IT MIGHT BE one of the cheapest in mzansi but the Changan Mini Van has a good story to tell, depending which side of the fence is one seated...
Legend has it ‘dynamites come in small packages’ and this latest Mini Van ticks all the boxes.
Before hitting the road, I had to haul a few loads of garden rubble and was impressed with the large amount it could carry in its one-ton load bay, which is a generous 2.06 metres long
Despite my reservations to take it for a long haul, I was convinced by my colleague to put it to a strenuous test drive as we took it to the valleys, mountains and glades of our beautiful country as we headed to the coast in East London.
The assignment: cover the ANC’s January 8 2018 but held on 13th at Absa Stadium.
It obliged although the only snag was the power it lacks when overpowered by those daunting trucks and cross-winds synonymous in the evening and powerful storms that welcomed us and thousands of guests in the Buffalo City-as it is known by locals.
The five-speed gearshift is smooth, the clutch is light, but the steering isn’t power assisted and it takes some arm power to turn the wheel -but it came in handy to keep yours’ awake for a 12-hour journey, as one attempted to speed above 90km/h it begins picking up some vibrations.
Historically, Changan is one of the big four Chinese automakers and launched its vehicles in South Africa in 2007, but the first local importer ceased operations leaving Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC) to take over the local distribution in 2013.
In July this year JMC South Africa unveiled the new-generation Changan Star 3 range of rear-wheel drive bakkies. Available in single cab, double cab and minivan derivatives, they all share a normally aspirated 1243cc 4-cylinder petrol engine producing outputs of 72kW/119Nm.
Talk of petrol, the Changan Mini Van 1.3 is much way too convenient considering the clocking we had to endure and believe it or not, we only did two full tanks one way.
Interior comes packed with air conditioner, the cloth-covered seats are reasonably comfortable and the hard plastic fascia has neat styling, with no excessive panel gaps. The floor covering is some creased and ill-fitting plasticky/rubbery material, anti -theft lock, electronic windows, two speakers and radio.
Yes, don’t expect any air bags or ABS brakes luxury. Its’ a Mini Van
Incident free, it caught the attention of petrol attendants and locals with one old-toppie declaring “dis mos oulik” as we naughtily opened both sliding doors to ‘match’ the luxurious German made V Class that were all over the show at Buffalo City.
Stru, I wouldn’t mind taking it for a second round.
All the new Changan range comes with a 3 year/100 000km warranty.
For limited special-one can receive R3000 fuel voucher with every Changan purchase.
It retails for R154 990
Performance: 1-10 (4)
Petrol 1-10 (4)