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Q: Are Chinese cars actually any good?

We can all see that Chinese cars are becoming more and more common. In Wuhan I estimate that about 1/4 of all cars are Chinese now. It's even the first city I've come across where a significant proportion of taxis are Chinese. The newest taxi company has a fleet of BYD's.

 

But has anybody actually driven one? Are they any good?

 

My assumption (based on absolutely no knowledge) has always been that to drive they are ok, but safety wise you might as well be driving a bin bag for all the protection it would give you. How else could they be so cheap?

3 years 28 weeks ago in  General  - China

 
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They are absolutely superb. Did you ever read of any vehicle recall campaign for quality issues done by any Chinese brand?

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3 years 28 weeks ago
 
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Great wall 4x4 i ok ,,,,,export version uses Mitsubishi running gear  but Chinese one is better

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3 years 28 weeks ago
 
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I've got a Lifan 320 (Sort of Mini Cooper copy). 1.3L engine, easy to drive. 45,000RMB new four years ago. Now done >80,000km with no major issues. 

 

Would it it pass a European standard crash test? Hell no!

 

Would I buy another? Yes!

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3 years 28 weeks ago
 
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The thing about most Chinese cars is that the drivetrain is not actually Chinese. They source engine and gearbox from evil Japanese companies, so when you drive a Chinese car, a lot the impressions you get from interacting with the vehicle is actually giving you a solid feel. 

Things like how they stick together after some years is a completely different matter. Quality is certainly not as good as other cars, but I would claim the same about non-Chinese cars built in China, although to a less extent. 

About the safety. It is just not a priority in China. People simply don't care if they get killed or terribly mutilated. Volvo (good old Chinese company) has said that from 2020 no one will die in a new Volvo, but I am sure there is a Chinese person who will challenge that claim. 

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3 years 28 weeks ago
 
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For a mode of transportation, it is value for money, with a bad aftertaste because of being reverse-engineered stolen tech.
For minor breakdowns and maintenance, repair and parts is cheaper than you could ever have hoped for. Though you may need to bring it to the garage a few times, and if your time is worth money, it could be a relative loss.
If you hope to survive a severe collision, and the chance of that on Chinese roads is not insignificant, better get the original, not the copy. Mini Cooper beats Lifan 320 tenfold in crash safety testing.
If you need to budget your expenses, you may have to accept the risk of a Chinese car, at least until you can afford better. My family drove a 6 year old QQ car for over a year. We live to tell the tale, and the repairs were about as expensive as a car wash each time.
In Germany, we are driving a 10 year old Renault Modus, and feel a lot safer for it. The only thing that is cheap now, is the diesel.

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3 years 28 weeks ago
 
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For the competitive price tag they have, they are extremely worth it!

 

Their market is growing fast locally. Once they can meet the US/EU standards, they will give others a run for their money.

 

Some well known brands have severely dented their reputation in light of VW Emissions violations scandal followed quickly by Mitsubishi fuel mileage scandal in which cheat/defeat devices have been used. After paying high prices it raises a concern on whom exactly to trust.

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3 years 28 weeks ago
 
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BYD and ChangChang (The Great Wall) are great cars. Had them for years.

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3 years 28 weeks ago
 
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They are absolutely superb. Did you ever read of any vehicle recall campaign for quality issues done by any Chinese brand?

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3 years 28 weeks ago
 
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I can only speak for my new BYD Song. For a small SUV, its pretty. Interior is smart and cozy with some features i didn't expect from such an inexpensive car (120k out the door). But it is not fun to drive. The gearbox is clunky, the engine drones when over 2000rpm (which is appropriate, since you will immediately fail the drivers test if you allow the exam vehicle to exceed 2k rpm before switching gears), and while there is decent power in the 1.5 turbo, it is rough as hell so not at all sporting. And I have serious reservations about the clutch. To be fair, it is perfectly adequate for the people moving duties for which i purchased it, but if you are a driving enthusiast you will find no love here. On the other hand, we are in China, where taking a drive is more like gambling for your life than something you do for pleasure.

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3 years 28 weeks ago
 
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Chinese cars are cheap and unsafe, but they drive.

 

People buy chinese shit because the tax for foreign cars is stupid high. German cars cost here about 50% more than in germany...

Maybe many locals run out of money after they got 5 apartments from the gov. but still only have a 2000 rmb job?

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3 years 28 weeks ago
 
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