chery qq 0,8te – CARmag.co.za

7 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on chery qq 0,8te – CARmag.co.za

chery qq

0,8te

F you#8217;re not familiar with Chery, and many won#8217;t be, it is one of the latest automotive offerings from the Orient. Chery is China#8217;s largest domestic auto brand and, via the McCarthy group, is about to make its presence felt on African soil, too. The brand was launched a few months ago with three models #8211; the QQ, Tiggo SUV, and the J5 medium sized saloon #8211; but it is the subject of our test, the tiny QQ hatchback, which will be of most interest to the car buying public.

#8220;South Africa#8217;s cheapest car#8221; is an enviable moniker to have, especially for a newcomer, and in a market that is as financially sensitive as ours, it can be a great selling point, too. Chery#8217;s QQ 0,8 now holds that title. At R59 900 for the base TE model on test, and R5 000 more for its higher-specced TX sibling, the two models are the cheapest cars available in SA.

If you think that you have seen the QQ before, you may have #8211; but not quite. It bears an uncanny resemblance to (whisper it) the Daewoo Matiz/Chevy Spark. QQ has been the centre of a controversy involving the two automotive companies, and General Motors has sued Chery for the infringement of intellectual property.

The Chinese naturally feel that they have done nothing wrong, but GM engineers supposedly even fitted the doors from a QQ straight onto a Matiz with zero modification. Whatever the case, the QQ evokes a strong sense of déjà vu.

It measures a shade over 3,5 metres long and just under 1,5 metres tall, so it is diminutive in stature. With bug-eye headlamps and a #8220;smiling#8221; visage, it looks almost toy-like, as if you could pick it up and go vroom-vroom across the lounge carpet with it.

Interestingly, the QQ has one of the best paint finishes that we have seen on a test car in quite some time. We suspect that it may have something to do with China#8217;s lax environmental laws, and that Chery is using solvents and/or paints that are no longer employed by other manufacturers.

Those meagre exterior dimensions are not evident inside, where the QQ seems to have a fair deal of space to accommodate passengers. Rear room, though, does come at the expense of luggage volume. The cargo hold took just 156 dm3 of our standardised ISO measuring blocks, with 736 dm3 available with the split rear seats folded flat.

As expected of SA#8217;s cheapest car, the interior is shorn of anything that isn#8217;t vitally important to the driving process. Material quality is decent considering the price, though there are a few rough edges such as exposed metal body work, and some areas that could really use plastic covers. Light-coloured materials used on all surfaces, bar the facia hangdown, gearlever and instrument cluster, lift the ambience.

On the subject of the instrument cluster, the dials are clear and logically laid out. Smaller dials for engine temp, fuel level and engine speed flank the speedo. There are no extraneous buttons or switches, and all controls are easy enough to use, such as the rotary ventilation controls and er#8230; that#8217;s it, actually.

There isn#8217;t even a radio. Only the headlamp activation switch is oddly located: instead of being placed at the end of a steering column-mounted stalk, the switch is on the right of the facia.

However, the stalk does incorporate the front and rear foglamps switch. Bizarrely, the QQ has no rear demister, though.

In this base model we didn#8217;t expect much in terms of seating comfort, and were proven correct. Padding of the front chairs is not thick enough; in fact, it#8217;s so thin you can feel the springs beneath. The cushion area is too short, and the seatback too narrow for an average frame. All in all, it#8217;s not comfy unless you#8217;re below average in stature.

Setting off for the first time in the Chery proved to be a surprising earful. An in-line three-cylinder engine is employed, so the soundtrack is that familiar, triple woofle, think half a Porsche (bet you didn#8217;t think you#8217;d see that name in this test!) flat-six, or Yaris T1. Displacing a mere 812 cm3, it is not surprising that the engine develops just 38 kW and 70 N.m of torque, these peaks arriving at 6 000 and 3 500 r/min respectively.

Despite short gearing and a relatively low mass of 900 kg, the QQ posted disappointing times on our test strip. The benchmark 0-100 km/h sprint took 18,79 seconds, and the top speed was near on Chery#8217;s claim at 138 km/h. Have a look at the adjacent data panel and you will note the overtaking times are lethargic too.

Drive a QQ and any forays into the fast lane had better be wellplanned events, with liberal use of the transmission. On the open road and through the daily grind, the engine was not unkeen to rev, though. Even in the higher reaches of the rev-range it was still unfazed.

The d-o-h-c and four valves per cylinder are probably strong contributing factors to this ability. What we did notice, however, was an inconsistent flat spot, or ECU hiccough. Every so often the engine did not immediately respond to a throttle input, and stuttered before clearing its mind and setting off.

It#8217;s a trait that worried us every time we had to cross over a busy junction or take a gap in the traffic. We sincerely hope that this malady isn#8217;t prevalent across all QQ models.

Taking gaps in the traffic, or indeed any movements that require steering input, should be dealt with in an extremely circumspect manner. We found that the handling is not anywhere near what it should be for a car aimed at novices, youngsters and firsttime car owners. Tackle any corner at speeds slightly above normal pace and the handling feels scary, even for our experienced team of testers.

If not almost leaning to the point of tipping over, there is the very real prospect of oversteering into a corner as the turning action is so sharp. Don#8217;t sneeze too hard or you may just change lanes inadvertently. With such an imprecise helm, one is always left wondering what the front wheels are doing and where they#8217;re pointing.

Perhaps with the small wheels it does not require the (over) assisted steering.

The QQ#8217;s upright stance, narrow track and skinny tyres do not help in the handling stakes either. On the ride comfort front, the QQ does manage a decent job of providing a comfortable platform while traversing bumps, and other road irregularities.

But beside the sedate straightline performance and perceived instability through the corners, it is the braking performance that is the most worrisome aspect. With discs up front and drums on the rear axle, the QQ performed poorly in our stopping routine. It managed a best time of 4,39 seconds, and averaged 4,88 over ten stops.

During the procedure, the lack of ABS wasn#8217;t even a problem as the braking system does not generate enough force to lock the wheels. We seriously considered creating a new category for the poor performance, but thought the better of it and will classify it as very poor.

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