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Omoda C5 Elegance: extraordinary style and performance

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By Gavin Prins

More and more Chinese cars are hitting our roads. With the introduction of the Chery Tiggo, designers have outdone themselves by presenting a vehicle that offers a luxurious driving experience. Now, the same manufacturers have introduced (dare I say it) an even better car – the Omoda C5.

The background

Since introducing Chery in South Africa in 2021, the company has impressed the most critical motor journalists with their Tiggo range. Since then, Chery South Africa has introduced Omoda as a sub-brand. The brand will operate on its own, independently from Chery.

The reason

The Palala Boutique Game Lodge at the Limpopo Province and Botswana border invited me for a three-day stay, and I needed a car, as the roads are pretty rural. The drive to the lodge is 4 hours and 30 minutes from Johannesburg, with about 30 minutes of gravel roads leading to the lodge. After this trip, Sun City awaited me for another three-day stay at the luxurious Lefika Villas. Thabazimbi in the northwest has quite challenging roads through the hills, and I needed a vehicle that could easily meander its way to Sun City. The Omoda C5 did not disappoint. At both venues, luxury met luxury.

The look

I heard from colleagues, friends, and motor journalists that the Omoda looks futuristically aggressive, and this was no understatement. The back of the car is quite something. Now, you have seen the Omoda on the road—sleek headlights, a bold V-shaped front grille, and a floating roof design. The Matrix taillights create a striking 3D effect, adding to the vehicle’s distinctive appearance.

The interior is as striking as the outside. This well-designed vehicle has leather on the steering wheel, seats, and inside of the doors, giving you the luxury cabin feeling. My personal favourite is the two 10.5-inch screens inside the car, which complete the premium feel. The safety assistance features irritate journalists, but I feel comfortable with them. If they annoy you (warning you if you are too close to another car, even alerting you when changing lanes), you can switch them off.  

The drive 

It feels great to sit inside the car. I must compliment the manufacturers on the suspension design, making the drive feel smooth as I put my hands on the steering wheel. Navigating through the hills from Limpopo to Northwest provinces, the drive feels effortless. The sounds in the Omoda are not as loud as those of its cousin, the Chery Tiggo. The rather basic centre console follows the Chery trend by housing the control units for items such as the air conditioning and driver assist in the infotainment menu. Despite its compact appearance, there is plenty of space inside for five people sitting comfortably. Many journalists believe the interior is minimalistic. I beg to differ. The sunroof is a nice touch on an exciting interior. In keeping with Chinese tradition, the Omoda has the familiar 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine found in the Chery range. 

The C5 comes with two driving modes, Eco and Sport. This makes for a customisable driving experience, as you can change the steering feel, ride quality, and throttle response. The ride quality is good, and driving this car is a pleasurable experience. 

The conclusion

The Chinese have kept up the surprise factor with the Omoda. They have produced a good car at an affordable price. I predict a good future for Omoda in South Africa. Omoda, it’s a YES from me!

THE COST

Omoda C5 Elegance 1.5T

Price: R507 900

Omoda – According to Chery, the letter “O” from Omoda is derived from the word “oxygen”, while “moda” means “modern”.

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