Now over here in this part of South East Asia Chinese automobiles have a small presence limited to small hatchbacks like the Chana Era and the Hafei Lobo and small family sized sedans like the Geely CK and the Chery A5 (pictured below). The 1.6liter A5 (sounds so much like an Audi moniker) is the largest 'made in China' car that you can buy over here these days but what you get is a decent sized car with a tacky extra large chrome grill (for added 'bling' even though its more 'bleargh' than 'bling'), a tacky slab sided dashboard that is all hard plastics, cream and grey (read utterly dull, uninspired and ultra cheap looking), slightly harsh engine note and suspect handling all rolled into one 'value for money' package. And this is one of their biggest and 'best' looking made in China 4 door sedan sold over here, mind you.
Anyway, feel free to disagree about what I wrote above as the people over at GAC (part of the Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group Co Ltd) have come up with the impressive looking Trumpchi. The name may sound like an anagram of TOP TRUMP CHINA. Corny. Very Corny.
This large 4 door sedan is an in-house design development. It is very proportioned and has a certain flair to it. It may be like a mix of a Kia Optima, Nissan Cefiro/Teana, some Audi cues, the previous Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord and parts of a BMW 5 series but it looks pretty original. Maybe it's because GAC and its subsidiaries license manufacture, assemble and/or jointly sell Toyota Camrys, Hondas, Fiats and Isuzu. So many sources and influences to steal, er, borrow designs from. I quite like the strong character line that starts off curving round the front wheel arch which continues all the way to the rear of the car.
Anyway, the Trumpchi (boy, it really needs a better name) is said to come in a 1.8liter engine as well as a 2.0liter 4 cylinder 16 valve engine that is reported to give pretty bad (or not?) fuel consumption – 8.8liters/100km. It is however the highest scoring C-NAP rated car. C-NAP is China's equivalent of the Euro NCAP. Pretty good, unless the C-NAP is about as equal as a suit bought at Brioni and a suit bought over at Mustafa's.
What do you guys think of the Trumpchi. I think it needs a new name. Badly.