SA's premium automotive magazine

Launch Pad: GWM C10

Enticing proposition

Wendy Robinson

GWM has just launched a brand new model to offer customers in the small passenger car segment an exciting, competitively priced option: the C10 1.5VVT compact hatch. This hatchback promises to entice motorists, especially city dwellers, with the complete package: good looks, performance and a host of safety and comfort features.


For many consumers smaller is now better, seen against the backdrop of rising living costs, increasing fuel prices as well as a volatile global economy. For this reason, GWM brings motorists the C10 1.5VVT.

Priced from R134 990 and packed with safety and comfort features, this small hatch is hoping to contend in a growing segment that are hoping to cater for buyers that are scaling down in terms of their new car purchases. We are assuming the C10 is positioned in the B-segment market, competing with a Ford Figo, Polo Vivo and Hyundai i20.

The hatch has a V-shaped chrome grille guaranteed to attract glances, whether that is for the right reason is up for debate. It certainly is a love it or hate it kind of look. It also features 15-inch alloy wheels, an integrated exhaust tip and a rear spoiler with a high-mounted brake light, giving it a very contemporary look. Its compact dimensions make parking in tight spots a breeze.

A 1.5-litre VVT petrol engine ensures fair performance and fuel economy. Drivers can expect a maximum power output of 77 kW at 6 000 rpm, with a maximum torque of 138 Nm at 4 200 rpm, but you really have to get the engine spinning up to harness all its potential. In addition, five-speed manual transmission, hydraulic power steering and suspension tuned for ride comfort make for pleasurable driving experiences.

The C10’s interior offers comfort and a host of driver-friendly features. There’s the six-way height-adjustable driver’s seat, height-adjustable rear headrests, whilst electric windows, a multi-function steering wheel, air-conditioning and a radio/CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary and USB inputs take the stress out of peak hour traffic.

To keep you and your passengers safe, dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, central locking, seatbelt unbuckling alarm, opening door alert, low fuel warning, rear children door lock, immobiliser and reversing radar have been fitted. A rear windshield defogger and front and rear fog lamps aid visibility.

GWM’s standard three-year / 100 000 km warranty, two-year 24-hour Roadside Assist service as well as 71 dealerships across South Africa offer C10 1.5VVT drivers additional backup and support.

Although GWM are claiming that the new GWM C10 1.5VVT compact hatch offers superb value for money and a drive that has been expertly created for the city, we believe that there are still better options to spend your money on. Although GWM and other Chinese manufacturers have come a long way, they are still a tad behind in the build quality and simple attention to detail stakes. Maybe we would feel differently if this car was priced under the R100 000 mark, which is about what we think it should be selling for.

Let’s see what the market dictates.

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