Motor Biscuit brings you two midsize Chinese pickups that the US won’t see any time soon. Probably never. We wonder how their quality compares to American and Japanese pickups? Also we wonder how they would fare given their expected cheaper price point? Would the price attract enough buyers if the quality was there? What do you think?
Wingle 6 Pickup
This is the Wingle 6 midsize Chinese pickup manufactured by Great Wall Motors. It’s sold in Europe, Australia, and Latin America, besides its native China. The US won’t see the Wingle 6, however. Great Wall is one of China’s largest vehicle manufacturers. In Australia it is called the V-Series.
Sold mainly as a work truck, it’s surprising that it looks to be a fairly well-optioned-looking pickup from the pictures you see here. Styling is derivative but no bad. A fair amount of chrome is sprinkled throughout the body and also inside.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder, or a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gas engine manufactured by Mitsubishi. You were thinking it might be a six-cylinder from its name? Sorry.
Transmissions are either a five- or six-speed manual. No, there is no automatic trans with the Wingle 6. Sorry, again. But, you can get it in either two- or four-wheel-drive. Besides that, your Wingle 6 can be either a single- or double-cab body.
A three level parking sensor and also a rear view camera are standard equipment. An eight-inch touchscreen on the dash helps with functions that include Bluetooth. The dash has receptacles for USB, AUX and SD cards. Overall the interior looks of high quality with more of an SUV feel than that of a stripped down work truck.
Higer Longwei Pickup
The folks behind the Higer Longwei or “Grand Dragon” pickup want everyone to know the front end is inspired by the Ford F150. They say this is the feature all Chinese automakers are doing these days. This is a midsize they will tell you is competing in the “cheap end of the market.” We are glad they position the pickup so we know we’re looking at a cheap pickup.
But, it doesn’t look cheap. Chrome is liberally found inside and also outside. The reviewers go on to say that the interior is “dressed up in brown, fake brown leather, some fake wood, fake aluminum, and some black surfacing to top it all off.” OK, then! They go on to say the shifter also has a “large fake wooden knob.”
The US won’t see the Grand Dragon pickup. With the powertrain options available it seems like it could be a contender in the US. It comes with either a 2.4-liter 136 hp gas engine sourced from Mitsubishi, or a 2.8-liter turbodiesel with 102 hp. Both a five-speed manual or automatic transmission are available.
Higher is a subsidiary of King Long Group which is the largest bus maker in China. So there is substantial manufacturing prowess behind the Higer brand. Besides in China, Higer pickups can be found in Africa, the Middle East, and Russia.
One thing we don’t like and seems to be common on a lot of the Chinese vehicles is their use of small wheels and tires. With 19- and 20-inch wheels being so common in the US on cars, and 35-inch tall tires on lifted pickups and SUVs, it’s jarring to see these midsize pickups with such small wheels/tires.
From what we can tell it is based on better fuel consumption. That may be true if the width is factored, or possibly the unsprung weight is a bit more weight. It would seem to be a marginal factor compared to the compromised look with their current choices.
Anyway, these are but a couple of the Chinese offerings waiting out there to possibly make some inroads into the US. We keep hearing the Chinese truck invasion will happen in the next 10 year. We’ll keep watching.