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BUYERS GUIDE - WAGONS SMALL

GWM TANK 300
A compact, petrol-hybrid or petrol-only towing machine.

 

While traditional Japanese-branded and mainly Thai-built 4WD utes and wagons continued to flood Australia with powertrains their makers couldn’t sell in more developed vehicle markets in 2022, Chinese company GWM introduced a petrol hybrid 4WD wagon.

 

 

The GWM Tank 300 arrived in Australia in late-2022, offering buyers a true-4WD hybrid machine, from $55,990 drive-away. It slotted into the Small Wagon category, with a payload of around only 400kg, but with good towing ability. A larger Tank 500 Hybrid is scheduled for later in 2023.

At launch, the Tank 300 was powered by a two-litre, turbo-petrol, four-cylinder engine with a nine-speed hybrid automatic transmission. The petrol engine had claimed outputs of 180kW at 5500-6000rpm and 380Nm at 1700-4000rpm.

The electric motor delivered an additional 78kW and 268Nm, providing way more than necessary power and torque to meet the Tank 300’s  towing rating of 2500kg. Because the electric motor produced peak torque at zero revs, there was ample lift-off torque available.

Borg Warner’s proved Torque On Demand (TOD) transfer case varied drive from rear only, up to 50:50 front:rear. A ‘Tank Turn’ feature braked the inside rear wheel in tight manoeuvres, to decrease the turning circle diameter.

GWM Tank 300 pricing in late-2022 was Lux Hybrid, $55,990 and Ultra Hybrid $60,990 – both drive-away RRPs.

Fuel tankage was only 80 litres, but the turbo petrol/hybrid should be quite fuel efficient. We’d love to confirm that with some test figures, but our numerous requests over the past six months yielded a zero result.

When we gave up asking in August 2023, the only Tank 300 hybrid on the company’s press test fleet had been unserviceable for months, we understand.

Petrol only model

Joining its hybrid sibling, the Tank 300 petrol-only model was launched in June 2023, with $46,990 (Lux) and $50,9990 (Ultra) drive-away pricing.

This lower-priced model was powered by a two-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 162kW of power and 380Nm of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and part-time 4WD system.

Fuel economy was a claimed 10.7/100km running on regular unleaded fuel. Braked towing capacity was 2500kg.

Both Tank 300 variants had body on frame construction with independent wishbone front suspension and multi-link coil spring, live rear axle. A rear Eaton diff lock was standard.

Ground clearance was 224mm, matched to 33-degree approach and 34-degree departure angles.

At launch, the Tank 300 was available in five exterior colours: Lunar Red, Hamilton White, Dusk Orange, Fossil Grey and Crystal Black.

The Tank 300 was launched in two grades, Lux and Ultra, with generous levels of standard equipment available across both. 

 

 

Standard on the Lux grade were: 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels; six-way power driver seat; leather-trimmed seats and steering wheel; 310mm (12.3-inch) colour instrument cluster and 310mm (12.3-inch) colour infotainment screen; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; Digital radio DAB+; nine-speaker audio; front and rear USB charge points (front with data transmission); 12V power outlets (front and luggage cabin); seven-colour ambient lighting; power windows; auto-folding, heated power exterior mirrors; LED headlights and taillights; daytime running lamps (DRL); sunroof; two-piece under-body guard; tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS); seven SRS airbags (front, side, curtain and middle); adaptive cruise control (ACC); auto emergency braking (AEB); front collision warning (FCW); lane departure warning (LDW); lane keep assist (LKA); traffic sign recognition (TSR); rear cross traffic alert (RCTA) with brake; crawl control; rear differential lock; Tank Turn; transparent chassis function; front and rear parking sensors and 360-degree view monitor.

Ultra grade added: 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels; Nappa leather seats; heated and cooled front seats; eight-way powered driver seat with massage function and four-way power lumbar support adjustment; heated, leather-covered steering wheel; wireless charging; Infinity nine-speaker audio; 64-colour ambient lighting; 220V power outlet in the cargo area; front differential lock; three-piece under-body guard; auto parking and auto reverse tracking function.

The Tank 300, like all GWM products, was backed by a seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, five-year roadside assistance and five-year capped price servicing.

ANCAP awarded the GWM Tank 300 a five-star safety rating in December 2022. Full points were recorded for all four critical body regions of both the driver and front seat passenger in the frontal offset test.

This high score was however offset by the maximum four-point penalty for vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility as the front structure of the Tank 300 was shown to pose a high risk to the occupants of an oncoming vehicle, if struck.

We tried unsuccessfully to get hold of a press test vehicle, but we did mange to check out the larger Tank 500 that’s highly impressive.

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