The H5 diesel long-termer undertook its first long-haul trip recently transporting my family and I on a 1 500 km round trip taking in Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Addo Elephant Park.
The Knysna leg involved my participation in the Knysna MTB race, so in addition to a family and their associated chattels the H5’s duties included shouldering a bike rack and towing a trailer.
Being four-up (two adults and two kids), carrying three bicycles and packed with winter gear the H5 had its work cut out. Even when we’d reached our destinations and unpacked, we still required a great deal of space for our daily excursions – from cycling activities to game drives in Addo. Although we kept the muddy bikes strapped to the rear rack, we still needed to cart a great deal of clothing and equipment, but the H5’s folding rear seat freed up a great deal of useable loadspace. Despite this considerable workload, the H5 handled everything we threw at it with aplomb and we were never short of space.
There were some doubts about the H5’s ability to cope with this load-lugging exercise, which included towing a trailer in addition to the aforementioned mountain of gear, but apart from a couple of uphill sections when the engine needed some coaxing, it performed well. The additional load and odd bit of right-foot encouragement saw the fuel consumption creep up to 11,4 Litres/100 km, but given the tasks that were thrown the H5’s way, this wasn’t too bad. For a large SUV I was pleasantly surprised by the pliant ride and we were very comfortable on the open road.
We’re all aware of just how well-equipped GWM’s H5 models are, but some of the features at this price point are still well worth a mention. The electric seats and audio system with steering wheel controls and Bluetooth were welcome features, but it was the clear, well-sited reverse camera – an unexpected surprise – that always proved a boon in this type of vehicle.
The H5 recently underwent an ECU upgrade that has now been applied to models across the diesel range. We’ll see how it fares on its next long trip to Matjiesfontein in the Western Cape.
Quick facts – GWM H5 2,0 VGT 4×2 Automatic