GWM are aiming to increase the sales momentum they’ve enjoyed with their Cannon ute family so far this year (outselling Nissan Navara and LDV T60) with the imminent arrival of the ‘Cannon-XSR’ as the premium model variant.
Built off the established Cannon X and Cannon Vanta, the Cannon-XSR uses the same drivetrain, but adds new features and finishes, some of which are exclusive to the upcoming variant.
With a focus on increased off-road capability, front and rear locking differentials are standard, along with a snorkel, underbody protection, side steps and “rugged” 18-inch alloys, fitted with 265/65 R18 all-terrain tyres. Ground clearance is listed at 228mm, but approach/departure/breakover angles are not provided.
To the standard GWM Ute drivetrain of 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder and eight-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters), the Cannon-XSR swaps out the existing full-time four-wheel drive system for a part-time set-up with dual-range and manually selectable 2H, 4H and 4L settings.
In ‘Standard’ and ‘Sport’ driving modes, all four wheels are engaged, while ‘Eco’ mode switches to RWD. A low-range ‘Crawl’ 4x4 mode is a new addition that’s part of the Cannon-XSR’s off-road focus and is exclusive to this model variant.
Also exclusive to the Cannon-XSR is ‘Turn Assist by Braking’ (GWM’s version of torque vectoring), while a “passive” front stabiliser bar is fitted. Presumably, this is like the electronic front sway bar disconnect on some Jeep models, but GWM provides no details, other than to say it enhances handling “in the most extreme conditions”.
Cosmetic differentiators on the Cannon-XSR include a new grille design with a blackout finish, black steel bumpers and wheelarch flares, an extended sports bar (also in black) and sunroof.
Inside, the seats are heated and leather-accented, there’s 6-way (driver) and 4-way (passenger) power seats up front, a 9-inch central touchscreen, 7-inch instrument screen, wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, multiple 12V and USB ports, and even a 220V outlet.
Safety tech includes AEB with Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, tyre pressure monitoring and seven airbags. Convenience features include rear parking sensors, a 360-degree camera, cargo ladder, easy up/down tailgate, a drop-in bedliner and roof rails.
Braked towing capacity is not listed, but presumably it’s the same 3,000kg maximum as the Cannon-X and Cannon Vanta. Payload is 875kg and GVM of 3,095kg are both less than the Vanta and X. Fuel capacity is 78 litres and combined fuel economy is listed at 9.4lt/100km.
Pricing of $52,990 drive away ($51,490 for ABN holders) is a $6,500 premium over the Cannon Vanta and $7,500 more than the Cannon-X. Even with that premium, the Cannon-XSR is still cheaper than market rivals, like the Nissan Navara SL Warrior, Mazda BT-50 Thunder, Ford Ranger Wildtrak and (recently discontinued) Toyota HiLux Rugged X.
The Cannon-XSR is backed by GWM’s seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, with five years of roadside assist and five years’ capped price servicing.
See your GWM/Haval dealer for availability and more details.