2024 GWM Tank 500 Ultra Review

The 2024 GWM Tank 500 is here to take on the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado for significantly less. Is this the best value 7-seat offroad SUV?

Matt Brand
Expert reviewer
Updated on
April 10, 2024
Saucey score


  • Very competent offroad
  • Phenomenal pricing
  • Luxury interior


  • Annoying safety tech
  • Factory tyres aren't great for offroading
  • Bad fuel economy
Car specs

255kW + 648Nm


8.5L/100km (Claimed)


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Wow, we really didn’t expect this.

The GWM Tank 500 has arrived down under to take on the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, Ford Everest, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport – and a plethora of other body-on-frame offroad SUVs.

However, what the GWM Tank 500 brings to the table is serious off-road credentials and an unexpectedly luxury cabin for the cost of a base model last-gen Prado.

But are there flaws? How are they not losing money? These are question’s we’ve asked ourselves over this week-long loan, but we’re going to answer these and more in today’s review.

So, let’s get into it!

How much does the GWM Tank 500 cost?

Today we’re testing the Ultra top-spec of the Tank 500.

The GWM Tank 500 stands out in the competitive SUV market with its compelling pricing and rich feature set.

Starting at $66,490 driveaway for the Lux model and $73,990 for the more luxurious Ultra variant, it presents a significant value proposition.

This pricing undercuts major competitors like the Toyota LandCruiser Prado Kakadu and Ford Everest Platinum V6, while offering a suite of standard features typically found in more expensive models.

The Tank 500 combines affordability with luxury, providing an enticing option for buyers seeking premium amenities without the premium price.

2024 GWM Tank 500 Price:

  • 2024 GWM Tank 500 Lux: $66,490 driveaway
  • 2024 GWM Tank 500 Ultra: $73,990 driveaway

What do you get with the GWM Tank 500?

GWM Tank 500 Lux Features:

  • Automatic LED headlights
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Sunroof
  • Side steps
  • Black leatherette upholstery
  • 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support
  • Heated front seats
  • 14.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Wired Android Auto
  • 8-speaker sound system
  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Semi-automatic parking assist
  • Surround-view camera with transparent chassis view
  • Electronic rear differential lock
  • Underbody protection

GWM Tank 500 Ultra Additional Features:

  • Nappa leather upholstery
  • Heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats with memory and welcome function
  • 12-speaker Infinity sound system
  • Second-row window shades
  • Power-folding third row
  • 64-colour ambient lighting
  • Power side steps
  • Electronic front differential lock
  • Soft-close power tailgate

What’s the exterior like of the GWM Tank 500?

Some… design inspiration has certainly been taken from areas.

For example, the front fascia looks suspiciously similar to a previous gen Toyota Tundra – fake large vent above the grille and all.

Or, that could simply be put down to an American like styling – which gives this beast a big presence.

And it is a beast, particularly in size; sitting halfway between a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Land Cruiser 300 series in overall size.

In terms of dimensions, the Tank 500 measures 5078mm in length, 1934mm in width, and 1905mm in height, standing on a 2850mm wheelbase and offering 237mm of ground clearance.

The design is functional too, with incredibly bright LED lights EVERYWHERE. Not a halogen bulb to be found.

The side is huge and boxy, with an incredibly trick sidestep that automatically extends for entry and retracts when driving. That makes it incredibly good for off-roading, but more on that soon.

The Tank 500 rides on 18” alloy wheels, which from factory comes with Giti Highway Terrains. They’re great for highway cruising, but on our offroad test a couple of vehicles had a popped tyre. So, a switch to all-terrains is probably advised for anyone thinking of off-roading.

The rear is again big and boxy, with LED lights reminiscent of a Rolls Royce. You get a full-size spare wheel on the back, and a side-opening barn door with soft close. Yes, soft close.


What’s the interior like?

The interior is what blew me away.

First thing you notice is the smell – and it’s a good one.

Nappa leather adorns the diamond quilted seats, which offer 9 stage heating and cooling, massage function (that actually works well), memory and automatic adjustment for both driver and passenger.

Technology is immediately in your face, with a 14.6” infotainment display that is snappy, colour accurate and features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

My one complaint is that at night, it remains incredibly bright – though you can turn it down, it’s never quite enough I found.

The 12.3” digital instrument cluster is not the most customisable but does show plenty of information.

Material choice is unreal.

The buttons around the interior are made from real metal and are cold to the touch.

The wood around – that’s real. In fact, the leatherette that makes up all the soft touch materials, I’m not certain that isn’t real leather.

Everything is solid and feels quality, which probably is why the Tank 500 weighs a touch under 3 tonnes without any extra weight in it.

The steering wheel is a nice leather unit too, with plenty of buttons to control much of the functions of the interior.

Really the worst part of the car is a little camera array that sticks out of the driver’s A-Pillar. It’s the driving monitoring system, and it is far too overzealous. GWM are aware of this however, and although this is a requirement for a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, are working on a recalibration of the system.

In terms of charging, up front you get a USB-A port, USB-C port and 12v socket. All of these are located rather awkwardly under centre console which can be a pain to find while driving.

You also get a wireless Qi charger.

