Omoda reveals pricing for NZ, plus a first drive of the C5 GT

Damien O’Carroll
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The newest brand to enter the New Zealand market, Omoda, was officially launched last night with a lavish event in Auckland. Featuring lots of lights, special effects and even dancers, the event served as not only the official launch of the brand in New Zealand, but also to reveal pricing of the first model to be sold here, the Omoda C5, as well as its E5 electric counterpart.

Omoda launched in New Zealand with lots of lights and dancers. And dancers with lights.

While the event was impressive, the pricing revealed was even more so, with the entry level C5 BX starting at just $29,990, while the up-spec EX lands at $34,990.

The entry C5 is equipped with a 1.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission. We had an early drive of the C5 EX and came away impressed, particularly for the money suggested at the time. We didn’t actually expect Omoda to hit those price promises, however. But they have.

The glitzy launch was also where pricing for the Omoda C5 and E5 was announced.

Next up is the C5 GT which gets a 1.6-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The C5 GT BX lands at $37,990, while the EX AWD is $39,990.

We also had an early drive of an Australian market 2WD GT BX which, while technically down on standard equipment compared to the 1.5-litre EX we previously drove, was still impressively packed with gear.

With dual 10.25-inch screens dominating the dash, the interior is of a quality that is well above its $37,990 price point and, while there are still some hard plastics, you have to go looking for them.

The C5 GT doesn't look any different to the standard C5. All the upgraded bits are under the skin.

Omoda’s clever AI voice command system was also present and while it is a system that doesn’t seem to have trouble recognising the traditionally troublesome Kiwi accent, it can occasionally miss start up commands.

The GT also featured an upgraded wireless phone charging pad that boasts 100w charging and a cooling vent, as well as recalibrated driver assists that are less sensitive and naggy.

The GT is the more driver-focussed, variant of the C5 range, with the more powerful engine (135kw versus the 1.5’s 115kW) and independent rear suspension in place of the standard C5’s torsion beam.

The Omoda C5 is a striking and modern city SUV at a very sharp price.

That IRS setup at the rear seemed to nicely solve the low speed fussiness that David Linklater complained about in his review of the 1.5-litre car, as the GT was nicely resolved at urban speeds and impressively settled at open road speeds, presenting a far more resolved handling package than the 1.5-litre C5 as a result.

The more powerful 135kW 1.6-litre turbo engine felt brisk and responsive in the GT, while the seven-speed dual clutch transmission was slick and smooth in its shifts, largely avoiding the indecisiveness that is an irritation in a lot of DCTs in cheaper cars.

While there was still that initially odd lack of strong self centring in the steering, it is something you quickly get used to. In all, the C5 GT is a thoroughly good and impressively built and equipped small city SUV, particularly for that sharp price, which undercuts its chief rivals by a significant amount.

The Omoda C5 is aimed squarely at the Hyundai Kona and Toyota C-HR and Corolla Cross in the small SUV segment.

One thing the C5 does lack, however, is any hint of hybridisation. This is because the C5 has a sibling - the all-electric E5 that shares its body and underpinnings, but is propelled by a lithium iron-phosphate battery with a claimed range of 430km.

Further details about the E5 are yet to be released, but the pricing is equally sharp here. At least for the first three months it is on sale, as Omoda is offering a special “launch price” of $47,990 for the E5 BX and $54,990 for the E5 EX.

With a different interior and a sleek grille-less face, the E5 differentiates itself from the C5 in more ways than just its propulsion system, most notably with its large 24.6-inch dual screen dash. Both the C5 and E5 get a 7-year warranty with roadside assistance, while the E5 also gets an 8-year/160,000km battery warranty.

The E5 all-electric version of the C5 loses the big grille for a more sleek (and EV-ish) look.

“Our commitment to offering competitive pricing represents not just value, but our dedication to accessibility, innovation and exceeding the expectations of Kiwi drivers,” said Omoda Jaecoo country manager, Sheldon Humphries.

“We believe our competitive pricing strategy will not only make premium vehicles more attainable but will also drive a new era of value-driven experiences on the roads of New Zealand.”

Humphries says Omoda Jaecoo will release eight models into the New Zealand market over the next two years, including the more off-road oriented Jaecoo brand.


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