• Generous features and equipment
    • Competitive price
    • Comfortable and quiet ride
    • Fuel economy is far off from official figures
    • Low payload and tow rating
    • Not available in PHEV and possibility to become more expensive next year due to NVES
    5 Star

    About the GWM Tank 300

    Tywin purchased this GWM Tank 300 new with additional options for $51,500 (including all on-road costs). Tywin would buy this car again because: “I purchased Tank 300 Ultra Petrol (non-hybrid) brand new back in July 2023 from GWM Blacktown. I waited approximately 6 weeks from the day I put the deposit until I picked the car up end of August 2023. The car is June 2023 built and I paid $51,500 with the optional Orange colour. Being one of the first to purchase Tank 300, the only extra that the dealer could give me is free mats and white premium NSW plate.

    The Tank 300 is completely different car than all my previous cars: WRX STI, BRZ, E92 BMW 3 Series, and F20 BMW 1 Series. I’ve been doing a lot of track days with my previous cars and this time I want to try something different i.e. off-road driving. Tank 300 is pretty well equipped for its price, so I thought this is ideal car for me. Apart from the price, I really like the look of boxy 4×4 off roaders, they are just look unique in my opinion. Other boxy 4×4 that I like is Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and Ineos Grenadier which both cost a lot more than Tank 300.

    I was contemplating whether to spend $10k more for the hybrid version but in the end, I chose petrol variant for two main reasons. The first reason is the engine (E20CB) and gearbox (eight-speed German ZF transmission) have already been proven to be reliable in overseas market.

    For those who are not aware, the hybrid version uses the new engine (E20NA) and GWM’s own nine-speed dual-clutch transmission. This drivetrain is very new and even in China, they have not used this on their off-road version of Tank 300. They only use the new drivetrain on their city version of Tank 300 (version which Australian market does not have). The second reason is I’ll be getting BEV this year (either Model 3 Highland or BYD Seal) so the Tank will be mainly for off-road and out of town trips.”

    How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

    During the last nine months of the ownership, I have zero issue whether is mechanical or electrical. The Lane Keep Assist (LKA) and Emergency Lane Keep (ELK) were awful at first, I always turned it off every time I drive it. They were way too sensitive and aggressive when triggered.

    But by September 2023, GWM released the software update which completely fixed the LKA. I never turned this off anymore since software update. As with the ELK while the software update made it less aggressive, it still can be quite intrusive when driving on poorly marked road or narrow lined road i.e. Sydney Harbour Bridge lanes. So, I still tuned ELK off occasionally.

    Due to ANCAP requirement the default setting for the ELK is always on when starting the car.

    What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

    So far, I have been very happy with the car. On road driving is by far the most comfortable one to drive.

    It is more comfortable and quieter than both my BMWs and my dad’s Mercedes E-Class (W212). As with off-road driving, there are a lot of online reviews that praise the Tank 300 off-road capability, so I don’t think need to write this part in my ownership review.

    How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

    The good thing about national fix pricing is I don’t need to visit multiple dealerships in town to get couple of thousand dollars off to seal the deal. The price difference would be minimal hence why I just went the nearest dealership from my house which happen to be Blacktown GWM.

    On the day I told the salesman that me and my wife are just going to check out the new Tank 300. He offered us a test drive which I accepted. We both very impressed with how comfortable the car is and proceeded directly to put the deposit!

    The salesman was very helpful and not once he even asked us to put the deposit right away after test drive, we just did it anyway because we were very impressed with the car.

    Initially I was going to get the Lux version but considering they don’t have the display model, my wife worried since the seats are different and may not be as comfortable, especially the driver seat adjustment. So, in the end we put the deposit for the Ultra.

    Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

    Yes absolutely, for the price there is no other car come close with the features and equipment of Tank 300 Ultra: twin lockers, nappa leather seats with ventilation and massage function, etc. The dashboard and infotainment screens are clear as well, I haven’t had any issue with glare when driving on the daytime.

    All the cameras are very clear and high definition, they are miles ahead of Japanese and Korean cameras around this price bracket.

    One feature that I wish is included in Tank 300 Ultra: Wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto from factory. This is easy and cheap fix, I bought USB dongle online for $70 and it works perfectly.

    Some people are disappointed with the payload and towing capacity of Tank 300, but thankfully for us this is not an issue. We have no kids so plenty of payload for only two of us and also we are not planning to tow anything.

    What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

    The 2L petrol engine with only 162kW and 380Nm sounds underdone for 2.2T ladder frame chassis SUV, that’s what I thought prior to test drive. But during test drive, I quickly found that is more than adequate. It is not WRX STI but for an SUV it more than adequate.

    The eight-speed ZF transmission really makes a good use of engine torque/power band, it matches perfectly. I have tried it on a steep hill climb as well, once you put on 4L it climbs it with ease.

    The fuel economy is far off from 9.5L/100kms combined. The best I could get is when driving from Sydney to Canberra on the highway was 10.1L/100kms.

    For driving around Sydney, it averages around 12.8L to 13.0L/100km. I don’t mind this at all simply because I do not want diesel engines. I used to work in construction industry for 10 years and during this time I have company supplied dual cab utes from HiLux, Ranger, Amarok and the last one was Triton.

    I don’t like the way it drives because they all have slow response and very noticeable turbo lag. On top of that, my current workplace is seven minutes drive from home, so diesel engine will most likely give me DPF issues with this constant short distance trip.

    What do you think of the technology in your car?

    The technology in Tank 300 is nothing new or ground breaking. Low range 4L, front and rear differential lock, etc, these have been around for decades. It is just finally is available on this price bracket without having to spend six figures for 4×4 off-roader.

    What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

    The ride is very comfortable and quiet. It is more comfortable and quieter than both my BMWs and my dad’s Mercedes E Class (W212). The trade off is there is a lot of body roll on the corner if you drive it faster than normal and nosedive if you brake harder than normal due to soft suspension.

    In regards of braking, there are some people making such a big deal with the rear wheels lift of the ground. In my opinion, yes the rear wheels lift of the ground for fraction of a second but out of all the tests that were done by Paul Maric from CarExpert and Brett Davis from Driving Enthusiast, the car still stopped within the same distance as other dual cab utes on the market while it maintains the straight line.

    Neither of Paul nor Brett ends up spin out, roll over or lost control of the car. How about if you slammed the brakes on the high-speed corner? Obviously you do not slam the brake on the corner even when you are driving sports car, let alone 4×4 SUV with ladder frame chassis.

    Overall Rating

    Ride & Handling7.5
    Price & Features9
    Purchase & Aftercare9
    Performance & Economy8
    Ownership Experience9