Storage is GALORE, with a massive felt lined glovebox, felt lined and large doorbins, a storage cubby to the right of the driver’s knee, and a large centre armrest with an aircon vent to keep drinks cool or warm.

As part of the Ultra trim, you also get nice and bright customisable ambient lighting and a 12-speaker Infinity sound system, which does sound fantastic.

Yeah, this interior blows everything else in its price range out of the water. Quite literally, no competition.

What are the back seats like?

The back seats provide loads of room.

At 5’11”, I have plenty of leg-room, head-room and toe-room. Better yet, my legs are at a great angle thanks to the stadium style seating (i.e. the back seats are higher than the front seats).

It’s worth noting though that most competitors are the same.

Where the Tank 500 has them beat however, apart from the Nappa Leather, are the 9-staged cooled rear seats.

The Tank 500 also provides 4 airvents for the rear, a third zone of climate control, folio-style map pockets, a phone storage area, and another USB-A port, USB-C port and 12v socket.

What about the 3rd row?

Again, phenomenal packaging.

At 5’11”, I have just enough leg-room, toe-room is just okay and headroom is fine.

So why is that phenomenal? Because many competitors I can’t even fit in the rear, like the Ford Everest. That’s a shame (for them).

And of course, Nappa Leather and some airvents back there. You can also drop either rear seat electronically if you need some extra space in the boot. And you might, as you’re about to see.

What is boot space like?

Boot space is not the Tank 500’s forte, at least with all three rows up.

That’s because it’s only 98L with the third row in place, which might sound like enough but because it’s very narrow – I couldn’t fit my backpack behind there.

Drop the third row – electronically, naturally – and you get a much more useable 795L of boot space.

All rows down, that extends to 1459L of space and remains totally flat too.

What’s under the bonnet?

Powering the GWM Tank 500 is a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that outputs 180kW of power and 380Nm of torque. There’s also an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and the transmission, which adds another 78kW of power and 268Nm of torque.

Combined, outputs are a huge 255kW of power and 648Nm of torque.

A rather small 1.76kwh battery lives under the floor at the rear of the Tank 500.

Power is sent through a full-time 4WD system and a 9-speed GWM in-house developed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy is claimed at 8.5L/100km, but on highway driving we noted a fuel economy of around 10.2L/100km and in urban driving – where hybrid’s tend to perform best – we got 14.4L/100km.

So, don’t expect good fuel economy.

How does the GWM Tank 500 drive on-road?

Sure, don’t expect good fuel economy – but do expect far more speed than GWM claim.

In fact, the factory claim of 8.5 second 0-100km/h sprint is FAR overblown. Using the inbuilt launch control, we timed the sprint in 6.93 seconds. That is insanely fast for a hardcore SUV that is pushing 3 tonnes.

There are some quirks with the drivetrain, for example when taking off in pure EV mode (as expected from a hybrid) there is a 1-2 second delay before the car starts moving.

Violent Launch in the GWM Tank 500

Once up and running though, the GWM Tank 500 is smooth to the point you don’t notice the engine and electric motor handover at around 40km/h (depending on battery charge).

Between the 11 drive modes, with 3 exclusively for on-road driving, steering weight changes and never feels to artificial. Of course, handling is not the Tank 500’s forte, and it doesn’t take many twists of backroads to remember this is a heavy offroader.

But, driving like a normal person, the passive dampers provide plenty of cushioning over all road surfaces and when combined with the extensive use of soft touch materials and active noise cancellation, the ride is almost serene.

Again, fuel economy frankly sucks, but GWM did tell us at the launch not to expect good fuel economy – it’s the performance that the hybrid system was developed for.

And it’s noticeable, the bursts of instant torque from the electric motor propel the Tank 500 forward in an almost unnatural way. Combined with the permanent 4WD (which can be RWD in Eco mode), the Tank 500 has plenty of mechanical grip.

The tyres are quiet and provide enough grip, but tyre squelch did occur when pushed. So again, tyres would not be amiss in being changed.

Overall, the drive of the Tank 500 is seriously impressive, and although not a diesel like competitors, provides a refined driving experienced not often seen in this class.

How does the Tank 500 perform off-road?

Let’s talk about the kit the Tank 500 gets for off-roading, because it is substantial.

You get a front-, rear- and centre-locking differential.

The low-range transfer case is an American BorgWarner unit.

The Tank 500 gets 223.5mm of ground clearance, which is about class average. However, it also gets a substantial wading depth of 800mm.

It also gets an approach angle of 30 degrees, a ramp break-over angle of 22.5 degrees, and a departure angle of 24 degrees.

You also get some trick software, including a dedicated off-road information display which shows you a bunch of off-road telemetrics like pitch, roll, differential locks, altitude and tyre inflation – even atmospheric pressure makes an appearance.

Other menus include 360 cameras including a transparency mode for the body to see what’s under the car.

There’s an expert mode, where you can personalise the drivetrain, ESC, handling and more to your hearts content.

There’s also off-road crawl control and ‘Tank Turn’ which brakes the inside wheel to allow for tighter turning circles off-road.

And that’s just software.

