It’s likely you’ve heard of Chery, but you might ask yourself where they’ve been for the last eight years or so. For the record, they’ve been off going from strength to strength in their home country of China. Now they’re back in Oz with the Omoda 5 EX SUV.
In a fully backed factory effort this time round, Chery’s new model fits the bill of the brand’s ‘art in motion’ philosophy, and is actually a good looking car. The design lines, the one piece diamond grill, the red accents and its entry sequence, all make it attractive.
Attracting plenty of attention from onlookers who wanted to take a peek inside as we parked in the Sydney CBD, it’s fair to say Chery are looking to make a statement. But it isn’t just looks that count here, and the $35,490 drive away price offers another dimension.
With additional variants on their way, including the potential for an EV in 2024, the Omoda 5 EX is pleasantly surprising with how responsive the 1.5-litre 115kW turbocharged engine is in delivering power to the front wheels.
It’s relatively quiet too and cruised along nicely, with smooth gear changes and the suspension absorbing most of the bumps. Hard acceleration and a slightly touchy brake response show the refinement is not quite there, but it’s definitely acceptable.
After all, this is not a car that’s designed for brutal driving. Our test vehicle was optioned with the very attractive red accents on the wheels, mirrors, side skirts and front bumper. It’s something that’s ultimately different and makes the car stand out.
That said, it does remind this writer of a Matchbox model he may have owned years ago. Luckily, if the bright coloured highlights aren’t your thing, you can opt not to have them. Likewise, if Mercurial Grey is not your thing, there’s other paint colours to choose.
You could opt for Lunar White, Titan Green, Jupiter Blue, Midnight Blue or Saturn Silver. Now back to that entry sequence we mentioned. Proximity unlock triggers a sequence of lights across the front and rear LEDs, and there’s some ‘Omoda’ puddle lighting too.
Some start up tunes fire up as you open the door and watch on as the dashboard illuminates. Jumping in and making yourself comfortable in the driver’s seat is a breeze with the nicely trimmed black leather electric adjustable seats.
The back seats are spacious and comfortable too, with ample room for a family. The luggage compartment has an acceptable 292-litres of space with the seats up. While there’s a tonne of plastic everywhere, the list of standard features is long.
These include two 10.25-inch digital displays which stretch across the dashboard, one for your driving information, and one for infotainment. The latter features wireless Apple CarPlay and an 8-speaker Sony sound system.
Wireless charging is found right in front along the large curved centre console, which sits nicely next to you. Underneath this there is some additional storage space and you will also find one USB-A and one USB-C port available.
Ambient lighting provides the ability to change colours, and there’s heated seats and a similarly warmed steering wheel, an electric single panel sunroof, adaptive cruise control and an impressive 360-degree camera.
In a nice touch, the camera triggers as you turn left or right, ensuring you are nowhere near clipping those gutters. All-in-all it’s not bad for a sub-$40K small SUV. Throw in the 7-year warranty, capped price servicing and roadside assist, and it’s really impressive.
The 2023 Chery Omoda 5 EX definitely provides an attractive proposition in terms of value and while there are plenty of other options in this space, you would be hard pressed to find one with all these standard features, at this price point.
Our test vehicle was provided by Chery Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Chery Omoda 5 EX, contact your local Chery dealer.