For starters, forget about ten-year-old pop-eyed Great Wall trucks that hid even older Isuzu D-Maxes behind their nondescript facades. Designed from scratch, the cabin of the “seven” looks moderately aggressive and fried: the “anvil” of the headlight housings merged together and the radiator grille with a silver border is already quite drawn to the corporate style. Our Wingle 7 is available in the only Comfort package and with a wheelbase extended to 3350 mm. Alas, the harmonious front part flows into an unsightly silhouette: the 30-centimeter increase went entirely to the cargo platform.
But it’s not a car! Unlike the GWM Poer, in the case of the more utilitarian Wingle 7, the Chinese did not underestimate the payload capacity and registered the “seven” in the N1G category – that is, as a full-fledged off-road flatbed truck. This means that you cannot drive such a pickup truck in the center of Moscow, and on a three-lane road you need to stay in the right or center lane.
However, there on the “Wingle” and do not want to. After all, a car with a length of 5.4 meters is even deprived of rear parking sensors, and instead of a rear-view camera, a plastic stub-dummy is installed. When maneuvering on tight city streets, only wide mug mirrors and a small body width (only 1.8 meters) help: the pickup truck is only 36 mm wider than the VAZ Vesta. In other words, the Wingle 7 is longer and narrower than any of the competitors, including the Mitsubishi L200, and the Ulyanovsk pickup is wider than the “Chinese” by as much as 115 mm. In the city, problems are inevitable not only with parking, but also with U-turns, because they require as much as 14.5 meters! A two-lane to a pickup truck is like the Suez Canal to Ever Given. If you turn around from the left lane, as required by the rules, then you won’t get off with the notorious three tricks: you will have to turn on the back at least twice.
Cargo cult in Chinese: if the car does not have a rear view camera, you can at least make a plug in the form of it
The plugs in the nests of the “foglights” are already hinting at the Spartan decoration: cars are brought from China right in this form, and Russian dealers are engaged in retrofitting. Inside, the austerity regime continues. For example, the “sevens” for our market have only two airbags instead of six, and climate control was abandoned in favor of a simple air conditioner. It’s even worse for the rear passengers: they were deprived not only of legroom, but also of a separate ceiling (the ceiling lining of two GWM pickups is common, so the “crater” is empty in place of the ceiling), not to mention the fan nozzles.
The Chinese decided to dilute the abundance of rough plastic with a “carbon-look” film, which on a two-ton “frame” causes only a wry grin. The central compartment for storing a smartphone in two GWMs is identical, however, instead of the second USB connector, the truck has … a cigarette lighter! While the mod on Poer charges the vape, the hard worker on Wingle 7 lights up a cigarette…
At home, Wingle 7 can be ordered with leather seats (the driver’s seat is electrically adjustable!) and a full-fledged color display of the multimedia system, however, export versions carry the banner of combating petty-bourgeois excesses: our “comfortable” equipment is a fabric interior and a monochrome display sticking out of the front panel with huge numbers and sophisticated smartphone pairing system. The latter divided our editorial board into two parts – is it not on an intellectual basis? In any case, I could not connect to the car via Bluetooth, although my more persistent colleague eventually succeeded.
A simple dashboard does not support Russian, and the rules of English syntax are dismissive. Of the serious miscalculations – the lack of an indicator of the included “lowering”
Landing is also not called a reference. The bony steering wheel is adjustable only in terms of tilt, but even in the highest position it rests on your knees. And the pedal assembly is strongly shifted to the left: having settled down “along the steering wheel”, you inevitably find yourself with splayed knees. There is nowhere to put the left leg, and when the clutch is pressed, it rubs against the armrest. The central armrest is movable, but no fixation is provided, and on a long journey it constantly tends to go back. Against this background, the armchair was pleasantly surprised – of course, I would like both the side rollers to be larger and the pillow to be more authentic. But the main thing is that after 700 km behind the wheel of the Wingle, the back did not hurt.
The 2.0-liter diesel turbo four GW420D is well known to the owners of the Hover H5, but not everyone will remember it with a kind word: on an SUV, the engine has a reputation for being picky about the quality of diesel fuel and prone to overheating. Therefore, before installing it on the “seven”, a number of changes were made to its design. The most significant of them – instead of the Delphi fuel system, a more reliable analogue from Bosch appeared. In addition, for the sake of compliance with Euro-5 standards, a particulate filter is installed. Let’s say right away that we did not succeed in overheating the engine – neither in off-road tests, nor during multi-kilometer forced marches in the heat.
The engine is aggregated with a 6-speed “mechanics” Zomax ZM036BF, and we have even fewer complaints about it. The clutch pedal works predictably and linearly, and with a short-stroke rocker, you won’t miss the right gear. It is only important not to let the tachometer needle fall below 1300 rpm – at lower speeds, the Honeywell Garrett GTC1446VZ turbine clearly does not keep up with the driver’s ambitions. Of the typical cargo features – a “short” first gear with a gear ratio of 4.17. It is more convenient to get under way in the city from the second.
