Omoda5 test: Chinese SUV will arrive in Europe

With the Omoda5 model, the Chinese brand is now making its debut in Europe: an SUV with many good arguments that we have already driven.

No other Chinese manufacturer exports as many cars as Chery, and has done so since 2001. But the Chinese automaker has avoided Europe… until now: Omoda5 It will launch in the Netherlands in 2023 and then roll out to other countries. It will be available in two variants in spring 2024.

While the industry in general, and China in particular, clearly depends only on electric cars, Omoda It is still betting on internal combustion engines and is therefore progressing on two levels. “There are enough customers in Europe who don’t necessarily want to get involved in electrification yet,” says European head of the brand Jochen Tüting.

Design

He Omoda5attractive SUV which, with a length of 4.40 meters and a wheelbase of 2.63, points to the heart of the compact class. In terms of price, it should probably be on the same level as the new product Hyundai Kona: about 27,000 euros. This is not surprising given that its main competitors include the Koreans.

Omoda5’s diamond-patterned grille looks a bit over the top, and the red trim on the wheels is more typical of a sports car, SUV maintains a certain personality.

The interior is not as chaotic and “exciting” as it is usually in Chinese. Instead of flashy screens and fun apps, we have a digital cockpit independent, almost conventional, and another monitor for the multimedia system, united under the same cover.

What is surprising is the elegant selection of materials with decorative glass elements, which we could only see so far in premium brands, e.g. bmw. And despite its compact dimensions, it has plenty of space behind it.

Motor and behavior

The car makes a good impression even once on a drive. The tandem 1.6-liter seven-speed dual-clutch turbocharged engine runs as smoothly as in Volkswagen Tiguanand with some generous ones 180 horses and 275 Nm, the Chinese has enough thrust.

The chassis and steering play a good role and overall the behavior is balanced: neither too hard nor too soft.

It is equipped with many driving assistants, but unfortunately lane warning and speed limit signals react very nervously and often make unpleasant noises.

The benefits are not bad at all: it goes from From 0 to 100 km/h in seven secondsand reaches a maximum speed of 190 km/h. And although we didn’t manage to measure it, the consumption seems to be quite tight: after a test drive in which we pushed it quite hard, the screen still shows more than 500 kilometers of remaining range; maybe the old world of internal combustion engines isn’t so bad.

Electric and hybrid drives will follow

Or perhaps yes? In Omoda, of course, they also know that if not the present, then at least the future belongs to electromobility, and they have already equipped Omoda5 for that. Following the Kona model, the crossover will also be available shortly after launch as a hybrid and, of course, as an electric car.

At an estimated price of just over 40,000 euros (in Germany, in Spain the petrol will be less than 30,000 euros without assistance) the battery is o 48 or 64 kWh and instead of a four-cylinder, an electric motor with a power of 100 or 150 kW. With a consumption of less than 15 kWh per 100 kilometers, according to the manufacturer, the Chinese expect a range of 350 or 440 kilometers and thus ranks with the market average.

They will have a hard time competing when it comes to freight. Because no more than 11 kW for AC output and 110 kW for DC output are available. At least not yet. Later it will have its own electric platform, a network 800 volts and charging capacities much higher than 200 kW.

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