Make / Model Search


Car reviews - GWM - Tank - 300


We like
Off-road capability, value for money, fit and finish, decent on- and off-road dynamics, good off-road geometry and turning circle, ride quality and cabin quietness
Room for improvement
Some packaging and infotainment quirks, at times nervous driver assistance technology, driveline calibration tense in 4H mode, no DAB+ digital radio reception

Is the GWM Tank 300 just another SUV masquerading as a four-wheel drive? We find out

20 Jul 2023



UNTIL recently, those wanting a bona fide four-wheel drive – one with proper off-road geometry and clearance, low-range gearing and body-on-frame construction – had limited options from a pricing standpoint.


Either purchase a too-small Suzuki Jimny from $30,490 plus on-road costs or step up to a ute-based SUV, Jeep Wrangler (from $74,950 +ORC) or Toyota LandCruiser Prado (from $62,830 +ORC). The middle ground was a vast chasm of on-road-biased mediocrity.


Now, GWM has made Aussie off-road enthusiasts an offer that is hard to beat with the introduction of its Tank 300 and Tank 300 Hybrid.


The petrol-powered duo arrives from just $46,990 drive-away (with the top-spec Ultra as tested from $50,990 d/a) and in addition to offering the must-have fixings required for genuine off-road work, is well sized and well equipped with a strong feature list, top-notch safety credentials and what GWM says is a “dependable” four pot engine.


Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine with 162kW (hybrid is rated at 225kW combined) and 380Nm of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission (no manual is available) that feeds drive to the wheels through a part-time (selectable)4WD system.


It consumes petrol at the combined rate of 10.7 litres per 100km running on regular 91 RON unleaded fuel and can tow up to 2500kg braked.


The Chinese-made model uses a ladder-frame chassis and in addition to selectable 4WD has a locking rear differential (a front locker is included on the high-grade model).


Measuring 4760mm in length, 1930mm wide and 1903mm high, the Tank 300 is 122mm shorter from bumper to bumper when compared to a long-wheelbase Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. It is, however, 55mm taller and 36mm wider, meaning it offers slightly better accommodation for passengers and luggage.


Off-road specs and clearance numbers see the Tank 300 with 224mm of ground clearance, a 33-degree approach angle and 34-degree departure angle. No ramp-over or water wading details are available (though some sources quote 700mm).


Tank 300 standard equipment list includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a six-way power driver seat, Comfort-tek leather seats, micro-fibre leather steering wheel, 12.3-inch full colour instrument cluster and 12.3-inch full colour infotainment system, front and rear USB charge points (front with data transmission), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, nine-speaker audio, seven-colour ambient lighting, DAB+, power windows, auto-folding and heated power wing mirrors, LED head- and taillights, daytime running lamps, sunroof, two-piece under-body guard, and 12V power outlets in the front and luggage compartment.


The Ultra (as tested) adds 18-inch alloys, Nappa leather seats, heated and cooled front seats, eight-way powered driver seat with massage function and four-way powered lumbar support adjustment, a heated leather steering wheel, wireless charging, premium Infinity nine-speaker audio, 64-colour ambient lighting, 220V power outlet (luggage cabin), front differential lock, three-piece bash plates, auto parking and auto reverse tracking function.


Safety features commensurate with the vehicle’s five-star ANCAP rating include tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), seven airbags, adaptive cruise control, auto emergency braking, front collision warning, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, traffic sign recognition, rear cross-traffic alert with brake, crawl control for ultra-low-speed off-road driving, and a feature called ‘Tank Turn’ that selectively applies the brake to assist steering in tight off-road conditions, a la the top-spec’ Toyota LandCruiser 300.


Also included is a transparent chassis camera function, front and rear parking sensors and a 360-degree view camera system.


The GWM Tank 300 range is backed by a seven-year / unlimited-kilometre national warranty and five-year roadside assistance program.


GWM has yet to provide capped-price servicing information related to the Tank 300, however, it is likely this will closely follow the GWM Ute with 12 month / 15,000km service intervals amounting to $1700 over the five-year program.


Driving Impressions


A new twin locked, five-seat, dual-range four-wheel drive for less than $51K drive-away… tell him he’s dreaming. Well, until this month, he might just as well have been.


But with GWM introducing its Tank 300 to the Aussie market, the idea of owning a capable and complete new fourbie with just about every feature you could ask for is suddenly a reality.


So, does the vehicle stack up to its manufacturer’s claims? Or is the GWM Tank 300 just another SUV masquerading as a four-wheel drive?


Spoiler alert: the Tank 300 is very much the former; and in tackling our challenging – and quite muddy – four-wheel drive test track north of Melbourne this week, proved it has not only the construction, geometry and ground clearance required to play in the gnarly end of the park, but also the off-road smarts.


