Published on July 15th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mazda 6 Gets Reworked In China As The Hongqi H5
Will you buy this sedan if it came to Malaysia?
Car manufacturers in China was once famous for copying car designs from the global best selling models and just tweaking their design as little as possible to avoid getting sued. The local Chinese consumption for cars was so high that local Chinese car manufacturers did not need to invest much in design, crash tests and engine technology. All they did was buy a few foreign best sellers, dis-assemble them, re-tool the parts and start a new assembly with their own branding. It worked so well for some years that many foreign established car brands decided to go to China and meet their copycat owners and start a working relationship.
This is why some big car brands have China ONLY car models that they do not sell anywhere else in the world. Today the Chinese car market continues to grow and more brands want a footprint in the country, but some of the Chinese car brands have grown so successful that they now have their own foreign designers, engineers and factories challenging the European and Japanese car manufacturers. This is why we have this article. Here is a reworked Mazda6 for China.
Meet the Hongqi H5.
Underneath that Lincoln Continental-esque body of the Hongqi H5 actually lies a Mazda6, which is no bad thing as the Mazda6 is one of the best large sedans out there. Furthermore, credit where it is due to Hongqi took the effort to redesign the rest of the car, unlike other manufacturers who simply perform some badge engineering and call it a day.
To many who are unfamiliar with the Hongqi H5, it is large sedan built by First Auto Works (FAW) under the Hongqi name. Launched in 2017, the H5 sits beneath the Hongqi H7 in the range and is sold exclusively in China.
A facelift is slated to arrive in 2021, bringing along with it a brace of new engines. Although a front wheel drive Mazda underneath, the H5 originally came with the sole engine choice of a VW-derived 1.8 litre turbo four-cylinder at launch. For the facelift however, this well-proven power plant will receive a 19 horsepower bump to to 197 hp and 250 Nm of torque, thanks to a 48 volt starter-generator.
The exterior design of this large China-exclusive sedan continues the theme of borrowing from other car makers. The front of the Hongqi resembles a cross between a Lincoln Continental and a Rolls Royce, while the rear is strikingly similar to the Mercedes A-class sedan. That being said, the H5 is a handsome looking car with LED headlights and taillights, riding on 19-inch alloy wheels.
However, the changes to the exterior of the face-lifted model is allegedly limited to a tweak in the shape of the hood fin only.
Typical of any Chinese market car, the Hongqi H5 is packed full of features on the inside. Starting with the heated and ventilated front seats and the panoramic sunroof, this large sedan also comes standard with some desirable safety features like Adaptive Cruise Control and Intelligent Headlight Control (IHC), along with six airbags.
The refresh brings along with it an updated 10’ infotainment system and LCD TFT dials. An upgraded voice command system and a wireless charging pad also also slated to come as standard as part of the facelift.
Prices of the Hongqi H5 is rumoured to range from 146,800 yuan (RM89,500) to 190,000 yuan (RM119,000). Considerably cheaper than the car on which it is based, while having more kit thrown in. Makes you wonder then, is a Mazda6 still worth it if the Hongqi H5 was exported out of China?
Opinion and Text by Joshua Chin