China’s automotive industry has matured significantly since the years when it was only producing cheap copycats of vehicles from foreign manufacturers to the present day. There are genuinely good products coming from the People’s Republic and the Hongqi brand is among those companies that build some of the nicest Chinese cars. But the connection with other automakers from Asia, Europe, and North America is still there in many cases, in one form or another.
The car you see depicted in the gallery below and featured in the video attached at the top of this page – both coming from our friends and colleagues at Wheelsboy – is the Hongqi H5. This is probably the first time you hear about this brand and the most important thing you need to know about it is that it is the oldest Chinese passenger car manufacturer. It is currently owned by the FAW Group and its name means “red flag” in a direct translation from Chinese. The H5, in turn, is its mid-size sedan positioned below the flagship H9.
Gallery: Hongqi H5
FAW – or First Auto Group – produced the Mazda 6 in China under the FAW-Mazda joint venture. This easily explains the fact that the new H5, launched originally last year, is actually based on the platform of the third-generation Mazda 6. The sedan is slightly shorter than the latest BMW 5 Series with a longer wheelbase than the 3 Series.
The model is currently offered in China with either a 1.5-liter turbo engine with 166 horsepower or a more powerful 2.0-liter turbo four-pot with 221 hp. Depending on the motor, customers get either a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic for the smaller mill or an eight-speed torque converter automatic. The reviewer in the video says the powertrain doesn’t feel especially impressive but is more than decent to propel the sedan from a standstill to 62 miles per hour in about 7.5 seconds.
Alternatively, for those who want electrified power, there's a 1.5-liter mild hybrid and a 1.5-liter full hybrid.
How is the suspension? Probably not as sharp as the one in a 5 Series but surely stiffer than what you would’ve expected from a Chinese sedan. The steering isn’t exactly responsive but is sharp enough not to kill all the excitement behind the wheel. How is the interior? This and many more answers can be found in the video at the top of this page.