This is the other car launched by Changan Berjaya Auto on Monday, the Chana Era CV6. It’s essentially the same 5-door hatchback we saw in Putrajaya in March 2008. It’s pretty much a Viva-type of vehicle and the thing is it actually is decent to look at. There aren’t any strange jarring design cues that spoil the design, it’s simple, unpretentious and perhaps boring but it’s not hideous, nor does it employ any odd patterns like the triangles all over the Naza Forza.
For a sum of RM 36,862.00 for the Standard Solid version, you’ll get 5 seats, a 1,301cc engine producing 85 horsepower at 6,000rpm and 110Nm of torque between 3,500 to 4,500rpm, steel wheels, power steering with adjustable tilt, front power windows and a top speed of about 145km/h. For Metallic paint, you pay RM 37,368.00.
Going for the Premium version will cost you RM 40,888 for solid paint and RM 41,394 for metallic paint, and you’ll get alloy wheels, power windows for all four doors, ABS brakes, a single CD player with radio and a driver’s airbag. So it’s got ABS and an airbag covered, that’s pretty much how far safety features can go at this segment. Apparently during the launch period, you can get the Premium version for the price of the Standard version as an introductory offer.
|Chana Era CV6||3,525mm||1,650mm||1,550mm||2,365mm|
The 1.3 litre engine is also a Suzuki-derived one, and probably a unit that’s a little more modern than the one in the van covered earlier, but it’s still pretty much a basic unit though it has a nice peak torque spread starting from 110Nm. From my observation of the units they had for display at the media preview, the build quality was even worse than the van. ChangAn even got basic things like the feedback an air conditioning knob gives when you turn it wrong. Go to a showroom and try it, it feels really weird, like you were forcibly twisting something through some thick oil, I would imagine this is what goes on inside a torque converter or something.
The selection knob for fresh air or recirculation air for the air conditioning appeared to be positioned too close to the dash and was cutting in to the dash plastic itself. The dashboard plastic itself isn’t really too bad however parts where various pieces meet together were way too rough. Some metal mounts and etc were too exposed like the bolt and joint where the seat and backrest connect together, etc. It’s a pity as the exterior doesn’t look too bad.
Despite the horrendous build quality, ChangAn knows people are also looking for mechanical quality and endurance, so they’ve recently organised this ChanaTrax event where a group of ChangAn vehicles including this CV6/BenBen drove from China to South Africa. That’s a total distance of 24,000 kms and there were some pretty high altitudes and rough terrain involved.
So I suppose it would be okay running around town here, it’s just that the only appealing thing going for this car at the moment seems to be its initial price tag.