Best Bakkie 2022 Finalist: GWM P Series 2.0TD DC LT 4×4

We were excited by the advent of the new P series. We’re old GWM fans and those who’ve followed us long enough may remember that the Steed 6 won this pageant back in 2015. GWM promises that its latest bakkie is perfectly defined by the word ‘more’. Which is what we were expecting when we finally made first acquaintance on Best Bakkie.

P series – a panther ready to pounce?

‘More than just a bakkie’, some say it’s bland, but others like it. Panther eyes and a prize fighter’s belt grill pitch it headlong into a fierce marketplace. In a way, they’re right. The leather-trimmed steel-finished cabin is a comfy, coach-like space. Jam packed with tech from 7 inch virtual dials to 9-inch Android and Apple mirroring infotainment with 360 views. All controllable by voice and the multifunction steering wheel.

But that’s not all. The GWM P series scores a bakkie first with Intelligent Driving Assist. It can drive you like a ghost chauffeur. Smart cruise control follows traffic diligently, lane-keeping steers and sign recognition keeps on the right side of the law. And 7 airbags top the P series safety spec.

It appears ready to conquer the world – P series’ load bay has a damped gate with a neat pull-out step, a plastic bed liner and a roll-over bar. But it only has 650 kg load capacity. If my four cousins and me go hunting in one, we can only shoot one duiker. That’s all it can carry. We are still unsure about its towing capacity. GWM does not quote it, some say it’s 2,250 kg, others 1,200 kg. Take your pick, but the latter would mean that we can’t tow our race car with it. Maybe the trailer, but we must leave the car behind. If it’s the former, its still way off the bakkies it calls rivals here. Pity.

P series impresses in a straight line

P series’ 120 Kw 400 Nm GWM turbodiesel 2-litre turns a GWM-first ZF 8-speed autobox and Borg Warner intelligent 4×4. It’s impressive in a straight line. But it’s also the thirstiest of this Best Bakkie lot.

Then GWM steals Toyota’s Quality, Durability and Reliability chant to define P series’ body and ladder chassis. Risqué? Time will tell! This 4×4 has 232 mm ground clearance, 27 degree entry and 25 degree exit angles. It’s good off the beaten track. Not so on the road. Maybe it’s a tech marvel, but that Intelligent Driving Assist is so overbearing that it makes the bakkie feel horrible. And it’s easier to launch Apollo 11 than switch it all off.

We score the Best Bakkie finalists against each other in seven vital statistics. Price, power, torque, 0-100, fuel consumption. Payload and braked towing capacity. The other six bakkies here all topped at least one discipline. Most two, the best of them topped three of the rankings. The GWM’s best score was second in price. It was fourth best, or worse in the rest.

not just another bakkie

GWM likes to boast that the P series is not just another bakkie. In a number of ways, that may be true. But how much of that really counts in the bakkie world? Sure, it’s supremely equipped. But do bakkie owners want, or need autopilot? And it’s the load and towing laggard here, too. Which brings us back to this year’s Best Bakkie motto. What is a bakkie?

GWM P Series 2.0TD DC LT 4x4
Engine: 120 kW 400 Nm 2.0-litre turbodiesel I4
Drive: 8-speed auto 4x4
Payload: 650 kg
Towing Capacity: 1200 kg
0-100 km/h: 10.30 sec
0-400m: 17.1 sec @ 129 km/h
80-120 km/h: 8.10 sec
Fuel: 9.4 l/100 km
CO2: 246 g/km
Warranty/Service: 5y 100K/5y 100K km
Best Bakkie 2022 Index
Ford Ranger 2.0bT DC 4x4 Stormtrak
GWM P Series 2.0TD DC LT 4x4
Mahindra Pik Up 2.2 CRDe DC 4x4
Mazda BT-50 1.9TD DC Active A 
Mitsubishi Triton 2.4DI-D DC 4x4
Nissan Navara 2.5DDTi DC PRO-2X
Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 DC 4x4 Legend RS A 
Best Bakkie 2022 Top 3
Best Bakkie 2022 Winner
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