As part of the Safer Cars for Africa initiative, Global NCAP decided to subject a Chinese-made pickup truck to a crash test and see how it would fare. Understandably, the version chosen for the evaluation was the most basic trim level since it makes the driver and passengers the most vulnerable in the event of a crash.
It might come as a surprise seeing as how 2021 is right around the corner, but the entry-level Great Wall Steed 5 for South Africa doesn't have any airbags whatsoever. Not only that, but it also lacks safety features that have been around for a long time, such as an anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD).
The video released today speaks for itself, with the front collision test at 64 km/h (40 mph) showing the dummy's head slamming into the steering wheel. As if the lack of airbags wasn't enough, the post-crash analysis showed a deformation in the passenger compartment and movement of the steering wheel. Global NCAP "questions if an airbag would be able to prevent serious injuries to the driver" due to these two glaring issues.
The worrying crash test follows a similar outcome for the Nissan NP300 Hardbody sold in South Africa. That one too got a zero-star rating when it was tested about two years ago, showing a "high probability of life-threatening injury in a crash." Secretary General of Global NCAP, David Ward, said back then the "NP300 Hardbody is ridiculously misnamed as its body shell has collapsed."
Getting back to the Great Wall Steed 5, you might be wondering how much it costs given the lack of any modern safety features. In its barebones configuration, it starts off at 202,900 South African Rand (ZAR), which equates to just over $13,000 (nearly €11,000) at current exchange rates. You'll have to step up to SX version for dual airbags and ABS (with EBD) or opt for the newly launched Safety Version that adds these essential systems.