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Riding the Orient, GWM’s C30

From the east with love: the all new GMW C30 worthy of being a notable compact sedan.

From the east with love: the all new GMW C30 worthy of being a notable compact sedan.

It is hard not to fall in love with GWM’s new C30 compact sedan. Chinese vehicles may well not inspire confidence but the C30 has pushed the envelope and signals China’s intent to become a formidable force and a leading car manufacturer, the C30 is certainly proof of that and the C30 was eager to please from the onset of the drive test.
The modest sedan is visually appealing and perhaps one of the most attractive compact sedans to have been released this year with the exception of the Hyundai Accent and Honda Ballade, the C30 certainly holds its own. Enough to inspire confidence in a would be potential owner. Its chrome grill completes the vehicle superbly while neatly fitted fog lights complement the overall look and feel of the vehicle. While it is generally smaller than cars in its class segment, it can confidently compete and carve out a market of its own.
It does lack a more meaningful sportier look and feel but does well not to try too hard. It certainly knows its place and fits right in.
The C30 boasts an impressive interior and is adequately spaced when taking into consideration its overall dimension. It offers ample storage bins and should appeal to the young and aspiring professional who would want to neatly hide the gym bag, and laptop. A tall driver will feel at home without limiting passengers in the rear and head room has proven to be adequate. The C30 has an adequately sized boot, measuring 475 litres and the rear seats fold down, further increasing the total size of the boot.

Ergonomically the C30 fares very well. It is easy on the eye and may be construed as being boring, stiff and conservative. Designers may well not pushed the envelope and have played it safe with its makeshift black and silver fittings.
The C30 will fail to arouse the daredevil driver in you for lack of a more sportier look and feel. Its 15 inch sized alloys do however offer a very quiet and comfortable ride.
When pushed the C30 handled well and is at home on tar. It showed impeccable performance in the bends. The C30 was certainly not designed for breakneck speed as it generally struggled to accelerate on the straight, with its modest 71 kilowatts to boot.
Expectedly, its fuel economy was impressive clocking 7 litres per 100 kilometres on average throughout the duration of the test. When pushed over the legal limit, it offered a comfortable confidence inspiring ride, enough perhaps for the daily run to work and back. A bigger fuel tank would have been desirable but owners will have to make due with its 40 litre tank.
The C30 will be available in just one variant, the 1.5 litre Variable Valve Timing Technology (VVTi) and will be limited to just a manual model. It is quite pricey and currently retails for N$179,900. Diesel variants are not available and a lack of derivatives will not fare well for the C30 which competes against C-segment stalwarts such as Volkswagen’s Polo Vivo, Toyota’s new Corolla Quest and the Kia Rio sedan. Issues related to GWM’s build quality will go some way in deterring buyers for a car that certainly has got some way to go to prove itself worthy of being a notable compact sedan.
A lack of a motor plan will undoubtedly disinterest prospective buyers in the market for a vehicle upward of N$170,000. The jury is out as to whether it will be able to hold its re-sale value taking into consideration GWM has not been around for a considerable time. The C30 however should be easy on the pocket with its adequately spaced 15,000 km service intervals.

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