The just-launched GWM Tank 300 hybrid 4×4 has received the maximum five-star safety rating from crash tester ANCAP – based on Australian testing.

    The GWM Tank – Tank being another Great Wall Motor sub-brand – becomes the latest GWM to score five stars, joining the GWM Ute, GWM Haval H6, and GWM Haval Jolion.

    The Chinese SUV scored 88 per cent for adult occupant protection, 89 per cent for child occupant protection, 81 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 85 per cent for safety assist features.

    Full points were awarded for all four critical body regions of both the driver and front seat passenger in the frontal offset test.

    However this was offset by the maximum 4.00 point penalty for vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility: The bluff front structure was shown to pose a high risk to the occupants of an oncoming vehicle if struck.

    Similar high scores were given for the Tank 300’s ability to protect the driver and front seat occupants in the range of side impact crash test scenarios.

    Whiplash protection for front and rear seat passengers was rated as good, as was protection offered to both the 10 year and 6 year child dummies when seated in appropriate child restraints in the second row.

    In the full width frontal test, designed to assess the effectiveness of frontal airbags and seatbelt restraints, the level of protection offered to all critical body regions of the driver was again rated as good.

    In contrast, weak performance was recorded for the head and chest of the rear seat passenger – an area where improvements to the restraint system could deliver improved performance for rear seat occupants.

    The Tank 300 demonstrated mostly good levels of safety performance across the Safety Assist assessment area including its autonomous emergency braking and lane-keeping aids, with ANCAP also noting an advanced direct driver monitoring system is fitted as standard.

    Direct driver monitoring becomes a requirement for five-stars under the forthcoming, ratcheted-up 2023-2025 ANCAP rating criteria.

    “This safety rating for the Tank 300 rounds out our testing for the year, and adds another five-star performer into the GWM stable and importantly, the Australia new vehicle fleet,” said ANCAP chief executive Carla Hoorweg.

    “2023 will see a number of new and updated aspects introduced into our test and rating regime – further enhancing the safety of new cars offered to Australian and New Zealand consumers,” said Ms Hoorweg.

    MORE ON THAT: Here’s how ANCAP is making crash tests harder from 2023

    The GWM Tank 300 is a boxy ladder-frame 4×4 sharing some of its underpinnings with the GWM Ute, but using petrol-electric power.

    Prices kick off at $55,990 drive-away and top out at $60,990 drive-away, making it GWM’s most expensive vehicle in Australia to date.

    Safety features:

    • Seven airbags (front, side, curtain and centre)
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Autonomous emergency braking
    • Front collision warning
    • Lane-departure warning
    • Lane-keep assist
    • Traffic sign recognition
    • Rear cross-traffic alert with brake

    Power comes from a 2.0-litre hybrid pairing a 180kW and 380Nm four-cylinder petrol engine with a 78kW and 268Nm electric motor. GWM Australia says the towing capacity will be 2500kg.

    GWM’s Australian division hasn’t offered all the specs, but the company’s global site claims the Tank 300’s system HEV outputs are 224kW and 640Nm, and says fuel economy will be between 9-10 litres per 100km. We await Australian data however.

    The hybrid’s power output is up 57kW on the non-hybrid turbo four-cylinder offered in China, and GWM says this slashes the claimed 0-100km/h time from 9.5 seconds to 7.9 seconds.

    Built on GWM’s global off-road platform, the GWM Tank 300 offers good ground clearance of 224mm, a 33-degree approach angle and 34-degree departure angle, and ‘torque-on-demand’ full-time 4WD.

    At 4760mm long, the GWM Tank 300 is an interesting size, being a bit smaller than an Isuzu MU-X and Ford Everest, but larger than a typical mid-size SUV. Another potential rival is the much more expensive Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

    Tank 300 models have already been spied in right-hand drive guise in Melbourne at GWM HQ.

    Tank 300 models in China offer low-range gearing and front and rear electromechanical locking differentials, plus a tank turn function and a creep mode. In addition to a standard surround-view camera, there’s also a see-through under vehicle view.

    Suspension is understood to be double-wishbone up front with a multi-link rear axle, and a full-sized spare is mounted on the tailgate.

    GWM actually imported at least one non-hybrid Tank 300 petrol to Australia in 2021, and held a media drive at a 4×4 park to show its abilities. It’s the black vehicle pictured.

    There’s also a burgeoning 4×4 community in China who are loving the Tank 300.

    GWM Tank itself sells a 300 Border edition in China, while our friends at China’s biggest off-road accessory importer, Yunliang 4×4, produce their own hardcore modified version – which sold 1000 units in three minutes earlier this year.

    It’s not the only electrified model GWM is expected to introduce next year, as CarExpert understands the brand could have six or seven electrified models by the end of 2023.

    That includes a plug-in hybrid version of the Tank 500, another body-on-frame SUV but one which sits roughly between the Toyota LandCruiser Prado and 300 Series.

    The Tank 300, like all GWM vehicles, comes with a seven-year and unlimited kilometre warranty, five years of roadside assistance, and five years of capped-price servicing.

    MORE: China’s GWM breaks its export record, helped by Australia
    MORE: Tank 300, China’s modified 4×4 a big hit, Australia could be next
    MORE: GWM Tank 300, meet China’s Jeep Wrangler off-road rival

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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