Test all limits in the Nissan Navara
Test all limits in the Nissan Navara

Adventure is calling

Having driven the standard GWM P-Series at its local launch, ANTON WILLEMSE SNR was keen to see what Hatfield Motor Group’s Outdoor version is capable of.

With a loud drumbeat and through a cloud of smoke the new GWM P-Series was launched to great fanfare at the ADA Training and Outdoor Centre in December 2020 into a very competitive bakkie market here in South Africa.

At first glance, the P-Series certainly boasts rugged good looks. It also comes with an impressive list of driver safety enhancements such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist and Automatic Emergency Brake… all things you would normally only find on much pricier offerings. In addition, the interior is big and spacious and packed with all the bells and whistles one could want in a luxury bakkie, including the obligatory USB ports, a 220V outlet and a 12V power supply. The Passenger LT model that I drove on the launch event had a yacht-style gear lever and a 9-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a fully digital instrument panel. Also part of the package are 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, and seven airbags.

However, when you get behind the steering wheel, the picture is somewhat different. Although the P-Series is a big step up from previous models out of this stable, it still lacks refinement.

In South Africa, the P-Series is only available with a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine rated at 120kW and 400Nm. It boasts an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, which at times seemed to be searching for the right gear. This might be because of its large dimensions, though.

With a length of 5 410mm and a wheelbase of 3 230mm this bakkie is big! It also has a big turning circle and at times struggled to get around corners at the 4×4 obstacle course we tackled. The 4×4 system is decent, though, offering permanent four-wheel drive with a rear and centre diff lock. Low range and the rear diff can be engaged with the press of a button, but the centre diff lock engages and disengages automatically with a loud mechanical clank. Four cameras mounted around the vehicle provide a 360-degree view, making it easy to spot and avoid obstacles when going off-road or parking.

The Borg Warner transfer case works brilliantly, though. Pop it into 4L and the bakkie has ample torque for 4×4 and crawling over obstacles at a snail’s pace. In fact, it feels like there is more than double the normal amount of torque available in low range, which makes crawling along in first gear possible.

So, we were understandably excited when Hatfield Motor Group decided (HMG) to put together an Outdoor version of the P-Series. We teamed up with Ryno from Rolling Ryno to put it to the test. Ryno has been a 4×4 instructor on the P-Series and various other brands for quite some time and certainly knows his stuff.

Rolling Ryno’s thoughts

I have been a 4×4 instructor on the GWM P-Series for a while now and have helped many new owners come to grips with off-roading and the capabilities of their vehicles. For me, the best thing that HMG could have done was to replace the tyres. The General Grabber AT3’s have changed the vehicle’s off road capabilities dramatically… for the better.

Going from the soft AT tyres fitted to the standard P-Series to much more rugged and sexy-looking rubber was a stroke of genius. The extra grip that this provides edges the Outdoor out in front of the standard vehicle and instils a lot more confidence when venturing off-road. A replacement bumper from Wildog has increased the approach angle and protects the front of the vehicle on higher steps.

The addition of the winch also adds a bit of extra confidence in taking on those obstacles that provide more of a challenge. If you do end up getting stuck, the winch enables you to self-recover with ease.

All in all, apart from the aesthetic enhancements that the additional fitments bring to the vehicle, they also boost its off-road capabilities. And of course, the added confidence this provides means you can now head out to that bush destination you have been dreaming of visiting but couldn’t with a standard rig!

The verdict

In this price range, the P-Series Outdoor from Hatfield Motor Group is a good choice. It is very well priced and very well specced, with the extra accessories making it a great value-for-money package. The change to more rugged AT tyres also greatly improves the off-road capability, while the addition of the canopy, awning and roof rack brings you that much closer to your first overlanding adventure into Botswana, Zimbabwe or Namibia.

More about Hatfield Motor Group

The Hatfield Motor Group is a well-known and respected name in the automotive industry in South Africa. With a history spanning over 20 years, the group has established itself as one of the leading groups of car dealerships in the country, offering an extensive range of high-quality vehicles and exceptional customer service.

Today, the Hatfield Motor Group represents some of the most prestigious automotive brands in the world, including Audi, Volkswagen, Ford, Mazda, Suzuki, Mahindra, Isuzu, Renault, Honda, Opel and of course GWM/Haval. It also recently became one of a select retail groups for Chery‘s luxury brand, Omoda. The group’s extensive inventory of new and pre-owned vehicles caters to a diverse range of customer needs and preferences, ensuring that there is something for everyone.

In addition to its impressive selection of vehicles, the Hatfield Motor Group is also renowned for its exceptional customer service. With a team of highly trained and knowledgeable sales representatives and service technicians, the group is committed to providing its customers with the best possible experience, from the moment they set foot in the dealership to the moment they drive off the showroom floor.

For more information contact the Hatfield Motor Group: www.hatfieldgroup.co.za

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