Once off-road, you can access 9 different off-road modes. For our run up Mount Disappointment, we were chasing the videographers new Toyota Land Cruiser 300 series.

Not only could the GWM Tank 500 keep up with the Land Cruiser, in places where the Land Cruiser bottomed out – the Tank 500 kept going strong.

Despite the wrong tyre choice (and admittedly, not letting air out of the tyres – wrong decision, I know!) the Tank 500 climbed some pretty steep rock faces with an uncanny amount of easy.

When traction was lost on muddy terrain, a quick switch to lock the rear differential was enough to keep us going. In fact, we never turned on the front-differential, because the rear always pushed us through.

Wheel articulation was also great, with one wheel on the ground at almost any time despite some rather gnarly angles and ruts.

And off-road is where the Hybrid powertrain was at its best, providing instant torque on top of the fantastic low-range gearing which meant that torque was available from literally just above 0km/h.

Wack on some all-terrains and a 2-inch lift, and the Tank 500 will be a formidable outback adventurer.

Is the GWM Tank 500 safe?

The GWM Tank 500 is yet to receive its official safety rating from ANCAP. GWM anticipates a five-star outcome, based on its own pre-assessment protocols, though official results are pending.

The vehicle is equipped with a range of safety and driver assistance technologies aimed at reducing road risks. These features include:

  • A system of seven airbags designed to offer protection in various collision scenarios.
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with the capability to detect pedestrians and cyclists, intended to reduce the risk of collisions.
  • Adaptive cruise control with lane centring, which assists in maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles while keeping the car centered in its lane.
  • Lane-keep assist alongside emergency lane-keep assist, features that alert the driver and can provide steering assistance to avoid unintentional lane departures.
  • Front and rear cross-traffic assist, systems designed to alert drivers to crossing traffic when pulling out of parking spaces or driveways.
  • Traffic sign recognition, which can identify and display traffic sign information to the driver, aiding in compliance with road laws.

Additional safety features aimed at enhancing occupant protection and driving ease include:

  • Rear collision warning and rear cross traffic braking, aimed at mitigating the impact of potential rear-end collisions and enhancing safety when the vehicle is in reverse.
  • Features such as door opening warning and driver fatigue monitoring, which are designed to alert drivers to potential hazards and monitor signs of driver tiredness.
  • A 360-degree camera and 12 parking sensors, coupled with reverse and auto parking assist, to facilitate easier parking and maneuvering in tight spaces.
  • LED headlights with an automatic high beam function, enhancing night-time visibility without dazzling oncoming traffic.

The Tank 500 also includes child safety features such as two ISOFIX anchor points and three top tether strap points for securing child seats, highlighting the vehicle's provisions for younger passengers.

How much can the Tank 500 tow and what is its payload?

The GWM Tank 500 boasts significant capabilities in terms of payload and towing, with specifications indicating a 790kg payload capacity – despite its own hefty weight of 2605kg.

The vehicle's gross vehicle mass (GVM) is noted at 3395kg, coupled with a gross combined mass (GCM) of 6705kg. When taking into account the maximum braked towing capacity of 3000kg, the Tank 500's adjusted payload is effectively 490kg.

In comparison, the 150 Series Prado, which shares the Tank 500's 3000kg braked towing capacity, offers a maximum payload of 340 litres, highlighting the Tank 500's competitive edge in this area.

It's worth noting that Toyota's upcoming 250 Series Prado is expected to increase its towing capacity to 3500kg. However, comprehensive details on this model's specifications remain forthcoming.

How much does it cost to run?

GWM, noting their increasing average price of their vehicles, have recently implemented their 777 guarantee.

This means the Tank 500 comes with a 7 year, unlimited kilometer warranty.

It also comes with 7 years of roadside assis, and 7 years of capped-price servicing.

Should you buy a GWM Tank 500?

The GWM Tank 500 emerges as a strong contender in the off-road SUV category, challenging established names with its combination of features, performance, and value.

Its pricing strategy positions it as a highly competitive option, undercutting rivals without compromising on luxury or capability.

The inclusion of high-end features in both the Lux and Ultra models further enhances its appeal.

On the road, its powertrain delivers impressive performance, though with noted trade-offs in fuel efficiency.

Off-road, it proves its mettle with substantial capabilities and innovative technology, suggesting it is well-equipped for rugged terrain.

Despite some areas for improvement, such as fuel consumption and the brightness of the infotainment system at night, the Tank 500 presents a compelling package.

It offers a unique blend of luxury, technology, and off-road readiness that may sway buyers looking for an alternative to the mainstream.

Saucey score breakdown

Maintenance Costs and Warranty
Fuel (or EV) Efficiency
Interior Design and Features
Value for Money
Technology and Innovation
Is it fit-for-purpose?
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Matt Brand
Matt Brand, the esteemed car critic from Car Sauce, offers unparalleled expertise on all things automotive. From new car releases to pre-owned options, he provides in-depth analysis and honest evaluations to guide readers through the car-buying process. Join us as he delves into the exciting world of motoring.
Car specs

255kW + 648Nm


8.5L/100km (Claimed)


Buy a Car!
No Obligations, Hassle Free.

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