Ever since its introduction in 2011, GWM’s popular H5 SUV has earned itself the reputation of a rugged and practical go-anywhere, do-anything vehicle. With its spacious cabin, numerous luxury features and powerful, yet economical 2,0-litre turbodiesel engine, it’s no wonder the H5 has proven so popular with adventurous families. Now, boasting a number of refinements and upgrades for the new model year, the H5 looks set to find even more homes in South Africa.


Exterior design

In its latest guise the H5 remains instantly recognisable courtesy of its trademark vertical tail lamps and sloping nose design. Visually the upgraded model can be easily identified by the chrome strip above the lower front airdam, redesigned rear LED lamps and new tailgate spoiler. Still priced to compete against so-called soft-roaders, the H5 is in reality a rather different proposition altogether, offering more rugged underpinnings and a full-size SUV body.

With near 200 mm of ground clearance and striking 17-inch alloy wheels as standard, the H5 is not only a pretty face, but a vehicle that boosts driver confidence when the going gets rough. The H5’s impressive approach and departure angles make it an easy vehicle to manoeuvre in extreme off-road conditions. For added peace of mind a full-size spare wheel is fitted to the vehicle.

The H5 is available in Pearl black, Sky silver, Titanium white, Noble grey, blue or red.


Comfort and Entertainment

When it comes to travelling with families, comfort levels are directly related to space. In this regard the H5 is without equal at the price, offering vast legroom and boot space as a result of its generous 2 700 mm wheelbase. In the unlikely event of there not being enough packing space, the H5 also features sturdy roof rails for the fitment of a roof carrier system.

The upgraded H5 features numerous interior enhancements, including revised trim (chrome and piano black accenting), a rev counter that indicates the optimal engine speed, more sophisticated indicator/wiper column stalks, frameless wiper blades and even a redesigned remote control key.

The standard features list rivals many a German luxury saloon. Included are; power steering, climate control, electric windows and side mirrors, a six-speaker, touch-screen info-tainment system with DVD player/MP3 player/USB/Aux, reverse park assist camera with audible warnings, light sensing auto headlights, steering-mounted audio controls and Bluetooth, leather upholstery and door inserts, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever knob, driver and passenger lumbar support, seatbelt reminder and height adjustment system, adjustable steering column, rear auxiliary power point, rear demister, rain-sensing wipers, 60/40 split rear seats, 10 tie-down points in the rear cargo compartment, map reading lights, tinted side and rear windows for UV protection and a rear centre armrest with two cup holders.

The 2,0 VGT models further add a rear view mirror auto dimming function with individual tyre pressure monitoring and temperature readings, an instantaneous fuel consumption read-out on the instrument panel and an airbag disable function. In addition, the H5 Auto Diesel features cruise control.


Power and Economy

The H5 is offered with two engine options, a 2,4-litre naturally aspirated petrol (4G69) powerplant, and the company’s highly rated 2,0-litre VGT turbodiesel, the latter of which has been upgraded by the fitment of a Honeywell turbocharger (on automatic models) which improves overall driveability and responsiveness.

GWM’s 2,0-litre VGT engine delivers a maximum power output of 110 kW at 4 000 rpm with  maximum torque of 310 Nm available from 1 800 to 2 800 rpm. This super efficient four-cylinder engine meets stringent Europe IV emission standards and carries EU certification. It features dual overhead camshafts, high-pressure common rail injection, variable geometry turbocharger (VGT), NVH noise control, an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system and an automatic valve clearance compensator.

The 2,4-litre 4G69 petrol engine reaches a maximum power output of 100 kW at 5 250 rpm and maximum torque of 200 Nm at 4 000 rpm.

H5 petrol models (both 4×2 and 4×4) are equipped with the company’s five-speed manual transmission while the diesel models make use of either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. For the more hardcore adventurers out there, there is further good news in that the flagship H5 2,0 VGT manual 4×4 model now also offers a low-range ratio to help tackle those serious obstacles.


Safety and Security

With an impressive four-star rating following crash testing by Australia’s ANCAP organisation, the H5 comes with proven safety credentials. Standard features include dual SRS airbags, side impact protection bars, Isofix child seat anchors, ABS with EBD (electronic brake force distribution) and pre-tensioning front seatbelts with load limiters.

Fog lights front and rear boost visibility in poor weather conditions. The rear park sensors (with camera view) limit the chances of parking scrapes and the doors auto-lock at speeds above 15 km/h.

Security is provided by a standard immobiliser, with the further convenience of remote central locking.


Pricing and Back-up

The H5 line-up is available through GWM’s extensive dealership network, currently boasting more than 70 outlets and service centres. Every H5 is backed by a comprehensive 3-years/100 000 km warranty and 2-years/24-hour roadside assistance.