Our GWM H5 2,4 has completed its long-term test mileage. In fact it has gone slightly further than required, because its last job was to transport books and education material during the recent Rally to Read – a truly great national initiative that this year raised R7 million in sponsorship and which will distribute more than R10 million worth of education material to rural schools, pupils and teachers.
RamsayMedia, publisher of CAR, was one of the 17 sponsors of the Western Cape initiative and resultantly our H5 was driven by the company’s chief financial officer for the trip, which started near Cape Town and took the seven teams (all in SUVs) into the Bokkeveld and back.
As it has done for the past 12 months, the GWM performed faultlessly. In fact thus far the only real glitch has been a blown bulb in the front left headlamp – replaced for R40. The driver, who’s daily drive is a BMW 135i Convertible, was of course destined to comment on the relative lack of drivetrain refinement and the top-heavy feel of the H5. He was also of the opinion that, on a gravel road, the H5 felt, “a bit loose at the back”, similar to early Toyota Fortuners.
A snippet of feedback which I can agree with completely relates to engine performance. The H5′s 2,4-litre petrol engine lacks torque and what it has is developed too high in the rev range (200 N.m @ 4 000 r/min). Overtaking acceleration is therefore not strong. Interestingly, however, its performance doesn’t seem to be terribly affected by a heavy load. We experienced this during the Shootout late last year (the H5 was a support vehicle, towing a large trailer), and during the Rally to Read the H5 was loaded to the max with books, too. The ride actually improves with a bit of weight in the boot.
I am currently busy compiling the final report on this vehicle and have received quite a lot of reader input/interest. If you own one of these vehicles, I’d love to hear from you. We are also happy to announce that GWM has replaced the 2,4-litre petrol model with one of its new 2,0-litre turbodiesel, 4×2 automatic models. Watch out for a long-term introduction of that soon. According to that vehicle’s minder, Gareth Dean, GWM seems to have already addressed some of the suspension NVH issues I had with my vehicle.
People quite often say that they’d rather buy a used Toyota Fortuner than a new GWM H5. Is this an option? Well, looking at what is available in the used market, the best you’ll be able to do is a five-year old 2007 model with around 120 000 km on the odo. In other words, out of warranty. Makes you think…
You can read previous blogs on my H5 by clicking on the following links:
Mileage (km): 23 364 km
Fuel consumption (L/100 km): 11,8
We like: space, practicality, standard features, ruggedness
We don’t like: fuel thirst, transmission refinement, suspension noise