New Chinese brand Omoda debuts first UK model from £24,000
Plus: Chinese brand wants to sell you O-Fashion, promote O-Life and let you join the O-Club for an affordable £24,000. O good
Omoda has some big plans. If you haven’t heard of the brand, don’t worry, we’ll come onto that. Firstly though, you need to know it’s launching the Omoda 5, a crossover SUV which has earned a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP ahead of its UK launch. The car is going to debut in March 2024 starting at a reasonable £24,000.
Looking suspiciously like a Hyundai Tucson/Genesis/Range Rover mash-up, surprisingly enough, it's not totally hideous. There are two trim levels, the cheaper 'Comfort' and the £27,000 'Noble' variant.
Built on Omoda’s T1X platform – not to be confused with a London black cab TX1 – the 5 has a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, pushing 187bhp and delivering 213lb ft of torque. It claims a fuel economy of 31.4mpg.
Omoda says it wants to offer "an environmentally conscious driving experience… for drivers who wish to continue using traditionally fuelled powertrains". Despite this, there's also an electric version – wildly named the Omoda 5 EV – at launch. But we've yet to have more details on this.
With its extensive suite of driver assistance features, like adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and forward collision warning, both trim levels are well-kitted out – on paper, at least.
There's Apple Carplay and Android Auto, wireless charging for two handsets, interior adaptive lighting and LED headlights as standard.
The sportier Noble gets a 360-degree camera, heated leather steering wheel, power sunroof and 18in alloys.
Omoda who? Ah yes, it's a brand in the Chery portfolio, the Chinese-state owned carmaker based out of Wuhu, Anhui province in China.
With its 'responsible price point', Omoda hopes to target younger drivers who will evangelise the brand to their mates, preferably via social media.
Using concepts like O-Fashion and O-Life, Omoders (as those in this community will be called) will belong to the O-Club. O-kaaay.
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Mr. Chen Chunqing, CEO of Omoda UK said: "The automotive industry has entered an unprecedented era of intelligent and new energy technology products. Marked by a surge in demand for personalisation and individual expression, we’ve seen the ascent of the SUV segment which now dominates the ten best-selling models globally. Omoda aims to stand at the forefront of this transformation.”
These are laudable aspirations. The brand is targeting 1.4 million units by 2030 and we're curious to drive the thing when it arrives at the end of the year.
For all the creativity the brand claims, though, we would have hoped they could do better than calling the car, the 5. Could be handbags at dawn with Polestar?