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Reader test: GWM double cab

2009-11-26 09:48

Willie van Zyl

Three years ago, I needed a double cab because of my two kids and the fact that I need to move a lot of stuff.

I searched all over Pretoria for a Nissan 3l diesel 4X4 because I had the opportunity to drive one from Pretoria to KZN without any issues.

The only issue we had is that the CD player did not work. Listening to RSG all the way did not make for a fun drive. I could not find one that was under R160k and when I did manage to find one there were huge problems with the engine.

My second choice was the GWM double cab, even after I'd read the bashing this bakkie got from people. My reason being that if I could not get what I wanted, then I would buy the cheapest new double cab I could find.

All under R160k

After fitting all the extras, including a canopy, the vehicle was still under R160k. The vehicle is exactly three years old. I bought it in November 2007 and with 40 000km on the clock and still going strong.

This vehicle is used to move a lot of dirt every week as you can see in the picture. This bakkie gets filled with loads like these at least three times a week.

Let me tell you about the problems I had with it:

1. I broke the wheel studs while trying to tow two tons. I think the nuts might have been loose

2. The panic handle at the back (driver side) is broken because my daughter thinks she is a monkey.

3. The CD player which I installed myself had to be removed twice. The first time because of money in the slot and the second time because of bank cards in the slot all thanks to my three-year-old son.

4. The engine overheated because of water on the fan switch wiring. I realised it soon enough and stopped and fixed the problem before any damaged occurred.

Capable off road

As you can see we use the vehicle most of the time on dirt roads and I am totally happy about the handling. I toured through Mpumalanga with other 4x4 vehicles and I could go everywhere they went. The only time I did not drive with them is when they did a real 4x4 track and even some of the 4x4s had to be towed out by a tractor. If you look for trouble, you will find it.

Fuel economy is 10l/100km or as others put it 10km per litre. The only thing that is frustrating is that I would have liked a bit more torque. Overall, after three years, this is a perfect vehicle for the price. I can hear all of you say what about the safety features; the most
important safety feature is your brain, use your brain and you will not need anything else.

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