New Omoda 5 SUV: The Chinese crossover heading to the UK in 2024 has been explored in detail
► The new £24,000 Omoda 5 SUV will be launched in March
► Announcement of gasoline and electric vehicle versions
► The car gets a close-up preview in the studio
Omoda, the car brand from China, is not too far away from launching in Europe. The new five-wheel drive SUV, shown here, will arrive in the UK market in March 2024.
CAR spoke to several executives for the brand’s launch in Europe and the UK, and held a close preview of the new Omoda 5 – the brand’s first car to be launched here.
Who or what is Omoda?
Omoda is part of the Chery Group, an automobile manufacturer that is currently the ninth largest company in its home market. In fact, the Omoda 5 is already on sale in China as the Chery Omoda 5 and in other markets around the world including Australia. Wenlong Liu, brand manager of Chery Automobile, said that Chery has been the largest automobile exporter in China for two decades; Last year, it sold 450,000 cars outside the home market – and now it is turning its attention to Europe.
“We have taken the decision not to include the Chery name (for Europe),” UK brand director Matthew Upton told CAR. “We wanted a fresh start for a new brand and look at a younger demographic.
“The value proposition you get from Omoda is really impressive,” Upton adds. “For the money, some technology you’d normally only find in high-end vehicles.”
The name comes from two roots: O bound to oxygen (yes, that part is a bit nonsensical), and “Moda” is synonymous with fashion. “The main thing about the brand is that it has a big focus on fashion, and it’s a stylish SUV brand with an emphasis on design,” says Upton.
Furthermore, Omoda is known for adding a little extra to the ownership experience. In its home market, owners are called Omoders, with Omoda saying they have access to an “O-Club” described as a social platform for the brand’s community and additional experiences. This approach feels like a combination of Nio’s lounge-like “home” locations and the DS’s “only you” system designed to give you access to exclusive events. Upton says the Omoda team is still fine-tuning the European version of this, with more details to come.
Tell me about Omoda 5…
The new Omoda 5 is a mid-sized SUV that will go on sale in March 2024, as a rival to the Hyundai Kona and Toyota C-HR. It is a compact crossover with a length of 4.4 meters.
The new Omoda 5 SUV appears to blend styling cues from the Nissan Ariya, Lexus NX and Hyundai Kona with a massive grille that almost looks as if it’s perfectly in line with the front bumper, a full-width taillight bar and plenty of colorful touches on the trim in the picture. The EV version features a cleaner, more modern front end, including new angled lights.
Meanwhile, the interior features a clean design that includes a high-mounted infotainment screen and places to put your phone à la Tesla’s range of cars. A single wide panel mounted on top of the dashboard houses the car’s digital instrument cluster and central touchscreen, and the infotainment system includes a voice assistant that has the ability to operate certain functions such as the sunroof without touching a button.
Two specifications of the Omoda 5 will be launched: Comfort (for £24,000) and Noble (for £27,000).
- Omoda 5 Comfort – Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic tailgate, wireless charging for two phones, Sony stereo – from £24,000
- Omoda 5 Nobel – Adds a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control, heated leather steering wheel, 18-inch alloy wheels, electric sunroof and colored trim elements – priced from £27,000
Our studio preview of the 5 SUV gave us a chance to experience first-hand the interior quality and technology of the Australian-spec Omoda 5 Noble. Overall, interior quality is reasonably solid – the buttons on the steering wheel feel solid and the interior touchpoints are all nicely put together. However, the large amount of glossy black panels on the center console will quickly stain. The screens work quickly, and although the graphics aren’t of the highest resolution, the system seemed reasonably logical to use (unlike, say, the technology found in the MG 4). Elsewhere, rear space is reasonable – even for a 6-foot-tall adult – as is the available trunk space.
What powers does Omoda 5 have?
The brand says the 5 SUV will be available with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine with 187 hp and 203 lb-ft, and an EV version is also coming. Omuda says the 5 has already achieved a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash test, and features driver assistance technology such as adaptive cruise, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams and more as standard.
The Omoda 5 petrol doesn’t seem to have very competitive efficiency numbers; The headline combined figure is 31.4mpg, and CO2 emissions of 170g/km are surprisingly high too.
What’s different about the Omoda 5 EV?
Omoda says the electric model will launch at the same time as the combustion-powered model in March 2024. Pricing has not yet been announced, but we expect the 5 EV to be priced closer to £30,000 in the UK market.
Aside from the revised design focusing on aerodynamic efficiency at the front, the Omoda 5 electric model will have a 61 kWh battery and a 201 hp electric motor driving the front wheels. Omoda says the 5 EV is capable of accelerating from 0 to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds, and has a range of 280 miles.
What can we expect from Omoda?
A hybrid version of the Omoda 5 is expected to be launched by the end of 2024. After that, Omoda is going full steam ahead by launching more models in Europe and the UK in the coming years.
Over the next three years, Omoda will launch the 3 (a small crossover to rival the Ford Puma and Vauxhall Mokka), the 7 (which British director Victor Chang described as “the size of a Tucson or a Sportage”) and the 7 (which British director Victor Chang described as “the size of a Tucson Or Sportage”). 9 (which would be a similar size to a Range Rover Sport or Porsche Cayenne).
Zhang also says the goal is for Omoda to offer different powertrains, including plug-in hybrids and plug-in hybrids, where it best suits the vehicle and market. “We think the UK, for example, is still not quite ready for EVs at the moment,” he says. “I know the ban is coming in 2030, but ICE vehicles will still play a big role over the next three years.
“Other Chinese brands like Ora, Nio and BYD are fully focused on electric vehicles in Europe, but we make a full range – which makes us different from the rest.”
But what about traders?
In a move away from various initiatives from various carmakers to offer dealership models, subscription services or online sales, UK brand director Upton confirms that Omoda will sell its cars via traditional dealerships where you can still buy a car on the premises. 50 is scheduled for the UK. “We will put it in the most popular cities first,” Upton says, adding that “it will be a traditional agency initially once we get it established.”
Omoda will also offer a seven-year warranty on its new cars, which includes an eight-year battery warranty.