Undoubtedly one of the M4’s main attractions, this crossover’s cheeky looks are certain to generate lots of talk and turn many heads.
It is a very compact vehicle, with an overall length of less than four metres, but with an SUV-rivalling ground clearance of more than 180 mm and stylish 16-inch alloy wheels, it certainly packs lots of attitude into those compact dimensions.
Considering the M4’s high-value pricing, the design detailing will come as a surprise. The squared-off front-end features a gaping lower airdam flanked by fog lamps. Skid-plates in a contrasting silver hue are fitted front and rear and black cladding around the sills and wheelarches round off the SUV look. Due to the C-pillar being blacked-out, the M4 has a trendy “floating-roof” appearance that is further enhanced by the standard fitment of practical roof rails.
The M4 is offered in South Africa in a choice of six vibey colours; Fashion Orange, Titanium White, Sky Silver, Pearl Black, Jazz Red and Ocean Blue.
The style and modern design continues inside, where the M4 boasts a sporty instrument cluster with overlapping dials and an integrated digital speedometer display. The facia design features a V-shaped centre section with neatly seperated control interfaces for the audio (including a large digital screen) and ventilation systems. Vertically slanted ventilation outlets are located either side of the centre hangdown section. Neat black cloth upholstery and the use of silver trim accents on the facia and doors create an upmarket ambience.
The M4 is more compact than other small crossovers, yet it remains a practical daily driver with good levels of head, shoulder and legroom all-round. The boot measures a claimed 310 litres, with a spare wheel under its floor. The rear seat is split 60:40 and can fold down to increase cargo space. As a direct consequence of the compact exterior dimensions and elevated ride height, visibility out of the M4 is excellent. Further boosting inner-city manoeuvrability is hydraulically assisted power steering.
As customers have come to expect from GWM, the M4 boasts a comprehensive standard features count, including air-conditioning, electric windows/mirrors and an audio system with USB and auxiliarly plug-in support as well Bluetooth capability. Driver comfort is further boosted by the fitment of a rake-adjustable steering wheel. Rear park assist helps drivers avoid those expensive parking scrapes.
The M4 is powered by GWM’s trusty 1,5-litre VVT-i engine that delivers 71,3 kW at 6 000 rpm and 138 Nm of torque to the front wheels via a slick five-speed manual transmission. The engine features variable valve timing, benefitting not only performance but also fuel economy. The M4 sips fuel at the rate of 7,2 litres/100 km (combined cycle), translating to a CO2 emissions figure of 172 g/km. A top speed of 170 km/h is claimed.
As is the case with all GWM vehicles, the M4 has been designed to meet global safety standards and boasts a comprehensive safety package. Dual front airbags and disc brakes all-round backed by ABS with EBD are fitted. Isofix child-seat mountings are mounted at the rear and the front seatbelts are height-adjustable. The rear doors also feature child locks.
Fog lights front and rear boost visibility in poor weather conditions while security is provided by a standard immobiliser, with the further convenience of remote central locking.
“The M4 is bound to appeal to a younger audience that places individuality, striking design and connectivity high on the priority list,” says brand manager Hannes Oosthuizen.
“At the price, there is simply nothing out there to match the cheekiness of the M4, but it is more than just a pretty face, too. The standard features list is comprehensive, as is the overall value package, courtesy of a five-year/100 000 km warranty and a five-year/45 000 km service plan,” he adds.
Following a very positive reception at last year’s Johannesburg International Motorshow, GWM’s M4 compact crossover has now officially gone on sale in South Africa.
The M4 has been such a smash-hit sales success in China that it has been nicknamed the GWM “Speed”, as a result of its quick sales.
“The M4 is a groundbreaking vehicle for us, and actually creates an entirely new sub-niche in the crossover segment,” said GWM South Africa COO Warren Olsen. “It is smaller than vehicles such as the Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster, but offers more standard features and a very attractive sticker price.
“On the other hand it is also more obviously SUV-themed than cross-hatches such as our own C20R and the VW Vivo Maxx, so in effect it slots in between these two segments.”
The M4 is backed by GWM’s comprehensive five-year/100 000km warranty and comes with a two-year AA roadside assistance. The R189 999 price tag includes a five-year/45 000 km service plan.
Pricing and specifications are subject to change without prior notice. Price includes VAT and environmental levy.