2023 GWM Tank 300 vs 2022 Jeep Wrangler: Spec Battle

Snapshot

  • Published power figures rate the tank above the Wrangler
  • Big price savings on the tank over the Wrangler
  • Poor tank load capacity detracts from its appeal

The Jeep JL Wrangler Unlimited is a traditional four-door four-wheel-drive, ladder-frame body, with solid axles front and rear, and coil springs at all four corners. The JL Wrangler Unlimited is powered by a 3.6L naturally aspirated V6 gasoline engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

There are three models in the Unlimited range: Night Eagle, Overland and Rubicon. In top-spec Rubicon trim, the JL Wrangler has a suite of off-road goodies, including front and rear diff locks, an optional disconnect sway bar and ultra-low reduction gears in the transmission.

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A new entrant to the Australian 4WD market is the GWM Tank 300, said to be a cheaper alternative to the Jeep Wrangler. It is a separate body on a ladder frame chassis, with a solid axle at the rear and independent suspension at the front. Power is supplied by a 2.0L petrol-electric hybrid engine that sits in front of a 9-speed automatic gearbox.

2023 GWM Tank 300 03

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The top spec Ultra model from GWM has front and rear locking differentials, where the lower spec Lux comes with just a rear differential lock. Both have Crawl control and Tank Turn functions as standard to increase off-road performance.

With that out of the way, before we have a chance to drive the GWM Tank 300, we thought the only logical thing to do was to put together a list of specs for both 4WDs, compiling the information we have at hand.

On paper, does the new Tank 300 have what it takes to compete with the proven and extremely capable Jeep Wrangler Unlimited? Let the spec battle begin.

Engine and transmission

At the time of writing, both vehicles are available with a choice of engine and transmission combinations. Jeep has stuck with its Pentastar V6 gasoline engine across the Wrangler lineup, which is now matched to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon SUV 37

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It makes less power and torque compared to the 2.0L petrol hybrid engine and 9-speed gearbox found in the tank (what a cool name btw), but the Pentastar has been around long enough to have some serious runs on the board. It is also used in a range of vehicles globally, so parts and knowledge to work with them are available. They also sound pretty cool when you sink your boot into them.

However, GWM has gone with a petrol hybrid arrangement in the tank, producing a claimed maximum figure of 224kW and 640Nm. The Tank trumps the Wrangler when it comes to claimed power numbers, and we look forward to comparing the two in the future to see how those numbers stack up in the real world.

Jeep Wrangler GWM Tank 300
Engine 3.6L V6 petrol 2.0 L petrol-electric hybrid
Transfer 8-speed automatic 9-speed automatic
Force 201 kW 224kW
Torque 347 Nm 640 Nm

Measure

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is longer and has a longer wheelbase than the GWM Tank 300, by 22mm and 58mm respectively. However, the tank is wider and taller than the four-door Jeep.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon SUV 67

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Since the majority of Jeep owners will modify their Wrangler with larger and wider wheel and tire combinations, as well as install aftermarket suspension lifts, these numbers will be affected by aftermarket modifications. Speaking of lift kits, I have no doubt that the tank will receive a wide range of accessories to further enhance their off-road capability, but with the Wrangler being the most modifiable vehicle on the planet, there will be some catching up to do in terms of aftermarket equipment .

21 Haval GWM Launch Event June 22 Tank 300 Static 003

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Jeep Wrangler GWM Tank 300
Length 4882 mm (4-door Rubicon) 4760 mm
Width 1894 mm (4-door Rubicon) 1930 mm
Height 1848 mm (4-door Rubicon) 1903 mm
Wheelbase 3008 mm (4-door Rubicon) 2750 mm

Towing and payload

Both the Wrangler and Tank have similar maximum braked towing capacity, with the Wrangler coming in at 2496kg and the Tank just topping it with 2500kg maximum braked towing capacity.

