affordable WHEELS

Mabuyane Kekana

Mabuyane Kekana

It is sometimes frustrating to get e-mails from readers asking about affordable cars - but not old ones.

Now the Chinese have solved the problem of acquiring a set of wheels when money is tight.

The Chery QQ3 is officially the cheapest car on the market at R59900 and many people will be able to afford one.

The Chinese car maker that promised a product that is different from other Chinese products has finally arrived.

It is almost two months since the local motoring media returned from China, where they checked out Chery cars.

And last week saw the car maker's three-year-old dream to bring it to South Africa come true.

Whether South Africans will take the cars will become clear when the first Cheries hit our roads. The range looks like any good car and with its price tag there seems to be no way the Chinese can go wrong.

But what about safety?

The importers believe they are safe. Apart from the various endurance and quality tests done in China, McCarthy has also conducted various local tests on the cars.

The QQ3 line-up has a modern exterior with large waterdrop-shaped headlamps and fog lights. The rear view mirrors, bumpers and spoiler are all colour coded, which adds to the QQ3's contemporary look. The top of the line QQ3 0,8 TX and 1,1 TXE come standard with 13-inch aluminium rims.

The Q3 might be small in size, but is certainly not lacking in features. Air conditioning is included in the QQ3 1,1 TE and TXE models. Front and rear electric windows are standard on the QQ3 0,8 TX and 1,1 TXE.

Both models have electronically adjustable mirrors. The 1,1 TXE has a manual sunroof.

An audio system is standard on the TX and TXE models, with a mini MP3 player port added to the 1,1 TXE derivative.

The QQ3 comes with a multi-functional remote control, central locking (luxury models) and alarm system.

The Chery Tiggo 2,0 is positioned as a modern and dynamic small urban SUV.

The designers set out to design a vehicle with international appeal, adopting aggressive yet sporty lines, alloy wheels and contemporarily shaped light clusters.

The four-way adjustable rear seats can be folded down for a larger interior in an instant.

The adjustable front seats also offer lateral support, while the driver gets added comfort and convenience with electrically adjustable headlights and mirrors, and an anti-dazzle rear-view mirror.

The Tiggo TX has a single disc CD-front loader audio system, while the TXE features a 6-disc changer with four speakers.

Front and rear electric windows are standard on both models, while an electric sunroof offers additional luxury on the Tiggo TXE.

Air conditioning is also standard on both models. The Tiggos are priced from R159900.

The J5 has an elegant and dynamic exterior, with a roomy and versatile interior that is bound to appeal to local motorists.

This range consists of two model derivatives - the J5 2,0 TE and the J5 2,0 TX. The 2,0-litre in-line four cylinder engine produces 95kW of power at 5 500rpm, while delivering a maximum torque of 180Nm at 4 500rpm. The J5 is priced from R139900.