Another road test article on the V240 4x2 hosted on the www.greatwallmotors.com.au
First drive: Great Wall V240 - 21/08/2009
by Peter Barnwell, Cumberland Newspapers
It was difficult getting into a V240 ute because they have been selling like hot cakes in the scant weeks since the Great Wall brand lobbed here.
Tradies have been hooking in just like the keenly priced Kia Preggio van all over again which is hardly surprising since the bloke calling the shots at Great Wall in Australia, Ric Hull, was also the boss at Kia when Preggio was around.
That’s why there’s a familiarity to the deal for buyers of the Great Wall V240, and the smaller 220 for that matter — a loan car after two days if there’s a problem and a three-year/100,000km warranty to start with.
The V240 4x2 we drove the other day is also full of goodies not expected for $23,990. Leather upholstery, for example, air conditioning, remote central locking, electric windows and exterior mirrors, decent audio, loud horn, bright headlights, chunky Kumho tyres, 16-inch alloys, anti-lock brakes and two airbags.
The V240 has a familiarity about it too - explained by Mitsubishi’s involvement with Great Wall. It’s essentially an earlier version of the Mitsu’ Triton, built in China. The engine and transmission are also Mitsubishi clones. Not expected was the way it’s put together - a whole lot better than we thought with only a few glitches in the footwell plastics and the flimsy cover over the passenger airbag to complain about.
It starts and runs just like a Triton and feels like one on the road too. Engine performance from the multi-point injected, 100kW/200Nm, four-pot petrol engine is adequate and fuel economy is a claimed 10.7 litres/ 100km - not bad for a dual cab ute weighing it at 1660kg and with a one tonne payload.
The engine needs a bit of finer fettling to the electronics to make it run smoother but apart from that, no complaints. The transmission feels like a Triton too with the selector stick a bit too far forward. Shorter drivers won’t have an issue. And like the Triton, it has a large turning circle.
But the ride is good with torsion bars up front and leaf springs at the rear, the steering is light and the brakes are powerful. It corners like a long wheelbase dual cab ute - acceptable - and has a decent size tray. We would choose a tray liner instead of some of the goodies inside.
The styling is innocuous and generally speaking, we have little to gripe about in the V240. Would we buy one or would we go for a used Thai-made ‘‘Japanese’’ one tonne ute?
V240 is hard to go past if you happen to qualify for the Government’s 50 per cent tax allowance sweetening the already tempting price.
And do you really want to be driving someone else’s discarded work horse?