However, the Jeep beats the tank when it comes to payload capacity, and this I feel is the biggest let down when it comes to the GWM Tank 300 – its payload capacity is crap.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon SUV 28

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With just 394kg of payload capacity to play with, you’d be over the limit and thus incapable of carrying five 80kg passengers, which doesn’t take into account luggage or aftermarket accessories like bullbars and winches. This needs to be improved; I daresay that aftermarket GVM upgrades will be popular with anyone planning to tour a GWM Tank 300, if they are made available in the future.

GWM Tank 300 Interior Lhd Australia Indicative 1

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Jeep Wrangler GWM Tank 300
Towing capacity 2495 kg (4-door Rubicon) 2500 kg
Load capacity 570 kg (4-door Rubicon) 394 kg

Off the road

In Rubicon trim, the JL Jeep Wrangler has it over the GWM Tank 300 when it comes to off-road angles. The Tank has a better departure angle, 34 degrees compared to the Rubicon’s 31.9 degrees, but that’s where it ends. The JL Wrangler Rubicon has a better approach angle, more ground clearance and a higher wading depth from the factory. It also has a larger fuel tank… by one litre.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon SUV 56

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Comparing the top of the Rubicon with the top spec GWM Tank 300 Ultra Hybrid, both have front and rear diff locks which is great to see. The tank offers Crawl control as well as a Tank Turn feature, potentially offering some pretty useful terrain goodies.

2023 GWM Tank 300 06

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In saying that, and I’m not a betting man, but I’d wager that the Wrangler Rubicon would be the more capable vehicle in the rough stuff. With the sway bar disconnect engaged, as well as front and rear diff locks, the Rubicon’s solid axles and mud tires would have the edge on off-road. Again, I look forward to the opportunity to prove this in the near future.

Jeep Wrangler GWM Tank 300
Approach angle 41.7⁰ 33⁰
Rampover angle 21.2⁰ N/A
Departure angle 31.9⁰ 34⁰
Ground clearance 252 mm (4-door Rubicon) 224 mm
Wading depth 760 mm 700 mm
Fuel tank 81L 80L

Guarantee

This one is a bit of a no-brainer, the GWM Tank 300 warranty is pretty good when it comes in at 7 years unlimited kilometres. This compares to 5 years or 100,000 km (whichever comes first) for the Jeep Wrangler.

According to Jeep’s website, there are 66 Jeep dealers across Australia. An accurate figure for GWM is difficult to track, but based on a story published by Wheels in 2021, there were 80 GWM dealers in Australia with the aim of increasing that to 90 before the end of 2022.

So, the GWM Tank 300 offers a longer warranty period, and there are more dealers – it seems like a win for the tank.

Jeep Wrangler GWM Tank 300
5 years 100,000 km 7 years unlimited kilometers

Pricing

There’s certainly some financial justification for taking the tank for a test drive, as it’s significantly cheaper than the Wrangler across the board. In fact, you can grab the range-topping Ultra Hybrid over the Wrangler’s base model Night Eagle, and still get a cool $17,742 in trade-in money.

However, it must be competitive in terms of price, as it is pitted against one of the longest-running and most established 4WDs worldwide, the Jeep Wrangler. Is a savings of that size enough to make you consider the GWM Tank 300 over the Jeep Wrangler JL Unlimited? I feel like you’d be lying if you said no, or you’re super cashed in…and probably not watching either if that was the case.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited GWM Tank 300
Night Eagle $78,732 Lux Hybrid $55,990
Overland $84,507 Ultra Hybrid $60,990
Rubicon $88,182 N/A

Judgment

It’s cheap, it has decent off-road capability on paper, and while you can see where it’s taken styling cues from, the GWM Tank 300 doesn’t look half bad in my opinion. But it’s not a Wrangler, and doesn’t have decades of history behind it.

2022 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon SUV 38

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I think competition is a good thing, and I’m eagerly awaiting my chance to take the GWM Tank 300 for a proper field test in the new year to see if it’s actually any good. I think if they increased the payload capacity to better what the Wrangler offers, more people would be inclined to take one for a test drive.

But that payload capacity figure is so low that many Australian families simply wouldn’t be able to do what they want and need to do legally. For couples it may be a different story – perhaps the GWM Tank 300 is more suited to those eyeing the Suzuki Jimny?

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