GWM Cannon Ute review: price, specifications, drive impressions

Cost of living pressures are starting to make themselves felt and traders are not immune.

This cut-price van may not have the cachet of a Ford Ranger or Toyota HiLux, but it does the same job for thousands less.

VALUE

The GWM Cannon is a way for buyers to get into a brand new van for the price of a used one.

Better yet, it doesn’t skimp on equipment as entry-level models from more popular rivals often do.

The L Cab-Chassis model is the latest addition to the Cannon range, replacing the typical rear tub with an aluminum tray.

At $40,490 through the end of June (usually $42,490) it’s about $15,000 cheaper than basic alternatives from Toyota, Ford and Isuzu.

There are alloy wheels, heated front seats, smart key access, tire pressure sensors and a 9-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

It’s covered by a seven-year warranty, although mileage is limited to 150,000km if you use it for commercial purposes.

COMFORT

Like all buses, the Cannon can sway over bumps, especially without cargo on board.

Eventually you find yourself navigating pockmarked roads, which can be a little disconcerting.

And the infotainment system is infuriating. Every time you stop at an intersection or traffic light, the system switches back to the 360-degree camera and turns down the audio.

You can’t adjust anything on the screen, or the volume, without first pressing a button to return to the home screen.

The Cannon L’s aluminum tray is relatively short but its sides fold up. Like all bolt-on trays, it can easily be replaced with something better suited to whatever you want to carry.

For some this might include off-road adventures with the car heavily loaded, at which point firm suspension might be advantageous.

The tray is lighter than a tub, meaning there’s an additional 70kg of payload, bringing the maximum to an impressive 1120kg.

However, towing capacity is half a tonne less than its 3,000kg rivals. If you’re towing the maximum amount, the payload is less than half that, or 525kg.

SAFETY

The Cannon meets many requirements on paper, although it lacks blind-spot warning. The Cab-Chassis model also lacks the rear cross-traffic alert that comes standard with other variants.

And even though it’s great, it has a 360-degree camera, the images aren’t very clear.

We also had issues with lane departure, occasionally applying steering input when it wasn’t required.

GUIDE

While it’s well equipped, the Cannon loses its shine on the road.

The four-cylinder turbodiesel lacks the oomph of many rivals. There’s a modest 120kW and 400Nm, the latter around 100Nm less than many mainstream utes.

But it’s the time it takes to reach peak torque that makes it feel sluggish around town. It takes a couple of seconds to recharge when exiting an intersection, so planning ahead becomes part of the game.

It’s also not particularly fuel efficient, with a claimed consumption of 9.4 liters per 100km.

While most utes have a jagged ride over bumps, the Cannon Cab-Chassis is toward the firmer end of the spectrum with a tendency to buck over large bumps.

This is partly due to the high payload.

ALTERNATIVES

Isuzu D-Max 4×4 ASX double cab car, from around $58,000 away

The basics are well done, with the exception of the lane assist system. The robust 3.0-liter engine fires up nicely and the cabin offers space.

Toyota HiLux Workmate 4×4 chassis cab car, from around $57,000 away

Rugged and durable with excellent off-road performance, but starting to show its age. The Workmate vinyl floor covering is also missing trinkets.

Nissan Navara SL double cab 4×4 cab-chassis, from around $56,000 away

The efficient twin-turbo engine is smooth if uninspiring, which sums up other aspects of the Nissan’s aging. The rear leaf springs in the cab chassis are better suited to loads than the coil springs in other Navaras.

VERDICT

Three stars

A long warranty and a bargain price are the highlights of a ute that doesn’t measure up to the big boys in terms of execution and delivery.

A QUICK LOOK

GWM Alpha Ute Cannon

PRICE: From $40,490 drive-away (through the end of June)

WARRANTY/SERVICE: Seven years, unlimited km, $1700 for 4.5 years/45,000 km.

SAFETY: Eight airbags, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, speed sign recognition

MOTOR: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine, 120kW/400Nm

THIRST: 9.4 l/100 km

PAYLOAD/TOWING CAPACITY: 1120kg/3000kg

Leave a Comment

URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL URL