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September 7, 2023

First Drive: 2024 Omoda 5

The truth is in the pudding, or so they say. After claiming that they see themselves as a global brand that’s taken the pulse of the youth, it’s finally time to sample Omoda’s first-ever product: the Omoda 5. How is it, you ask? Well, let’s put it this way: it’s taken design risks—some of which have paid off handsomely, while others don’t seem to go far enough.

The riskiest aspect, and one that’ll make or break the Omoda 5 is its looks. The grille is certainly an acquired taste and anyone with trypophobia (fear of small, clustered holes)—myself included—need not apply. Having said that, the rest of this B-sized crossover (it’ll go against the Honda HR-V, Corolla Cross, Geely Coolray, GAC GS3 Emzoom, et al.) is pretty sleek. It’s best viewed from the rear three-quarters, where the prominent shoulder line and coupe-like roof make themselves apparent. It’ll be made available in six colors, but because of the red accents dotting the exterior—including the spokes off the 18-inch wheels—it’s best paired with a darker shade like this Phantom Gray. Oh, and about the wheels, it looks “under tired” despite the fact it’s already wearing 215/55R18s. Opting for a more aggressive offset, thicker tires, 19-inchers, or a combination of all three would probably help improve its stance.

Built at one of Chery’s Super Factories (the Philippines will source its Omoda 5 from the Dahlian plant), build quality is great. The panel gaps are consistent, and everything opens and shuts with precision.

Inside, the Omoda 5 manages to replicate the exterior’s razzle-dazzle. The gauges and infotainment are composed of two 10.25-inch screens joined together to make it look like it’s made of one continuous panel. It’s something that’s been done before, so no points for originality there, but the look and feel are half step-up corporate China. Plus, the display is crisp and the responses snappy. Elsewhere, the touch-capacitive style buttons control the climate, and touching any of the buttons will also bring up the climate menu. Further to the passenger side is a patterned ambient light that’s changeable and will even pulsate to music if so desired.

Futuristic and tech-laden as the interior is, the most important aspect of any car, ergonomics, has been executed well here. The large, thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel is nice enough on the hands, plus all the switchgear feel solid. The high point here is most definitely the electronic shifter. Beside the lever are more touch-capacitive buttons. These are hard to hit when on the move, so thankfully they’re just redundancies as the onscreen menu’s the best way to fiddle though all of the vehicle settings. There are also what appear to be two wireless charging pads here, but only one of them is; the other is for charging the key. They’re finished in a felt-like trim and help keep smaller phones in place.

The front seats look to be one-piece bucket seats, but in reality, they’re fairly cushy. Despite its large frame and bulky construction, they don’t adversely affect space at the back (they do make clearing the sharply-raked A-pillar a challenge though). There’s ample space for three adults thanks to the central hump being kept at a minimum. Towards the back, the cargo hold offers 360 liters of space, growing up to 1,075 liters with the rear seats folded. A power tailgate makes loading and unloading easier too.

Powering the Omoda 5 is a recipe used time and again by other Chinese makes: a turbocharged 1.5-liter mated to a CVT. Omoda hasn’t released official figures yet, but based on what’s available in other markets, it makes about 156 horsepower and 230 Nm of torque. Compared to something like the Geely Coolray, the Omoda 5’s overall demeanor is more relaxed, but its sub-10 second 0 to 100 km/h sprint still makes it fast. Attention’s been paid to notch up better NVH performance, and it’s something you can feel almost instantly as you set off behind the wheel.

And on that note, the overall tuning suspension tuning matches the powertrain’s character. Omoda concedes that the Omoda 5’s no sportscar, and it shows. The steering itself is light, but with a degree of precision programmed in. The use of the T1X platform allows them to fit a softly sprung suspension, and this is a double-edged sword. Drive through imperfect roads at low speed, like in urban confines, and it absorbs them with aplomb. However, run through the same obstacles at speed, and it tends to show some hints of porpoising. On the flatter, smoother parts of the circuit, it fares better. It tracks straight and feels capable of eating miles with ease. Now, whether or not this chassis combo will adversely affect its ability to handle Philippine road conditions is a matter best left to a local test. But at this point, it’s clear that engineers still can fine tune things before sending over the first batch of units before the year ends.

A rising tide can lift all boats, and by this time, buyers and pundits are familiar that Chinese vehicles—at least in their brand-new state—have evolved into well-designed, engineered, and kitted as those built in Japan, Korea, and western countries. A large part of its appeal, however, still lies in its affordable price: too expensive and it ends up being a dud; just right, and it flies off the showroom floor (provided again, you’ve nailed down the aftersales aspect right). 

Right now, Omoda still doesn’t want to reveal the Omoda 5’s price point, but its P 1.5-million tag seems fair enough, given its positioning within the Chery Automobile ladder. That said, if they’re able to bring it down to, say, below P 1.3-million, then it’ll definitely rock the boat.


  1. Pricing of the Omoda 5 in the Philippine market is fine as they'll sell the fully loaded variant.
    Its meant compete with the high end variants of the GAC Emkoo and Ford Territory.
    Jetour Dashing and Tiggo 7 Pro Mild Hybrid already covered the 1.3 Million Peso price range.

  2. Looks sharp, maybe the looks were inspired by komodo D.😁😁😁. Just me, i think its looks wont age well.

    1. Not only its looks, the car will probably fall apart too

    2. Just ignore that hater..That dude is a fan of Toyota who hates Chinese vehicles and forces people to only buy a Toyota and Daihatsu vehicle.

    3. No need to have experienced chinese cars to know its bad. I mean you don’t have to eat poop to know it tastes bad right?

  3. Omoda 5 shares the same engine and transmission with the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro SUV which is good as its reliable engine-transmission combination according to many Chery Tiggo 7 Pro owners in the Philippines

  4. If they sell it at 1.3M, they better prepare to die an accelerated natural death


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