Finally, Chery Malaysia has made its return official. Just last night, Chery Malaysia held an official launch event introducing the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro SUVs as their initial models to lead their local resurgence. In summary, the Omoda 5 offers two variants – the C variant is priced at RM108,800, while the top H variant is available for RM118,800. It’s still up for debate what the C and H stand for, exactly (Cool and Hot?).
Unlike their previous foray, Chery has chosen to enter the market this time without a local partner, opting to cut its own path in a competitive market. Even the mighty BYD chose to partner with major player Sime Darby. Additionally, Chery confirmed that 31 dealerships will be ready to serve new customers by launch date, with more scheduled to open by the end of 2023.
Another point to highlight about Chery’s aggressive plans is their bringing both the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 Pro to market in CKD, locally-assembled form right from the outset with all Chery models sold here to have rolled off the Inokom plant in Kulim. This is opposed to the usual practice of introducing an initial batch of fully imported cars to achieve an earlier launch date, followed by CKD units down the road.
The Omoda 5, their B-segment SUV rival to the Proton X50 and Honda HR-V, features a distinctive design that could be polarising to some. Whether you love or hate its wide studded nose, there’s no denying that it makes a distinct first impression, which is undoubtedly advantageous for the new brand.
That said, remaining parts of the SUV’s body are less likely to divide opinions. It boasts a sculpted shape with blacked-out rear pillars and a full-width strip for the tail, all contemporary design. We’d love to see it given a stealthy blacked out treatment.
Externally, the C and H variants can be distinguished by the red highlights on the front lower grille, side mirrors, lower doors, and rear spoiler of the high-spec H model. It’s rare for a trim package to extend to the wheels, but Chery has done this for the Omoda 5 H. All variants feature LED headlights, tail lights, and daytime running lights (DRLs), but the H trim gains sequential turn signals and an eye-catching light show in the front and rear upon startup.
Measuring 4,400 mm in length and 1,830 mm in width, the Omoda 5 is 70 mm longer and 40 mm wider than a Honda HR-V. Its wheelbase is 2,630 mm, or 20 mm longer than that of the HR-V, suggesting a roomier cabin. A set of rather fetching 18-inch wheels are standard, which can also be had in a single or dual-tone finish.
Under that bonnet you’ll find a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine generating 156 hp (and 230 Nm of torque, explaining the “230T” badge at the rear. Power is delivered to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with nine virtual ratios.
Moving inside, the Omoda 5’s dashboard follows the current trend with its co-joined screens, reminiscent of those made popular by Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX. We appreciate the fact that, despite the presence of large twin LCD displays, there are still climate control buttons that buck the trend of relying solely on a cumbersome touchscreen.
The Omoda 5 is well-equipped even in its lower C trim level. Both trim levels come with two 10.25-inch dashboard screens as standard, offering wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity.
Other notable features include wireless charging, an angled phone rest for convenient viewing, ambient lighting, dual-zone air conditioning with a PM 2.5 filter, a reverse camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated wing mirrors, and proximity sensor keyless entry. Additionally, the Omoda 5 boasts double-glazed windows to enhance noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels.
Opting for the higher H trim level adds full faux leather upholstery as opposed to the mixed fabric combo in the C, a sunroof with a manual sunshade, and an eight-speaker Sony sound system. The H variant also features powered and ventilated front seats and a powered tailgate. Furthermore, a 360-degree camera system is included to assist with parking.
When it comes to safety, both trim levels come standard with a comprehensive advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) pack. It includes lane departure warning and prevention, blind-spot detection, emergency lane-keeping, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, front collision warning and automatic emergency braking (AEB), and automatic high beam.
During the event, Chery Malaysia also revealed its warranty package, which includes a 7-year or 150,000 km coverage for the vehicle alongside a 5 yearsof alternating free service (including free labor).
The engine warranty is an impressive 10 years or one million km. However, it’s important to note that the attention-grabbing engine warranty is limited to the first 3,000 customers. After that, it reverts to a seven-year/150,000 km warranty, aligning with the rest of the vehicle.
Still, if you’re the 3,001st customer or after, paying an extra RM2,000 upfront will still net you the extended 10-year/1-million km engine warranty package – a pretty good deal if you’re still on the fence about Chery’s reliability record.