The last few years have seen immense growth in the production and sales of cars made in China. The database company Statista reported that around 21 million passenger vehicles were produced in China in 2020 alone. This is a staggering 7 million increase in 2008. This puts China at the top of the list of countries with the largest production of passenger cars (and by that we mean road vehicles that can accommodate up to nine people, including the driver).
“On average, one in four passenger vehicles produced in the world was produced in China,” the report notes. The list of countries that produce the most cars in the world includes Japan, Germany, the United States and South Korea, all manufacturers of some of the world’s best-known car brands.
Despite its high production and high sales, there remains the idea that cars made in China, like stereotypical products made in China, are inferior in quality or break down easily. Which brings us to the question: are Chinese cars really worth buying?
We asked Reph Bangsil, car enthusiast, racer, critic and founder of Reph Motors, to give us his take on the hot topic. He also provides a review of the models he has tested on the road to give you a better idea of what to look out for and when to turn the other way.
Cars of yesterday and today
Reph says it’s only fitting that people don’t easily trust a new player in the market. He believes it is only a matter of time for Chinese auto brands to gain a foothold in the industry. “Nung American cars of the 60s and 70s pa lang ang sikat, in pumasok ang Japanese automakers her industry, people also doubted the quality of Japanese cars. To concern [Japan] now they are one of the largest automakers in the world. “
The same goes for Korean cars, which entered the industry in the 1990s and 2000s. “Meron din silang mga kapalpakan noong una. But now Korean auto brands are also well established. “
In the 2000s, when Chinese car brands entered the market, they largely fell short of market expectations. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chinese cars at the time had a reputation for being cheap and ugly.
Like other auto brands, however, Chinese brands had since moved on. “Now that they’re back in the game with better quality cars, I think it’s a great time for them to redeem themselves. Tingin ko ito na ang oras ng Chinese cars, because they’re really well built, ”Reph observes.
Cars made in China may not have the sophisticated branding of their rivals, but you could argue that this only makes them more affordable. “For the price of a normal Japanese sedan, you can already get a luxury Chinese car,” says Reph.
Chinese cars are no further when it comes to modern technology – they already have 360 cameras, adaptive cruise control, huge infotainment systems, and more.Analog wala nang sa dashboard ng kotse nila. Puro screens is not it. Even their speedometer is completely digital, ”explains Reph. To further prove their reliability, many Chinese cars have also extended their warranties.
Below are four Chinese cars that Reph tested on the road:
Morris Garages is of British origin, but was purchased by Shanghai-based Chinese state-owned SAIC Motor in 2007. The MG 5 is the longest and widest subcompact sedan in its class, with a spacious cabin and a huge trunk (512 liters of luggage). One thing that stands out about this car is its full digital infotainment system, with Apple CarPlay and six audio speakers. Its giant screen displays a 360-degree view of the vehicle, which makes parking easier.
“The handling was excellent. I didn’t feel any delay in the suspension, ”explains Reph of the MG5. “May mg plastic components daddy din yung car, because it is a more affordable variant. But as a counterpart to the Vios, it’s actually a good one. In terms of style, can pagka– European look, like a BMW married to a Volkswagen.
This luxury SUV is one of the most beautiful Chinese vehicles he has ever driven, says Reph. It’s available in two-tone red and black leather stitching with a full digital infotainment system and digital gauge cluster. “The acceleration was excellent. Napakaganda ng there is interior. Para kang nasa kotse ni Tony Stark, very modern. It also came with a panoramic sunroof. It is a very nice and affordable car anything given the technology it offers you.
Chery Tiggo 2
“Compared to its competitors, way dated [ang Cherry Tiggo 2]”says Reph, citing that it did not come with a digital gauge cluster.” Semi-digital lang sya. He came with an infotainment system pero hindi kasing laki ng mga rivals does not have. For me, can pagka-jerky ang transmission, yung pag-gap does not have. But it’s still a good car, given that it’s really affordable, ”he says. The brand offers a full service warranty of five years and 10 years for the transmission system.
It’s one of the best-selling subcompact crossovers in the country right now, says Reph. It has a full digital gauge cluster and a modern infotainment system. It also has an automatic parking function and a 360 ° panoramic view. “The acceleration is excellent. It’s a reliable car, ”he says.