New Chinese brand Omoda uses BYD batteries to create an electric family crossover

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Omoda is a new brand from state-owned car manufacturer Chery, and the new Omoda E5 electric crossover that you see here is the first model that will reach the UK, alongside the petrol-engined Omoda 5.

Sales will start this summer, with the 4.42-metre-long E5 pitched at EVs like the Hyundai Kona Electric, Volkswagen ID 3 and Renault Mégane E-Tech.

With pricing expected to start at £33,500 for the base Comfort model, rising to £35,500 for the top-spec Noble, pricing and equipment is also more than keen enough to trouble higher-spec versions of the MG 4 EV.



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Interestingly, the E5 uses a BYD Blade lithium-iron phosphate (LFP) battery, which means there's only a small number of unused cells – only 1kWh, in fact, so total capacity is 61.4kWh, while usable is 60.4kWh. Complete with the 201bhp electric motor powering the front wheels, that makes for a WLTP range of 257 miles.

Our brief test drive suggested a summertime real-world range of 228 miles, even on mostly faster roads.

Charging speeds are up to 80kW, so a 10-80% charge will take around 40 minutes at a rapid charger.

It’s hard to know what to say about the E5’s styling, to be honest. It’s not bad at all. In fact, it looks appropriately swoopy and sharp, and very on-trend with the current crop of almost-SUV family cars with which it competes. But it's also so generic that you will spot styling cues that are reminiscent of just about every brand out there – definitely Toyota, a liberal sprinkling of Renault and Hyundai, a bit of modern Peugeot

The E5 is roughly the same size as the Nissan Qashqai, for some context within the circus of competing family cars. You can also get the Omoda 5 with a 1.6 petrol engine and pricing that puts it up against smaller cars like the Nissan Juke.


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The E5 is intended to have a rather upmarket feel, and Hyundai and Kia are particular targets. However, there is a whiff of tackiness to the trim in our top-spec Noble prototype test car. Small details like the shiny chrome speaker covers and the wave pattern on some of the plastic trim... It's just trying a bit too hard in areas.

Still, the double wireless phone charging pad is great – especially as it has its own cooling vent to keep your phone from overheating – and there are some other neat touches, including screen brightness controls that are permanently visible on the panel next to the steering wheel. Talking about illumination, though, the backlit touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel disappear completely if it’s still light outside and you turn the headlights on. Don’t expect to be able to turn your music down when it’s foggy or raining heavily, then.

Naturally, there’s a huge, 12.3in touchscreen on top of the dashboard, which is housed together with the big driver’s information readout. Our car was yet to have its final software update, but even with the tweaks that we’re told will happen before the E5 hits dealerships, the system will like feel a touch dated. The graphics are a bit grainy, finding some of the settings takes too long (you have to prod at least three or four times to turn the lane-keeping assistance and speed limit warnings off) and the home menu icons and interior temperature controls are small and fiddly.

You will find the systems from Kia, Hyundai, Renault and, dare we say it, even Volkswagen usefully better. Still, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring are standard, so you won’t have to use the native system very often anyway.

Rear passenger space is okay. You will get a couple of six-footers in the back with relative ease, although head room is a bit tighter than in some rivals and there’s very little foot space beneath the front seats.

The boot has a paltry 292-litre claimed capacity, which is utterly woeful and more what you would expect in a city car than a family crossover. We’re a bit sceptical about that figure, though, and suspect that Omoda hasn’t included underfloor storage, as the boot really doesn’t look so bad to us. You will get your big shop in there, no worries. There’s also a small frunk, although it’s shallow enough that you will probably end up sticking your charging cables in the boot anyway.

And if you do lift that boot floor up... praise be to the car gods, it’s an electric car with a full-size spare wheel! We thought we would never see the day, and when the E5 comes to the UK, it’s possible that it will have a space-saver, but even that's a huge improvement on a tube of gunk or nothing at all.


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The front-wheel-drive E5 sits on a Chery platform and gets a 201bhp motor on the front axle. With a kerb weight of 1710kg, it’s a reasonable weight by the standards of mid-range family EVs, and it manages a 0-62mph time of 7.6sec, which is delivered without huge amounts of tyre scrabbling and torque steer, even if you accelerate hard out of a junction with a bit of lock on.

It's generally a smooth, easy thing to drive, with punchy performance if you ask for it and decent accelerator response provided you’ve got the regenerative braking in the lightest of its three modes. You have to go into the touchscreen to change the mode, which is annoying, and the heavier settings make the accelerator hard to judge. In the normal ebb and flow of sluggish traffic, it feels jerky when you come off the pedal and then too sensitive when you squeeze the pedal. It’s just not intuitive, and it can end up with a bit of a see-sawing effect. It’s not strong enough for one-pedal mode, either, and there’s no adaptive setting.


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The E5 sits fairly high, with more of an SUV-like ground clearance than many alternatives, and that shows in the noticeable body lean when you're cornering. It’s not jarring or dramatic, so most won’t be phased, but this is no Cupra Born or Renault Mégane; it’s a car that majors on cushy, easy-going progress rather than zippy B-road antics.

Very light steering makes sure of that, and can feel very disconnected in the default Normal mode, although it’s predictable enough and Sport weights it up a bit too.

Even on 55-section, 18-inch Kumho tyres, the low-speed ride is a bit lumpy and busy over coarse roads, but it smooths out at higher speeds. Overall, the way the E5 drives is just fine. Nothing strikingly brilliant but nothing terrible either.


omoda 5 ev review 2024 22 static front

The E5 is a car that does the job very adequately. Our brief drive in a prototype suggested that it will be reasonably efficient, confident even on faster country roads and comfortable enough that the family won’t be discussing rebound damper rates every time you go over an eroded road surface.

Its real trump card is the price. There’s tons of equipment on the E5 – even the base Comfort trim gets most of the stuff you want, while the Noble adds a panoramic glass roof, a 360deg parking camera and more – yet prices are very close to those of the MG 4.

It’s no class leader, but it’s not bad either. With the right monthly finance deals on offer, Omoda could really challenge MG for the budget family EV crown.