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GWM Tank 700 Hi4-T 2024 review


The Tank 700 plug-in hybrid could muscle into hallowed 4×4 wagon turf with serious off-road credentials and next-level luxury. But how much will it cost?

Good points

  • Looks tough, modern and appealing
  • Cabin luxe and features are superb
  • Fit and finish impress
  • Performance is rapid for this size
  • Limo-like rear seat luxury
  • PHEV point of difference

Needs work

  • c.$100k is a pricey GWM product
  • Only 2500kg tow rating
  • PHEV only will turn off some
  • Doubtless thirsty when battery runs out
  • Wobbly handling and body control
  • Seriously heavy at 3100kg

It’s easy to get intoxicated by the GWM Tank 700 Hi4-T.

Its mega size, the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen-like boxiness, the mad performance – it epitomises excess all areas yet still taps into our adventurous Aussie side with the promise of highly capable off-roading.

GWM Tank 700 2024 rear

It’s almost toy-like in the metal, especially when dressed in uber-appealing Limited Edition costume of black with bronze wheels and trim.

But what the hell is this plug-in hybrid behemoth, and could it really be on the menu for Australia to sit as a flagship above Tank’s already-here 300 and 500 4x4s?

We visited GWM’s factory and proving ground in Baoding, China to briefly sample some of its latest wares, and the 385kW/800Nm Tank 700 was an in-yer-face obvious choice to home in on.

GWM Tank 700 2024 4

Total disclosure. This is not a typical first drive story. We were granted a brief time window to poke and prod around the hyper-luxury upper large SUV, but a far shorter spell actually driving the thing.

Really, it was just a throttle stomp from standstill to sample the acceleration, then a 90-degree turn, quick slalom through cones and then a couple of metal ramps trying to simulate off-roading.

Far from ideal, but far better than nothing at all. And such is the interest and fascination surrounding the Tank 700 PHEV, I’ll tell you what I can about it from our short-lived affair.

So as not to tease, here’s a quick synopsis. It’s intriguingly and imposingly tough on the style front. To the point where you just want one, in the same way you wanted a Hummer H1 a few decades ago.

GWM Tank 700 2024 front 3/4

Its brutal design and promise of rugged recreation – it simply looks like A Good Time – suck you in.

On first acceleration stomp it certainly shifts for such a bulbous unit, but in corners and through the slalom it’s apparent body control’s an issue.

Okay, this is a ladder frame chassis 4×4 promising deep bush travel exploration talents, and it’s not as if its rivalling Toyota Land Cruiser 300 or Nissan Patrol demonstrate much finesse on a gymkhana course.

But be under no illusions. This luxury-packed Tank feels a wallowy big thing on first, very short try.

GWM Tank 700 2024 badge

According to GWM Australia communications and marketing boss Steve Maciver, the Tank 700 is under consideration for Australia, but “it’d have to be considered with its pricing perspective,” he said.

It’s already on sale in China and the Middle East (because of course it is), with the entry-level price of 428,000 yuan ($90,500). A higher-spec version is 468,000 yuan ($99,000), while a sold out Launch Edition – those bronze wheels, carbon accessories and a torque boost to 850Nm) – weighed in at 700,000 yuan ($148,000).

Challenging numbers for something from GWM. That entry price eclipses a Patrol’s starting cost, while you can still buy a living legend Land Cruiser 300 for under $100k before on-roads.

But Aussies are at least getting used to higher GWM prices, especially with the Tank 500 already in our market costing from $73,600 in Ultra Hybrid guise.

GWM Tank 700 2024 interior

Besides, the Tank 700 Hi4-T is unflinchingly playing the luxury card.

I’m not daft enough to compare this Tank to a Bentley Bentayga Hybrid (from $395,800) or Range Rover P460e PHEV (from $254,500), but you sense GWM wants to appeal to those dazzled by the luxe and plug-in electrification of such vehicles, but for a fraction of the dollars.

The numbers, then. At 5113mm in length, it’s 163mm longer than a LandCruiser 300, while its 3000mm wheelbase eclipses the Toyota by 150mm. So yes, it’s a massive unit.

Quite wonderfully, GWM describes the Tank 700’s abilities as ‘all-scenario satisfaction,’ playing to performance, luxury, economy and off-road abilities.

GWM Tank 700 2024 2

The engine’s a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol delivering 260kW and 560Nm. Allied with an (approximate) 120kW and 400Nm electric motor, GWM says combined figures are 386kW and 800Nm.

This delivers ‘sub 5-second 0-100km/h acceleration’ which is, quite frankly, ludicrous for something weighing 3110kg. Such numbers wholly eclipse a LandCruiser 300’s 227kW/700Nm 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel, and the Nissan Patrol’s 298kW/560Nm from its 5.6-litre V8 petrol.

Plug-in hybrid or not, we’re hardly saving the planet here with a giant 4×4 that’s over three-tonnes before loading it with people and kit. A big culprit is the 37.1kWh battery – which is almost as large as a Nissan Leaf’s unit as a full electric car.

GWM Tank 700 2024

GWM hasn’t revealed WLTP figures for the Tank 700’s purely electric range, although ‘up to 100km’ has been bandied around. Let’s take that with a pinch of salt.

Other known details are it uses a GWM-developed nine-speed auto, there’s permanent four-wheel-drive, 22-inch wheels, three diff locks, wading depth is an excellent claimed 900mm (or up to 970mm in a specific drive mode), there’s air suspension, 12 driving/all-terrain modes and, if accurate, a quite disappointing 2500kg tow rating.

