GWM Tank 300 and Haval H6 Hybrid: Ready for rugged life

MENTION tank and one would conjure visions of a military vehicle with a large calibre gun mounted on a revolving turret that moves on caterpillar tracks rather than wheels.

Well, you would need to change that perception when it comes to the Tank luxury off-roader that falls under the GWM (Great Wall Motor) umbrella.

Tank 300.
Tank 300.

As the vehicle description suggests, the Tank is a sports utility vehicle (SUV) lineup with a rugged body styling that looks somewhat like a Jeep.

Introduced in 2020, it was initially sold under the Wey premium SUV brand but GWM decided to place Tank under its own footing in early 2021.


We had a close-up of the Tank 300, the entry-level model, at an obstacle course area within GWM’s huge complex (measuring some 5,000 acres on a 50-year lease from the Chinese government) in Baoding, about 200km south of Beijing.

It might be the smallest of the Tank range but its body dimensions slot it clearly as a mid-range SUV featuring a 2,750mm wheelbase, 4,760mm length, 1,930mm width and 1,927mm height.


It is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that delivers 217hp (162kW) and 380Nm torque, complete with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and part-time four-wheel drive system.

We got in and was surprised to enjoy the luxury of electric seat adjustments, even as a front seat passenger.


The quality aspect in the trim and finishing was clear to the eye and touch, although we couldn’t help noticing some design adaption from premium brands in Europe.

An example is the round and ornate air vents on the dashboard that struck us immediately of those in the Mercedes-Benz range.


Selecting the gears was done via a control knob on the central console along with the drive options – 2H(igh), 4H and 4L(ow) – via a rotary dial.

The obstacle area offered a variety of courses within a small area that was sufficient to impress on the Tank 300’s off-road abilities.


The tyres fitted onto the Tank 300 were Korean made though, being the Kumho RoadVenture of size 265/65 R17.

The Tank earned its status as an Off-Road SUV Champion in China in the category for such vehicles with a ladder frame chassis.


The best part of the obstacle experience was that we did it mainly in 2H; the only area that required a shift to 4H was the 50-degree incline that we experienced as a passenger.

We were made to take the less challenging 30-degree incline when we were at the wheel as the GWM people were not too confident in us handling the steeper climb.


That was a bit of a letdown as we had done quite a few drives with Japanese, British and German brands up similarly steep inclines.

We found the steps section a bit of a novelty – going down early in the drive and going up to end the session – as it was a first for us.

Haval H6 Hybrid.
Haval H6 Hybrid.

And doing all that in 2H made it all the more impressive as it revealed the practical use of the strong torque that develops at low engine revs.

We could feel the luxury of the upholstery and equipment, and the ride comfort as the suspension soaked up the uneven impacts over the respective sections.


This was followed by a riverside drive on sandy terrain in another area that showed off another aspect of the Tank 300’s off-road prowess.

We were also driven in a larger Tank 700 model the following day at GWM’s vast proving ground near its headquarters, during which we could imagine being in a premium SUV of a British brand.


The quality of ride comfort over the obstacle course and premium tactile feel afforded by the luxuriously appointed top Tank model were fully enjoyed.

A brief drive in the Haval H6 Hybrid (this brand focuses on SUVs in general) was also provided on the first day at a riverside ‘camp’ that GWM set up to promote the lifestyle aspect of such vehicles.


As GWM Malaysia had already previewed this vehicle locally last year, the drive experience in the right-hand drive Haval H6 version was to give us a feel of the SUV across a short watercourse, enjoy its strong acceleration and good ride comfort.

This model is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that delivers 148hp (110kW) and 230Nm of torque.

The Haval is claimed as another best-selling SUV (different category) in China and is said to hold this leading position for the past 12 years.

Expect the launch of the Tank 300 and Haval H6 Hybrid in Malaysia in the third quarter of this year though their anticipated prices were not disclosed yet.
Autos GWM