OMODA C5 enters the much contested SUV SA market

FOR CLARITY- OMODA is managed by Chery SA, so don’t be alarmed by the Chery name emboldened on the OMODA C5’s steering-wheel.

With that out of the way- OMODA is the new SUV, City car whose approach is fresh and dynamic.

It was unveiled to members of the press at the launch in Jozi- much to pomp and ceremony, this week.

After a brief background on the product, we hopped onto the new OMODA, fitted with a high-power 1.5 litre turbo petrol engine.

 Off we revved out of a Campus in Bryanston, charged towards Haarteebeesfontein in the Bokone Bophirima province, a mere hour-drive.

The sleek, sporty SUV has large wheels (up to 18” alloys), a sloping roof that rests on darkened roof pillars for a floating look and a seamlessly integrated star diamond grille that is truly unique.

Yes, it has the appearance that caused head-turns along the almost clean Haarties dam that is affected by unknown ‘water seeds’.

Onlookers were in awe, as I and my driving partner from Business Day, Denis, who took a first lap and I completed mine thereafter.

The futuristic experience starts with the dual high resolution 10.25” digital displays that are highly customisable. These touch-sensitive screens allow for multiple ways of displaying vehicle, safety and entertainment information. It also includes, among many other items, a wireless interface with mobile phones, using either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Linked to the dual screens is a 64-colour ambient lighting system. This lighting system has been intelligently integrated with the vehicle functions, allowing the occupants to set the ambient lighting depending on vehicle mode or, for instance, to change colour when the vehicle is locked or unlocked.

The system can even link to the three-dimensional SONY sound system to create appropriate lighting for different music moods.

Just below the dual screens is a new INS multi-touch and multi-colour luminous air conditioning control panel. This is a brand-new technology that conveys climate-control information through the use of the digital display, while also adapting the controls based on circumstances and usage.

It is worth noting that the climate-control system is self-cleaning and has high-grade filtering built in for the cleanest interior air.

To the right of the climate-control system is a three-dimensional start-stop button. The OMODA C5 can also be started remotely with the key fob.

On safety, the OMODA C5 reached global headlines when it received a full five-star safety rating from the strict NCAP crash-test authorities.

It uses high safety cell,that uses 78% of very high strength steel with in-built energy channels to offer its occupants the best possible safety.

All versions of the OMODA C5 have six airbags, including front, front side and full-length curtain airbags. All models also have ISOFIX child seat anchors, smart seatbelt pre-tensioning, ABS brakes linked to all four disc brakes, tyre-pressure monitoring and electronic stability program (ESP) as standard.

Safety is further taken care of by front and rear parking sensors, emergency brake signalling through the rear LED lights, speed control with the option of speed limiting and emergency brake assistance, as we experienced with Dennis.
For buyers of the Elegance models, OMODA will offer a full range of Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS). These systems include automatic high-beam / low-beam switching, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alerts, traffic-sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assistance and lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning. 

One has an option to either use the Driver Assist System or switch off completely, like I did when driving back from soaring hot Haarties.

The automatic OMODA C5 has a high-output 1.5 litre turbo petrol engine.

The engine delivers 115 kW and 230 Nm of torque through a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with nine in-built steps. The system has been tested to deliver a combined fuel consumption of only 6.9 litres per 100 km.

It comes fitted with ECONOMY and SPORT driving modes, dependent on your driving moods on the day.

OMODA comes from the Latin root, “O” is derived from oxygen, indicating new life and vitality, and “MODA” which comes from “Modern”, which signifies the brand’s focus on a modern and fashionable lifestyle. 

Image SLM (The boot of the OMODA C5)

Chatting to Hannes Ludik- national sales manager at OMODA, at the cocktail function, he tells that they’re hard at work to ascertain the stock and after-sales services are on point and will use Chery dealers to quantify that.

Posed to him on pricing considering the economic situation in the country, the bespectacled Ludik says “the prices are competitive and way affordable than our competitors as per our research”.

Close to 500 to 700 units are now available at dealerships throughout the country and one can make an offer through their digital online.

Three models of the OMODA C5 are now available in South Africa:

OMODA C5 Tech: R447 900

OMODA C5 Elegance: R507 900

OMODA C5 Elegance S: R509 900

All versions are backed by a service plan of 5 years / 70 000 km and a mechanical warranty of 5 years or 150 000 km. An additional engine warranty of 10 years or 1 million kilometres are also included.

OMODA will also be supported by the Chery Group’s established large parts warehouse, roadside-support team and customer-care office.

In conclusion, Ludik says the plan is to introduce the brand outside the borders of SA and target dealers in Botswana, Mauritius, etc.

So, very soon we could have an mzansi nickname for OMODA.

Top image SLM (The sleek OMODA C5 introduced to members of the press at the launch this week).

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