There’s no embedded satellite navigation although it can be accessed through Google
maps and the like.

At the base of the dashboard there’s a 12-volt outlet, two USB ports and, in the X only, a
wireless smartphone charging pad. There’s a third USB port and a second 12V socket in
the rear as well as another USB slot at the top of the windscreen for dash cameras.

The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine is new for the Cannon and provides 120 kW of power and
torque up to 400 Nm. It’s also more fuel efficient than the Steed with a listed 8.3 litres per
100 kilometres km from the 2WD Cannon and 9.4 L/100km from 4WDs.

Transmission is supplied by an eight-speed German-designed ZF automatic transmission
is augmented, in the 4WD models, with its torque on demand Borg Warner transfer case
and rear differential lock.

The good news is that all previous problems have been addressed and the GWM Cannon
now gets a five-star ANCAP rating.

It has seven airbags; stability and traction control; adaptive cruise control; forward collision
warning; autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection; automatic
door unlock and fuel cut on collision; lane departure warning; lane keep assist; lane
change assist; rear cross traffic alert; reverse and passenger kerb-side cameras; rear
parking sensors; traffic sign recognition and over-speed alert; hill-start assist and hill-
descent control.

The Cannon-L and X add front parking sensors and a 360-degree around view camera.

As is the case with most large utes there’s a bit of a climb up to get inside the Cannon but
there are side steps to help. There is what appears to be a grab handle above the driver’s
door although it’s actually a sunglass holder. Not sure if that’s a good idea.

All variants get keyless entry and push-button start/stop. The steering wheel Is reach and
height adjustable.

Around town the big ute is a bit of a handful not helped by its 13.1-metre turning circle. It
takes up a fair bit of space in parking bays but fortunately, in the Cannon-X that we tested,
the 360-degree camera plus front and rear parking sensors combined to keep us out of

Although engine outputs have been increased over those from the previous Steed it’s still
only a 2.0-litre engine powering a big vehicle so performance doesn’t match its better-
credentialed competitors. Having said that the ZF eight-speed transmission does get the
best out of it.

It’s fairly sluggish of the mark with a fair bit of turbo lag. It can be overcome to a large
extent by using the steering wheel mounted shift paddles.

Ride quality is quite good and the Cannon did cruise comfortably during the motorway
segment of our test.

With front double wishbone and rear leaf spring suspension, it is fair to assume that some
of the bumps suffered by the unladen one-tonner on uneven road surfaces would be
ironed out by loading up the tray.

GWM lists combined urban / highway fuel consumption at 9.4 litres per 100 kilometres. We
averaged 10.7 litres per 100km during our Cannon-X test.

If anyone asks us about the GWM Cannon our first piece of advice would be to forget
about everything that’s come before it from Great Wall.

This is a well-equipped and capable vehicle with a long list of safety features contributing
to its maximum ANCAP rating.

Dual cab ute sales have been booming for the past three or four years, largely because of
their versatility with most doubling up as family transport, albeit with a tray in the rear
instead of a boot.

With prices that seriously undercut those of its mainstream competitors and its seven-year
unlimited distance warranty to overcome quality fears the GWM Cannon is certainly worth

Looks: 8/10
Performance: 7/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst: 7/10
Practicality: 8/10.5
Comfort: 7/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 9/10


GWM Cannon 4×2: $34,990
GWM Cannon 4×4: $37,990
GWM Cannon-L 4×4: $41,490
GWM Cannon-X 4×4: $44,490
Note: These are driveaway prices and include government or dealer delivery charges.

SPECIFICATIONS (GWM Cannon-X 2.0-litre turbo-diesel 4WD four-door utility)

Capacity: 1.996 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 120 kW
Maximum Torque: 400 Nm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 9.4 L/100km

DRIVELINE: Eight-speed automatic, AWD

Length: 5410 mm
Wheelbase: 3230 mm
Width: 1934 mm
Height: 1886 mm
Turning Circle: 13.1 metres
Kerb Mass: 1965 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: N/A

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

Seven years / unlimited kilometres


About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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