Not really enough for Australia, you’d have thought.

Oh, and there’s a hard-to-miss spare wheel on the side-hinged rear door – traditionalists will love that.

GWM Tank 700 2024 rear 2

For the Tank to elbow into the ‘respect-must-be-hard-earned’ 4×4 SUV segment here, the hardware and specs must stand up.

We’re told the 700 uses electromagnetic shock absorbers and a detachable (through hydraulics) stabiliser bar for off-road use, allowing wheel decoupling/connection and suspension rebound range by 60mm.

Ground clearance is a huge 255mm thanks to the air suspension, while its approach angle is 32 degrees and departure angle 33 degrees.

GWM Tank 700 2024 ramp

Sadly, we weren’t given the chance to sample such abilities. But really, serious off-road users and those towing heavy vans know such things can only be properly tested over a prolonged period and in numerous challenging circumstances.

I can tell you, if it helps, that this brute does feel pleasingly quick off that mark with its turbo petrol and electric motor combo. But it’s hardly the most pleasant way to crack 100km/h in around five seconds.

It rears up under acceleration, and then heavy on the brakes it dives forward markedly, and takes a long time to pull up. There’s absolutely no hiding the incredible mass of this Tank 700.

Body roll’s marked and control’s hard work when steering between cones. Suspension, in the setting we were in, was soft and spongy, and certainly comfortable in cruise mode.

GWM Tank 700 2024 driving

For the brief climb up some metal ramps, with a bit of articulation, it found grip enough to walk over such obstacles. Again, a deep dive into the numerous drive modes would help appreciate how capable this Tank is.

If there’s any reassurance here, the Tank 500 4×4 already on our market has hardly disgraced itself in off-road testing, as well as having the required hardware for such exploits.

Right, here’s the real point of difference. The Tank 700 Hi4-T takes luxury and features way beyond the LandCruiser and Patrol hardnuts, event in their top spec versions.

GWM Tank 700 2024 touchscreen

Tank won’t let 4×4 abilities get in the way of dressing the cabin up as if its wealthy occupants are en route to an evening at a West End theatre.

I’m greeted by electrically popping out side steps to help the clamber into the Nappa-leather insides. Our sample Tank’s coated in chocolate box brown hues, the chairs sink-in comfy with quilted leather tops and pillowy headrests with fold-out wings.

Front seats are power, heated, ventilated and massage, while the rears offer likewise, all controlled through a rear seat touchscreen found in a giant centre armrest. Kids don’t enjoy your off-road odysseys? They would in this thing, not least with the huge recline from the second row chairs.

GWM Tank 700 2024 digital dash

Up front is a digital driver display, head-up display and whopping 15.6-inch central screen. Definition looks superb, and menus can be rapidly flicked through. On first try, it’s a highly impressive user experience.

Door trim, A-pillars and the roof lining are all lush-feeling suede; metal switchgear has a pleasant clicky nature (as do paddle shifters), and blessedly GWM’s resisted making the whole thing a screen-only control system.

An ornate crystal gear selector is necessarily showboaty, there’s a pair of wireless phone chargers, neat metal-look centre console, large ambient light strips, panoramic sunroof and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

GWM Tank 700 2024 shifter

It really is bloody lovely stuff in this cavernous cabin. From the carpets to the lower doors, it’s hard to fault the luxury and apparently lovely finish here.

Cool touches include a central mounted tiny circular touchscreen which you can scroll through for a Start/Stop button or an analogue-face clock. There’s a metal pop-out handbag holder, directional vents for rear passengers in the B-pillars, electric rear sunshades, and individual rear climate control.

It’s proper business classing with the potential to cross the Simpson Desert.

Grumbles? Rear space may be superb, but it’s due to no third row of seats offered.

GWM Tank 700 2024 front seat

Rear seats folding electrically may be convenient but it takes an age, while I noted the doors and door handles didn’t quite have the quality feel of a proper Mercedes-Benz or Lexus.

No word on boot size either, but the opening thanks to the rear hinged door may be a bit awkward for some loading, and the space isn’t huge. It’s a very high boot floor, and there’s no space beneath it due to the hybrid’s battery.

But good grief, the material used to line the boot and tailgate is sublime – if not the best for muddy boots and soggy dogs.

GWM Tank 700 2024 grille

Overall, it’s a fascinating and special-feeling big unit with the chunky, modern good looks that have helped GWM sell a decent amount of Tank 300s. Is there a business case for this Tank 700 Hi4-T to make Australia?

Seems that way. Our upper large off-road market is sizeable – for reference, we bought over 15,000 LandCruiser 300s last year – and Tank’s offering an intriguing alternative here.

They’d have to price it right – anything over $100,000 would really be a push for GWM – and if this PHEV version could sell alongside a cheaper model with the 2.0-litre petrol-hybrid engine used in the Tank 500, that’d make solid sense.

GWM Tank 700 2024 climb

The off-road hardware is there, but if the 2500kg tow capacity is the maximum, that’ll be a major sticking point.

The LandCruiser faithful will question this Chinese upstart muscling onto its patch – and quite right. Trust will only come through proven reliability and outright ability. GWM does help itself in part here by giving its vehicles a seven-year warranty – two years above Toyota’s and Nissan’s.

A right-hand-drive Tank 700 Hi4-T’s already been confirmed by GWM, and GWM Australia has stated it can and will act fast if the business case stacks up.

It could be here as soon as next year. It’d be a fascinating machine to enter our large 4×4 playground.

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