Wingle 7 still has one unconventional technological solution for frame trucks: the Hover model got disc brakes on the rear axle. The nameplate of the stabilization system on the trunk lid looks like a mockery of the Ulyanovsk competitor: after Bosch left Russia, UAZ is preparing to produce cars in a simplified configuration, without ABS and ESP modules
And we also had the feeling that the passport data of the motor is underestimated. The TCP indicates 143 liters. With. and 315 Nm, although the plate on the engine already reports 320 “Newtons”, and the same motor in Poer for the Chinese market produces 156 hp. With. and 345 Nm. Yes, and the consumption of diesel fuel is clearly indicated with a margin: we did not see the declared 10 liters per “hundred” on the on-board computer screen. In a calm rhythm, Wingle 7 managed 8 liters per 100 kilometers, and on the roads and in the city it consumed no more than nine.
The fuel tank holds 70 liters of diesel fuel and provides the truck with an enviable range, but we do not dare to recommend the Wingle 7 for long journeys. The motor hangs over the front axle, but the regular soundproofing of the pickup truck is clearly not enough: after 2 thousand revolutions, the dimensional rattling turns into a chirp and begins to tire, and at speeds above 100 km / h, aerodynamic noise from massive mirrors is also added to it. In addition, when driving on cruise control, an annoying bug was discovered: the electronics are not able to recognize the gear change, which is why, when the clutch pedal is depressed, it spins the engine to a cutoff. However, we must give Wingle its due: the truck is assembled very soundly. Find a video with our car on the Internet – what colleagues journalists have done with it for two years! However, over 17 thousand km, no extraneous noise appeared in the cabin and nothing broke.
In the city, an unloaded Wingle 7 stubbornly seeks revenge on the driver for off-label use. Five-leaf springs are categorically contraindicated for speed bumps: even when they pass at low speed, the truck strives to throw the rear passengers up to the very roof. Why so tough? For the sake of maximum load capacity, which is 975 kg – at the level of the best “Japanese”.
Passengers in the second row in the GWM Wingle 7 do not just bend their legs. The Chinese truck offers the most spacious body on our market: 1680 mm long, 1460 mm wide. After the purchase, you will probably want to put a kung: the pickup truck looks more harmonious with it, besides, the side height is not a record one (480 mm). Of the undoubted advantages – polyurethane coating, which protects the body from scratches and rust
With its habits, Wingle 7 first provokes to get out of the city. Then – move off the asphalt road to the country road. Well, then – in general from the road. And then it’s good! The BorgWarner all-wheel drive system with a mechanical “razdatka” connects for a long time and abruptly, but does not give up on off-road: the “correct” tires will allow you to get very far on the truck. The off-road capability of the pickup truck is liked not only by us, but also by specialists from Arctic Trucks. Until recently, the Russian division of the famous studio turned exclusively Japanese cars into “expeditioners”, but it was Wingle 7 that became their first “Chinese” project.
However, it is impossible to recommend the standard Wingle as a universal answer to Russian off-road for a number of reasons. Firstly, both differentials of the truck are free, and the electronics imitate the locks. Secondly, only 212 mm of ground clearance is declared: GWM is lower than not only Japanese rivals (except for the base L200), but also other “Chinese” – JAC T6 (216 mm in the diesel version) and Dongfeng DF6 (220 mm). Thirdly, the crossbars of the frame left without significant changes can cling to the ground when driving in a deep rut.
During the test, Wingle 7 managed to work for us too – we visited the Ladoga Trophy 2022 off-road festival in a truck. And they didn’t miscalculate the choice: on the paths barely rolled between the pines, the “Chinese” did not lag behind the elevated “Niva” and “UAZ”. The energy-intensive suspension allows the pickup truck to cheerfully “beat” on broken primers – in the junior GT Lite class, this one will definitely not get lost!..
What is the upshot?
In a small by the standards of our market segment of pickups, the success of the model is determined by three components: simplicity, reliability and economy. Anyone who tries to add something else to this set for extra money runs the risk of misunderstanding – the Mercedes-Benz X-Class and Volkswagen Amarok will not let you lie.
Therefore, we recommend that those who are desperate to find a frame “Japanese” for sane money take a closer look: GWM took into account all the mistakes of their first models and returned to Russia prepared – the “seven” promises the owner several years of trouble-free life even far from good roads and gas stations. As a second car for regular trips to the metropolis, Wingle 7 is not suitable: an explosive diesel engine bothers you on the highway, and in the city there is poor maneuverability and a lack of parking assistants.
Photo: Roman Ostanin / Dvizhok Magazine
The cost of the tested vehicle in the text and table below is indicative and current at the time of the test.