Who is the target market exactly? If we take a cue from China, the Chery QQ is poised to replace the bicycle – the primary mode of transportation in the socialist republic less than a decade ago. Thus, the marketing people behind Chery have first-time car buyers in their sights. Fleet operators are also high up on the list.
Sure, you may have heard one or two things about Chinese-manufactured vehicles. Some say that they are mass-produced cars that don’t have any “soul”. Some have even gone as far as calling them “rolling coffins” due to their inability to pass stringent crash-safety tests. But really, what can you expect from a company that only began manufacturing cars in 1999?
The apple green Chery QQ is a proof that if you want to own a car for this price, you shouldn’t expect too much from it. Many prospective car buyers are willing to overlook the first things that we noticed, such as the badges that have come loose, the cracked door handles, ill-fitting doors, and seats that are as flexible and pliant as sponges. But what is important for them is that they have a way of getting from point A to point B, without much of a fuss. Put simply, a car is still a car. If it gets you to your destination, then who cares about the image, or how it feels on the road? It all comes down to the target market. Of course, the gear heads out there will be quick to dismiss the Chery QQ as an inferior product, but what about the rest of the car-buying public, especially those who will be purchasing a car for the first time and have limited means?
If you aren’t too fussy, the interior feels just like a car in this range would. It is quite pleasant inside, but maybe a little too soft, and many of the surfaces creak to the touch. Oh, well, at least there is a tachometer and an air conditioner that can almost keep up with the sweltering heat.
Think it this way: the Chery QQ is like a disposable camera. You can use it for a while and throw it away when you are through thrashing it about. The price of a brand-new unit is roughly the equivalent of how much you will spend on maintaining a Japanese-sedan over the course of five years. So don’t expect the QQ to have the build quality, of let’s say, Nikon SLR.
The Chery QQ here has a few pleasant surprises though, like the power windows that close automatically when you activate the alarm. And it has power side mirrors and anti-lock brakes. Outside, there is a handsome roof rack too. The unit that we have here also comes with HiD bulbs. Talk about entry-level bling. Plus, the stereo is decent enough.
The engine is quite peppy – the power unit comes from Austria and is manufactured by a company called AVL. But how the power gets to the wheels is another story. On the street, the Chery QQ can cope with everyday traffic. The 1.1 liter whirs enthusiastically, but look out for the bumps and ruts. The undercarriage feels a little detached, and there are already hints of kalampag when things get a little rough. The upside to this is that the ride is very comfortable and cushy. Sometimes, suspension that is biased toward comfort isn’t such a bad thing in cars of this size.
Chery QQ Summary Specs
Engine Capacity:1.1 liter
Engine type: 4-cylinders 16-valve DOHC EMPI
Horsepower: 68 bhp
Torque: 90 Nm
Acceleration: No Data
Top Speed: 130 kmh
Fuel consumption: 19 km\L
Transmission: 4 speed automatic / 5 speed manual
Drive type: FWD
Dimensions(L x W x H): (3550 x 1508 x 1491)mm
Kerb weight: 890kg
Fuel tank capacity: 35 L
Brakes (Front): Disc
Brakes (Rear): Drum