Chery launches Omoda sub brand

Omoda C5 hits the road in South Africa

Reuben Van Niekerk
Omoda C5

The Chery Group has launched a new brand named Omoda which is the result of a clean slate approach by the group’s designers, engineers and technicians which gave these experts free reign to create a new model line-up. The first model in their offering is the Omoda C5

What is it?

Omoda is the luxury arm of Chery, which is kind of trying to be what Lexus is to Toyota and while they are marketed and branded Chery in other markets, in South Africa they aim to be their own entity, devoid of any Chery branding.

The Omoda C5 is a sporty compact SUV in size and is fitted with a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

In your face design

The design is very modern and comprises sleek, sporty styling and a sloping roof that rests on darkened pillars for a floating look.

The multi-dimensional grille cannot be missed as it overpowers the front end. Contained in the grille are upright mounted front headlamps and thin T-Sharp designed daytime running lights. The mix of flowing curves and sharp lines continues along the side profile. The rear design reminds of SUVs from other Chinese manufacturers and includes a dual stacked roof spoiler and multi-dimensional lights, which Omoda call X-wing lights due to their use of sharp lines and multiple LEDs.

Many of these unique design elements are further enhanced with contrasting red highlights on the Elegance S-model such as on the inside planes of the alloy wheels, the front skirt, side mirrors and stacked rear wings. The designed is backed up by funky colours which include three two-tone options.

Luxury, modern interior

When designing the interior engineers were able to experiment with a unique human and machine interface while incorporating popular features such as voice commands and a seamless digital interface.

The futuristic experience starts with dual high resolution 10.25-inch digital displays that are customisable. These screens, one in the centre console and one behind the steering wheel flow into each other and allow for multiple manners of displaying vehicle, safety and infotainment information. Smartphone mirroring capability courtesy of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can be done wirelessly while your phone rests on a felt lined wireless charging platform. Below this platform is a hidden storage space and a variety of USB and power outlets.

Below the central screen is a multi-touch air conditioning panel which conveys climate control information through the use of the digital display. The climate control system is self-cleaning and has a high-grade filtration system built in to ensure clean interior air. To the right of the climate control system is a start button and the C5 can also be started remotely with the key fob.

Upfront the sport seats are extremely comfortable and rear leg room is in line with that of its competitors. Elegance and Elegance S derivatives are fitted with added luxury features such as power adjustment and ventilation of the front seats, leather upholstery, a powered sunroof that is also voice activated, a more powerful eight-speaker Sony sound system, additional ambient lighting and a full 360-degree camera system that offers a panoramic view of the vehicle and a powered tailgate.

Under the bonnet

The Omoda C5 is powered by a four-cylinder, 1,5-litre engine that offers 115kW and 230Nm. A CVT transmission transfers power to the front wheels. The engine has been sourced from the Chery family but retuned to offer slightly more power in this application, however that retune has also ensured smoother power delivery that results in an overall more refined driving experience.

This transmission is programmed with nine steps, which ensures good, smooth, power delivery, without any of the hunting that is common with this transmission format. The result is a smooth relaxing drive. Power is adequate and Omoda claim that the C5 will use just 6,9 litres per 100km. Economy and Sport driving modes allow for the tailoring of power delivery, steering feel and damping to the driver’s preference.

Chassis engineers have also done a great job with the suspension tuning, which in combination with generously profiled tyres results in great ride quality.

Five star-safety

All Omoda models on sale locally are fitted with six airbags, Isofix child seat anchors, smart seatbelt pre-tensioning, ABS brakes, tyre pressure monitoring and ESP and EBA.

Standard driver assistance features include front and rear parking sensors. Elegance models add to this offering with a full suite of Advanced Driver Assist Systems that include things like automatic high beam, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, lane-keep assistance, lane departure warning and forward collision warning. In addition, automatic emergency braking and emergency lane keep assist further reduce the chances of being involved in an accident.

Model range and pricing

The Omoda brand will be sold through Chery dealerships, of which there are now 33 in South Africa and backed up by Chery’s parts supply, roadside support and customer care.

All Omoda C5 models are sold as standard with a five-year/70 000km service plan, a five-year or 150 000km warranty which is transferrable should the vehicle be sold as well as an additional engine warranty of 10 years or 1 million kilometres which is only valid for the first owner.

Omoda C5 Tech                                  R447 900

Omoda C5 Elegance                          R507 900

Omoda C5 Elegance S                        R509 900