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Affordable Electric Adventure: Chery iCar 03

Chery iCar 03

Chery iCar 03: The Budget-Friendly Electric SUV to Drive in China

China's electric vehicle (EV) scene is buzzing with excitement as Chery prepares to introduce its latest creation, the Chery iCar 03. This new Chinese-made electric SUV is making waves, and the best part? It's priced at a wallet-friendly starting point of approximately €19,100.

A Refreshing Interior

Let's begin by delving into the heart of the iCar 03 - its interior. Last week, the vehicle's interiors were unveiled, and they have pleasantly surprised enthusiasts. The center console is adorned with soft materials, and the multi-function steering wheel buttons are elegantly framed by a sleek black panel featuring a scroll wheel. It's as if Chery aimed to seamlessly blend technology with a touch of sportiness, and they've succeeded admirably. The dashboard boasts a central control screen, complemented by golden-hued air conditioning vents at the base. Minimalism takes center stage here, with the absence of physical buttons - a true embodiment of "less is more."

Bold Exterior Design

Turning our attention to the exterior, the iCar 03 presents itself as a robust SUV with substantial gray plastic bumpers, a flat windshield, and an elevated bonnet line. The distinctive running lights even form the letter "i," leaving no doubt about the vehicle's identity. This rugged and commanding look is in high demand across China's automotive landscape, making Chery's move a strategically bold one.

Size Matters

Size-wise, the iCar 03 isn't a small contender. It stretches 226 mm longer than the Hyundai Kona, boasting dimensions of 4,406 mm in length, 1,910 mm in width, and 1,715 mm in height, with a wheelbase measuring 2,715 mm. Inside, it comfortably accommodates five passengers and exhibits a curb weight ranging from 1,775 kg to 1,800 kg, depending on the chosen wheel size.

Powertrain and Performance

Under the hood, the iCar 03 boasts an LFP battery sourced from CATL, a globally recognized battery manufacturer. While the battery's exact capacity remains a mystery, Chery has hinted at an impressive range of up to 500 km, providing ample reassurance to potential buyers. The electric motor, positioned on the front axle, is a robust 135 kW (184 hp) unit, meticulously engineered by Qida, a subsidiary of the Chery Group. While it may not break any land-speed records with a top speed of 150 km/h, it's also not going to break the bank.

The Promise of More

Chery has already secured government approval for another iCar model, keeping us in suspense about its features. However, they have tantalized us with the return of the iconic "i" logo. The iCar brand, primarily targeting younger buyers, has ambitious plans to launch seven distinct models in the future, including the sporty iCar GT.

Is It Worth the Hype?

So, is the Chery iCar 03 deserving of the attention it's receiving? It's still early to make a definitive judgment. However, for those seeking an electric SUV without the need for a second mortgage, this offering is undoubtedly one to keep an eye on. Remember, value often aligns with price, but at €19,100, it might just be worth taking for a test drive. That is, of course, if you happen to be in China. 

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Sunday, 19 May 2024