The Tank 300 is constructed on the same P71-series underpinnings as the trade-tough GWM Ute Cannon, the recreational off-roader a cut-price contender to the likes of Jeep’s Wrangler with on-demand four-wheel drive, proper low range gearing, and front and rear differential locks (on high-grade Ultra).


It also features a handful of off-road stability control modes (drive programs), hill descent control and a Tank Turn function that locks the inside wheels to enable a tighter turning circle (12.0m).


In putting the Tank 300 through its paces we found no difficulty in matching some of the tracks reserved only for the most hardcore of factory four-wheel drives, the GWM taking them all in its stride. Selecting the appropriate mode and aiming the nose in the desired direction was essentially all that was required to take on challenges many (often more expensive) four-wheel drives have baulked at.


Judicious throttle use saw the Tank 300 crawl and climb its way through and over obstacles with little scrambling or wheel slip, even wearing the road-biased tyres fitted. A decent set of all-terrain tyres would undoubtedly up the intrepid character of this rugged offering yet again, its mountain-goat-like hold on loose, shaly terrain an impressive demonstration of what this vehicle can do fresh out of the box.


Surprisingly, we never really found the limits of the Tank 300’s clearance. Approaching and departing steep climbs and devilishly deep holes occurred without scraping the body or bumpers, the squared off glass house allowing a good view out for accurate wheel placement in more technical sections of track – and a clear 360-degree camera system with nifty 3D function for when you cannot see a thing.


The steering is light and easy to twirl when navigating tighter tracks, adding to the not-quite-small, not-quite-medium size that proves far easier to manoeuvre in sections that feel too tight for Everest-sized SUVs, LandCruisers and the like.


That more compact size really helps to accentuate the Tank 300’s geometry and clearance numbers, and with a little more time up our sleeve we reckon we could have gone even further into more challenging territory, perhaps even taking on the likes of Dingo Hill Track or even Billy Goat Bluff Track.


Fortunately – and despite feeling a little highly strung in 4H mode – the turbocharged four’ does a terrific job of keeping the 2106kg Tank 300 on pace. With 180kW of power at 5500-6000rpm and 380Nm from 1700-4000rpm, the unit is not too far shy of the 213kW and 353Nm offered from Jeep’s Pentastar V6, which tips the scale at a comparable 2128kg in Unlimited (five-door) Rubicon automatic guise. On test, we averaged around 10.5 litres per 100km on regular 91 RON unleaded.


The eight-speed torque converter automatic is smooth and decisive, and even in 4L does not seem to thump between cogs in the manner we have experience in some rivals. In most scenarios, we happily left the transmission to do its own thing. We found it only necessary to shift manually to use higher gears in 4H (where the vehicle seemed to hold lower gears unnecessarily) or to provide additional braking power when descending steeper hills.


GWM’s all-coil suspension (independent at the front with a live axle rear) offered decent travel over the tricky stuff but with soft enough tuning to keep things comfortable. The ride quality is closer to that found in the Toyota LandCruiser Prado than it is the Jeep Wrangler, and on-road feels adequately sorted for both highway and urban speeds.


Interestingly, and despite its boxy shape, the GWM Tank 300 is also impressively quiet on-road, with little in the way of wind or tyre noise to detract from conversation.


On the downside, we did find some of the vehicle’s HMI interactions, via a 12.3-inch screen, to be involuted and hard to follow, and both the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity require a wired connection.


The driver assistance technologies likewise feel a little “last generation” and are more nervous than some of the Tank’s better mainstream rivals, chiming in when no real danger is present.


It is also obvious that style outplays substance in some areas of the cabin with presentation and layout that is a touch chintzy and overplayed. Get past the look and you will find decent accommodation for four (five at a pinch) with comfortable seating and a great view out.


There is plenty of storage cubbies too, though we reckon the front cupholders are set too low to be properly useful – unless of course you buy jumbo-sized cans of energy drink…


The cargo area is flat and deep but is accessed via a somewhat heavy side-hinged door. GWM says the area is good for 400 litres, but somehow it seems bigger. A set of drawers and a cargo barrier would look right at home back there…


The Tank 300’s spare wheel is located on the tailgate and (thankfully) is a full-size matching alloy which true off-roaders are certain to appreciate.


Which is realistically smack dab where the Tank 300 aims to place itself – in the hands of the recreational four-wheel driver. Suddenly, Australian off-road enthusiasts can afford a no-nonsense, well-sized 4WD with the bells and whistles they would never find in a used model.


A long warranty and seemingly rugged build quality parks the Tank 300 in a unique position few can match, and we reckon it won’t be too long at all before fire trails and beaches across the country are dotted with GWM owners having a go.

Read more


Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new Tank

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here