2023 GWM Tank 300 Hybrid SUV review: off-road and affordable style

GWM Tank 300 2023

Bruce Newton

Posted April 13, 2023

With SUVs in hot demand in Australia, this medium-sized hybrid from Great Wall Motors is bringing affordable style and substance to the segment. 

Have you noticed Chinese brands aren’t just selling pale imitations of cars from established companies?

Take the freshly launched GWM Tank 300 Hybrid for example. GWM is one of China’s biggest auto makers, Tank is its hard-core off-road subsidiary, and the 300 Hybrid is its first model to arrive in Australia.

Priced from $55,990 driveaway, the GWM Tank 300 Hybrid is a five-door five-seat medium SUV that is competitively priced, compellingly equipped, interesting to look at, pampering to sit in and expressly designed to tackle the rough stuff.

Given the Aussie predilection for SUVs and toughly-styled vehicles, the GWM Tank 300 Hybrid could be a hit among those who like to go off-road and those who just like to look like they do.

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GWM Tank 300 Hybrid brings off-road style. Photo: Supplied.
GWM Tank 300 Hybrid is competitively priced. Photo: Supplied
GWM Tank 300 2023

GWM Tank 300 hybrid pricing and models

There are two models in the Australian GWM Tank 300 line-up for now; the $55,990 Lux and the $60,990 (also driveaway) Ultra. A cheaper non-hybrid turbo-petrol 300 is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2023.

The GWM Tank 300 Hybrid already undercuts rivals such as the Jeep Wrangler and LandCruiser 70 Series wagon on price. Ute-based wagons such as the Ford Everest and Isuzu MU-X are also in the competitive set

Whatever you shop against the GWM Tank 300 Hybrid, it’s going to struggle to match it on equipment for the money.

Externally, the Lux includes LED headlights with intelligent high beam, a sunroof, roof rails, side steps, 17-inch alloy wheels and a side-opening (left to right) barn-door at the rear.

Inside dual 12.3-inch digital screens cover more than half the dashboard. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connection are standard along with multiple USB connectors front and rear and a nine-speaker audio system.

You’ll also find dual-zone air-conditioning in the cabin, along with a six-way powered driver’s seat trimmed in faux leather, steering wheel heating, seven colour ambient lighting, keyless entry and push button start.

Ultra upgrades include 18-inch alloys, heated and cooled front seats trimmed in Nappa leather, eight-way power adjustment for the driver with massage function, four-way power lumbar adjust, 64-colour ambient lighting, wireless charging and a higher-spec Infinity sound system.

The Tank 300 Hybrid is covered by GWM’s seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty and comes with five years of roadside assistance. A capped price servicing plan is on offer, but details have yet to be announced. 

GWM Tank 300 Hybrid ANCAP safety rating and equipment

Emphasising how serious GWM is about the Tank 300 Hybrid's credibility, it sought and received the maximum five star safety rating from the independent assessor, ANCAP.

Driver assistants include autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert with brake, traffic sign recognition and tyre pressure monitoring.

There are seven airbags, including front, front-side, curtain and a middle-front airbag to prevent head knocks.

The Lux comes with parking sensors and a 360-degree camera view, while the Ultra adds auto parking and auto reverse.


GWM Tank 300 2023

GWM Tank 300 Hybrid is luxurious in its presentation and seating. Photo: Supplied

GWM Tank 300 Hybrid interiors and design

Measuring up at 4760mm long with a 2750mm wheelbase the GWM Tank 300 Hybrid does a good job of eking out enough cabin space to comfortably accommodate adults front and rear – although the middle rear passenger won't enjoy the experience much.

The boot is only adequate in size. And you soon figure out why – the hybrid’s high-voltage battery sits under the floor. That’s also why the full-size spare tyre is mounted on the tailgate, making it heavier to open and close.

Compared to the likes of the Wrangler and the 70 Series, the Tank 300 Hybrid is far more luxurious in its cabin materials, presentation and seating.

The big screens dominate initial impression, but then you notice the polished metal-look trim, quilting in the seats and doors, Mercedes-Benz-like round air vents and – more jarringly – a huge gear selector that looks like it might still be under construction.

The seats are soft and well bolstered up-front and there is no shortage of storage choices including a sizable centre-lidded bin, door pockets and glovebox. All up, GWM claims there are 46 storage spaces in the cabin.

The steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake and there are manual gear selector paddles mounted behind it. 

GWM Tank 300 Hybrid engine specs

Turbo-diesel engines are the usual choice in the 4x4 off-road segment (although the Wrangler uses a petrol V6).

But the GWM Tank 300 Hybrid goes its own way with a direct injection 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, an e-motor and a small 1.8kWh lithium-ion battery.

The powertrain produces a combined 258kW and 615Nm. The power number is impressive, but the torque number is the big deal. That’s in turbo-diesel stump pulling territory.

The GWM Tank 300 Hybrid drives all four wheels via a nine-speed auto and a BorgWarner 4x4 system that allows it to run in all-wheel drive all the time. It also has low range for off-road work.

The GWM Tank 300 Hybrid has the ability to drive as an EV at low speeds, predominantly use its petrol engine at medium to high speeds and use both engine and e-motor off-road.

The car weighs in at a meaty 2331kg (tare), so it’s a heavy SUV for its segment. But it also has a 2500kg braked towing capacity, which is a more impressive number.

GWM Tank 300 Hybrid fuel efficiency

One of the big reasons that car companies – notably Toyota – promote hybrid technology is the amount of fuel they can save compared to a vehicle with a traditional internal combustion engine set-up.

But GWM says the primary reason it went hybrid with the Tank 300 Hybrid was for performance reasons. It wanted all that torque and it wanted the e-motor to deliver it low-down in the rev range where the 2.0-litre engine would be at its weakest in terms of response.

That’s reflected in the 10.3L/100km figure the GWM Tank 300 Hybrid was originally homologated with in Australia.

However, GWM’s having another go and expects that to be reset at 8.5L/100km. The fuel tank size is 75 litres and at the revised number that equates to a range around 850km.

Happily, the GWM Tank 300 Hybrid runs on the cheapest 91 RON fuel.

GWM Tank 300 2023

GWM Tank 300 Hybrid undercuts rivals such as the Jeep Wrangler and LandCruiser 70 Series. Photo: Supplied

GWM Tank 300 Hybrid performance and handling

Our first drive of the GWM Tank 300 Hybrid was short and dirty. If you want to know about highway and urban driving behaviour you’re not alone. So do we!

But in the extreme off-road conditions we sampled, the GWM Tank 300 Hybrid motored on comfortably and capably, dealing with some steep climbs and descents, lumpy moguls and a water crossing.

That’s reflective of its off-road ladder frame, 224mm ground clearance, generous 33 degree approach angle, 34 degree departure angle and 23.1 degree ramp angle. It also has a 700mm fording depth and a maximum climbing angle of 70 per cent.

Helpfully, the GWM Tank 300 Hybrid also includes various off-road camera view including one that effectively makes the vehicle invisible to show the surface underneath.

The low-speed ride was comfortable, the tip-in torque response strong and the steering light and direct.

But there were some negatives. At one point the test car jumped on the anchors and activated its hazard lights for no apparent reason. Maybe its AEB camera misread a dust cloud as something more ominous.

GWM driver assist system calibration has traditionally been a brand weakness and it looks like the Tank 300 Hybrid could use some work in this area.

The GWM Tank 300 Hybrid is also prone to admonishing its driver for not paying enough attention to the road. It also makes an annoying doof-doof noise when the indicators are activated and whooshes like a rocket when different drive modes are selected.


The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit racv.com.au. As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Product(s) issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.