Customer tastes for new cars are often very similar around the world, though there are major differences sometimes. Take for example China, where the SUVs and crossover are naturally dominating the market, but other traditional vehicle segments are also enjoying strong demand. Sedans – once America’s favorite family vehicles – are still popular in the People’s Republic and there’s even a new wave of compact performance sedans in the country.
The Changan UNI-V is one of the newest compact sporty sedans – more precisely, it is a liftback – which is now on sale in China. Think of it as a more affordable alternative to the Honda Civic Si, though the Chinese model is obviously not available in the United States and Europe. Its main rival in China is the GAC Empow. It is a good-looking machine with modern tech, which caught our attention from a new review produced by our friends at Wheelsboy车轮哥.
Gallery: Changan UNI-V review
Let’s start with the numbers. Under the hood, the UNI-V has a 1.5-liter gas engine with a peak output of 188 horsepower (138 kilowatts) and 222 pound-feet (300 Newton-meters) of torque. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission transfers the power to the front wheels exclusively. On paper, this should be enough for a 0 to 62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) acceleration in 7.1 seconds. As a side note, Changan is expected to launch a more powerful 2.0-liter engine for the model, as well as a range-extender EV version.
But how does the car feel in real-life conditions? The interior is a good place to be – quality materials and modern tech – but it certainly doesn’t look very original with its Peugeot-style layout. The host of the video points out the car is not very punchy when driving but this could be a subjective feeling due to the more conservative gas pedal reactions and the quiet exhaust system. The suspension doesn’t help either as it’s tuned for comfort rather than being fast in corners.
This may not be the fastest and most dramatic car to drive, that’s for sure, but, according to this video review, it is a solid offering on the performance sedan market. Too bad it is only for China.