What is the Omoda 5 like to drive?

2023-07-26
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After an eight-year hiatus from the Australian market, Chinese-brand Chery is back. What's its cut-price Omoda 5 SUV like to drive?

Is the Chery OMODA 5 a safe car?

The 2023 Cherry Omoda 5 range is expected to launch in Australia with the highest five-star ANCAP safety rating.

As usual, we will wait until the official ANCAP rating is revealed alongside a technical data sheet outlining the results before we give more accurate scoring.

The closely related Euro NCAP safety body awarded the Omoda 5 a five-star result when it was tested in 2022. Adult occupant protection was rated at 87 per cent, child occupant protection at 87 per cent, vulnerable road user (pedestrian) protection returned a 68 per cent rating, and safety assist systems got an 88 per cent rating.

Is the Chery Omoda 5 fuel-efficient?

Over the duration of a few days, we saw a final fuel consumption figure of 8.9L/100km.

The official claimed figure by Chery is 6.9L/100km, meaning at two litres over the claim, it's relatively thirsty for a small SUV. However, we usually test cars over a longer seven-day period to truly assess fuel use, so consider this anecdotal until we get a car to test on a longer loan.

What is the Chery Omoda 5 like to drive?

Starting with around town, the Chery Omoda 5 impresses for the money in terms of ride comfort.

At times and over bumps and potholes it can feel overly firm and stiff, but it's the lesser of two evils when compared to a car that's too soft and spongy. Ninety-five per cent of the time it's comfortable, safe, and feels akin to a car from a more established player at lower speeds.

Considering the Chery Omoda 5 uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) means the programmers simply haven't spent enough time on the electronic throttle pedal to make it smooth. As a side note, this is not new technology, with electronic throttle control fitted to most new cars for the past two decades.

Out of town driving in rural areas, the car felt secure and comfortable.

The standard Giti tyres offer fair traction on the roll and through corners in the wet, but can be caught out if you shock them for a loss of traction. Either way, the car never felt skittish or unhinged, and we enjoyed some great roads with battered surfaces in the wet.

The bumps and road imperfections were handled honestly and securely, meaning the car doesn't feel 'budget' in terms of its inherent suspension components and hardware. At higher speeds, the aforementioned vague off-centre steering feel becomes more obvious, but it's not too much of a deal-breaker here.

Should I buy a Chery Omoda 5?

Considering the price tag, Chery has made a valiant effort to re-enter the Australian market.

The price of the vehicle is low considering its specification, meaning there will be no shortage of punters queuing up for a test drive. Brand familiarity – or a lack thereof in this case – won't be a barrier either, especially that Chinese cars accounted for more than 10 per cent of new motor vehicle sales in Australia in 2022.

We're keen to stack the Chery Omoda 5 against a few mainstream players to see how it fares, but first impressions are that it looks to offer fantastic value for money – just as wider economic times begin to get tough too.

This article was originally featured on drive.com.au and can be viewed here

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