Chinese-made Changan CS75 Review

Welcome to our first ever review of a Chinese car, and you know what, we’re glad we finally took a closer look at one!

By Shahzad Sheikh

Click below now to watch our video of the Changan CS75 Review

Previously I’ve not found the notion of testing Chinese cars very appealing at all, and that’s the honest truth. And the reality was we didn’t feel it necessary either. Initially Chinese cars made headway into the Commercial sector and Fleet sales – which of course makes sense.

We always said that when regular consumers – ie you, our readers – started putting their own hard-earned into the ownership of Chinese cars, we’d start looking at them. Frankly that shift is now becoming apparent, so it was time to brave unknown waters.

Changan CS75 Review

Thus the arrival of this Changan CS75 was awaited with great trepidation, dare I say, anxiety even. Just how bad would it be? Would I be able to tolerate the thing at all?

Hang on, Who is Changan?

Yeah before we get to the car, we’d better start with one of the biggest car manufacturers you and I never heard of!

Changan CS75 Review

Get this – Changan has 154 years of military manufacturer history, and it’s been making cars since 1958 – so is not exactly new at the game. They’ve produced and sold over 10 million vehicles, and sales of Changan passenger cars exceeded one million last year! It’s been the number one brand in terms of sales in China for the last eight years and is represented in 60 countries with 6000 sales and service centres.

There’s 12  global production bases, 32 vehicle and engineering plants and Changan builds on its strength with 8500 new customers every day – it’s claimed! It’s now getting serious about the GCC with dealers in KSA, UAE and Kuwait. And if you’re still worried about their experience building cars – well they have and have had manufacturing joint ventures with Ford, Suzuki, Mazda and Peugeot.

Changan CS75 Review

So what’s this a copy of then?

Actually I think they mixed up the tracing paper of several different cars on this one. There’s definitely a bit of Range Rover in the grille, but then are also hints of GMC at the front, and there’s something VW about the headlights. From the side profile it’s a bit BMW X range and towards the rear there’s a little of Jeep Grand Cherokee, and a possibly a number of car styles involved in the rear.

Whilst the overall effect is neither pretty or well resolved, it still gives it something of a presence that leaves other drivers apparently confused. There aren’t many of these on the roads yet, but driving a Chinese car on our roads, I was expecting to be cut up like a Slasher’s victim in a crappy B-Movie. Instead people got out of its way. It has to be said that the black on black of this car, particularly with the black wheels gave it some visual appeal.

Changan CS75 Review

It has a very usable and spacious luggage compartment with handy rear light and power supply, and extra bins beneath the floor. The rear seats are split-folding and recline-adjustable, there’s good space in the back with A/C vents and power supplies. The only thing missing are rear seats pockets.

At the front, there is again a strange familiarity about the dashboard design. There’s no originality here, but it’s not needed. Competent design, decent space and comfort is what you require, and that’s what you get.

Changan CS75 Review

Plus a bit more – in the touch-screen centre panel, the surprisingly powerful climate control, the really rather good 8-speaker sound system with Bluetooth and the clear and obvious controls.

Staying with equipment, this car is claimed to be one of the safest Chinese cars ever with a 5-star rating in the China NCAP crash tests. It comes with dual front, side and curtain airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors in the back, ABS, traction and stability control as well as Electronic Brake Force Distribution.

Changan CS75 Review

What’s it like to drive?

Well you won’t be writing home about it or getting into any street races despite the 175bhp from the 1.8-litre four-cylinder Turbo unit which also provides 170lb ft and drives the front wheels only, through a six-speed auto. No performance figures were provided except that it consumes fuel at a very at a rate of just 8.8L/100km.

Changan CS75 Review

I didn’t time the car in any way, but it took a while for the Turbo to spin up and there’s no real urgency in the delivery here. Which I remember thinking was a good thing, because the brakes were feel-less and unresponsive until the last bit of the travel. They worked, just not very progressively. However to be fair, I have to state here that the dealer, Union Motors, subsequently contacted me and explained that there was a mechanical issue with the brakes.

It has Electronic Power Steering and the helm is reasonably faithful if not exactly engaging. The handling too is suitable for normal everyday manoeuvres but don’t go chucking it about any roundabouts. Having said that, it’s easy to drive, with good visibility and for most people there is absolutely nothing to really complain about.

Changan CS75 Review

 

Verdict

The mere fact that I simply did not end up hating this car like I thought I would, is a big win for this Changan and the first car that I’ve tested from China. Simply put it’s a lot better than I thought it would be.

Whilst I would never contemplate owning one, I can see that for the money, and considering the practicality, kit and yes, even the okay looks of the thing, it would appeal to a lot of potential owners, for some of which the 1 year insurance and 3-year 60,000km service contract included in the price, might well be the financially sound deal-clincher.

Changan CS75 Review

I’ve been hearing that Chinese cars are coming for the last 15 years, but until now I was not convinced. The Changan has definitely changed my opinion and I look forward to trying out more metal from China soon!

2016 Changan CS75 – The Specs

Price:
Fashion trim:
AED50,000 ($13.6k)
Elite trim (as tested): AED60,000 ($16.4k)
Engine: 1.8-litre 4cyl, 175bhp, 170lb ft
Performance: 0-100kph n/a, n/a, 8.8L/100km
Transmission:  6-speed auto, front-wheel drive
Weight: n/a

Let us know what you think of the new Changan CS75 review below

3 responses to “Chinese-made Changan CS75 Review”

  1. Arvind says:

    Chinese products are copy cat type. cant compare with big brands..

  2. shahed says:

    how is haval h2 luxury kindly me know i want to buy it my budget 60 thosand aed only

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