The launch of the Great Wall Steed wasn't significant in itself, more what it represented. It was the first Chinese-branded vehicle to go on sale in the UK. It’s a four-door double-cab pick-up, and the first of many products due to be imported into this country.
With a pre-VAT price of less than £14,000 for the entry-level Steed S, it heavily plays the value card, and is the cheapest four-wheel-drive double-cab pick-up on sale today.
Rivals generally offer just two-wheel drive and a single-cab for the same money, together with meagre equipment. Instead, the Steed S features leather upholstery, heated front seats, alloy wheels, USB connectivity and air conditioning, while £2000 extra buys you the SE, which includes a hardtop, load liner, chrome side bars and parking sensors.
Its agricultural 141bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine delivers more power than its rivals on paper, but on the road fails to feel any more alive, and is hindered by a slow-witted six-speed manual gearbox. Great Wall claims 34mpg on a combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 220g/km.
We weren’t able to test it either partially or fully laden, so couldn’t judge its suspension when under load, but drove it extensively off-road, which it did - as most four-wheel drives of its type do - with ease.