This important B-segment contender competes against such vehicles as the recently released Nissan Almera, in addition to stalwarts like the Honda Ballade, Hyundai Accent and Volkswagen Vivo sedan.
“The C30 slots into a very important market segment in South Africa,” said GWM South Africa COO Warren Olsen. “It is aimed at families who need maximum passenger and luggage space and a good balance of power and economy at an affordable price. Considering the C30’s very competitive price as well as its standard features and space, we believe the C30 to be a very strong new rival to the traditional market leaders as it offers exceptional value for money.”
The C30 is the second GWM sedan offering to reach South Africa, following the recent introduction of the C-segment C50.
“Although the C30 fits into the compact sedan segment, its dimensions suggest otherwise,” says Brand Manager Hannes Oosthuizen. “The C30 rides on a stretched (2 610 mm) wheelbase that endows it with one of the most spacious cabins in its class, as well as one of the largest boots, capable of swallowing 475-litres worth of luggage. Another upshot of the long wheelbase is a svelte exterior design,” he explains.
Inside the cabin, the emphasis has been on creating stretch-out space and providing all the modern convenience items desired by its target market, including air-conditioning, power steering, electric windows all-round, electric mirror adjustment, radio/CD/MP3 player with USB support and a rake-adjustable steering wheel. Importantly, Bluetooth connectivity is also part of the mix.
South African-specification vehicles feature dark cloth trim to match the upmarket black finish of the facia surfaces. Details such as chrome surrounds for the sporty main dials of the instrumenation and silver trim on the centre hangdown section contribute to an upmarket ambience.
GWM’s interior designers have utilised the C30’s generous dimensions to include a number of storage spaces. The door pockets are large and also feature drinks holders. A spacious storage box is fitted between the front seats and doubles as a comfortable central armrest. Drinks holders are also provided for rear seat occupants. The boot, one of the biggest in this segment, features a space-saver spare wheel. The rear bench is split 60:40 and can fold down to allow for the transportation of longer objects.
Riding on MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension layouts, the C30’s underpinnings have been tuned to deliver exceptional ride comfort, without compromising the car’s dynamic talents. Similarly, the power-assisted steering is calibrated for lightness and ease of use around town, but to deliver the required weighting and feel when cruising at speed.
The C30 is powered by GWM’s 1,5-litre VVT-i engine that delivers 71,3 kW and 138 Nm of torque. The package includes a service plan with service intervals set at 15 000 km.
Featuring variable valve timing, this engine delivers a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 7,3l/100 km and powers the C30 to a 170 km/h top speed. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission driving the front wheels.
Occupant safety is well catered for with the inclusion of dual front airbags and disc brakes all-round backed by ABS with EBD. Child-seat mountings are fitted at the rear and the front seatbelts are height-adjustable. Fog lights front and rear boost visibility in poor weather conditions while security is provided by a standard immobiliser, with the further convenience of remote central locking.