By: IOL Motoring Staff
Johannesburg - Making good on its promise at last year's Johannesburg International Motor Show, Great Wall Motors has released its M4 compact crossover in South Africa.
GWM likes to point out that the cheeky little M4 is actually a bit of an oddity; at less than four metres long it's noticeably smaller than competitors such as the Ford Ecosport and Renault Duster, but it's also much chunkier than high-rider hatches such as the Renault Sandero Stepway and VW Vivo Maxx, with more than 180mm of ground clearance, bash-plates at both ends and rugged 16” alloys.
Standard kit includes front and rear foglights, roof rails and a blacked-out C pillar for that trendy 'floating roof' effect (Range Rover has much to answer for here) and it's available in South Africa in your choice of black, silver, orange, red, white, or blue.
You can have the cabin trim any colour you like as long as it's black fabric with silver trim elements on the fascia and doors, while overlapping dials on the instrument panels allow space for a digital speedometer readout.
The V-shaped centre section of the dashboard neatly separates the audio controls - and their large digital display - from the air-conditioning panel, including vertically ventilation outlets are located either side of the centre hangdown section.
Cargo space is a usable 310 litres (with the spare wheel under the floor), while a 60:40 split, folding rear-seat backrest gives you a bit more for the monthly mall crawl, and hydraulic power steering makes undersized parking bays a doddle.
Electric windows and mirrors are standard, as are rear parking sensors, air-conditioning, a steering wheel adjustable for rake but not reach and an audio system with USB and auxiliarly plug-in support as well Bluetooth capability.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Dual front airbags and disc brakes all round with ABS and electronic brake-force distribution are part of the deal, as are height-adjustable front seatbelts, Isofix child-seat mountings at the rear, childproof rear door locks, remote central locking and an immobiliser.
NUTS AND BOLTS
The only engine option is GWM's familiar 1.5-litre petrol four with variable valve timing, rated for 71.3kW at 6000rpm and 138Nm at 4200rpm, driving the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox, for a claimed top speed of 170km/h. The maker quotes fuel-consumption of 7.2 litres per 100km in the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 172g/km.
GWM M4 1.5 VVT-I - R189 999
That includes a five-year or 100 000km warranty, a five-year or 45 000km service plan and two years' AA roadside assistance.