7 Chinese Cars We’d Be Happy For China Keep To Itself
These Chinese Cars are Either Impressively Bad or Complete Knock-Offs
Updated October 27, 2017
The concept of domestically-produced Chinese cars competing with those made by the Capitalist dogs is relatively new. So the Chinese can be excused for some strange designs, as long as they keep them inside China.
Chery QQ3 0.8 TX
This innocent looking 0.8 L powered five-door supermini is incredibility cheap – about $4,000 US – but may also be the most dangerous car in the world. Independent crash test ranked it as the worst car ever tested, by a wide margin. The results were so catastrophic that the researchers had to disassemble the crash test dummies piece by piece in order to retrieve them from the wreckage. I think $4,000 is better spent on BASE jumping – it’s more fun and you have a better chance of survival. If surviving your trip to the grocery store is something you’d like to do, this is one of the worst Chinese cars for the job.
The Foton Tunland is a pickup truck made in China and sold elsewhere in the region as a lower-priced competitor to the established Japanese and Australian (US) brands. It’s also a case where the whole IS NOT greater than the sum of its parts. Foton turns to US and European supplier to make their truck more attractive, and despite its Cummins engine, Getrag gearbox, Borg Warner and Dana driveline, and Bosch electronics, it still received a thumbs-down from Western reviewers: noisy, excessive vibrations, low-quality interior, inexpensive switchgear, and no side airbags. I think I’ll put my energies into petitioning Ford to bring the Ranger (and the Australian Everest SUV) back to the US.
When the Englon SX6 was unveiled, the Chinese motoring press oo’d and ah’d over what a clever, sharp, and modern Crossover design it was, and how it was ideally targeted to the upwardly mobile young Chinese urbanites. The Western press took one look and could see only that it appeared to be a pretty direct ripoff of the Bentley EXP 9 F concept (which it clearly is). In my personal opinion it looks like a London cab with a metallic paint job and a gaudy grille, and with a little digging found that Englon owns part of the company that builds London cabs. How sad would it be to hop into a Black Cab in Piccadilly Square knowing that it had been made in China? Of all the Chinese cars on this list, this one would look the most at home in downtown London, not that that’s an award of any kind.
Chery Tiggo 2.0
Another deathtrap from our friends at Chery. The Tiggo is a compact crossover with a transverse-mounted front engine, with front wheel drive standard and AWD as an option – basically a cheap alternative to the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. There are four engine options for the Tiggo: a 1.6 L, a 1.8 L, and a 2.0 L, plus a supercharged 1.6L. Like the Chery QQ, the Tiggo was also independently crashed tested and received only two out of five stars, which rates it among the very worst of all vehicles for sale today.
Land Wind X7
I know what you’re thinking: we put the wrong photo in the article. This isn’t a poorly-made Chinese car, this is a finely engineered Range Rover Evoque. Welcome to the world of Chinese knock-offs. Forget Gucci handbags and Rolex Watches, Land Wind is selling this near replica for the Evoque for about one-third of what the real thing costs in China. Whats more, Land Wind X7 owners can buy a kit to swap out the badges on their clone to make it look more like the real thing. Even if I had to save for twenty years, I’d rather drive the real thing sometime in the future than a cheap knock-off today. The scary thing is, the deeper you delve into the world of Chinese cars, the more commonplace you’ll realize this absurd copy-catting practice is.
Hongqi HQE V12
The ride of choice for high-ranking Communist party officials and visiting VIPs, the Hongqi HQE V12 is the largest and most expensive car built in China. Styling is a weird mix of Rolls Royce in the back and 50’s American custom car in the front. It’s powered by a Chinese-developed 6.0 L V12 producing 400 hp (about the same as the Mercedes M120 engine did 25 years ago). OK, so it’s a big, heavy, underpowered parade car, but it must ride like a cloud, right? Wrong! Believe it or not, the Hongqi HQE is built on a Toyota Land Cruiser truck chassis. Well, at least potholes shouldn’t be a problem.
If this isn’t absolutely the happiest-looking of the Chinese cars on this list, or in existence, for that matter, color us surprised. Car names are meant to be evocative. When you hear the name “Mustang” not only does the car come to find, but also the free-roaming horses of the American West as well as the ultimate piston-engined fighter aircraft. So what are we to think of a car named after a bear that eats only bamboo, and lots of it, every day? But the Geely Panda isn’t just named for the Giant Panda native to China, it carries Panda styling cues, from the taillights shaped like Panda paws to the headlights styled to resemble the dark markings around the Panda’s eyes. I wonder if they make those “teddy bear” wheels to fit the Panda.