At the launch recently in Gauteng, the vice president of sales and marketing at Baic (Beijing Automotive Industry Corp) South Africa, Mr Hugo Hu could not stop waxing lyrically about the Beijing X55. Basil Costa, senior manager at Baic was also boastful about their latest addition to the SA SUV market. In fact, I also was in awe of the X55 from the components used in the manufacturing process, the engine, the aesthetics of the SUV, the cabin that is really hi-tech and lots more.
As I sat, I thought to myself that this is going to cost a packet and a half. But low and behold, when they got to reveal the pricing, I was literally gobsmacked. All of that, and then some for under R400k for an SUV. Now that’s what I call putting your money where your mouth is. And I am not surprised that sales of the Beijing X55 are going to impress.
We are fast realising that Chinese vehicles are becoming very popular with local consumers where more value for money can be found in those offerings. There was often a notion that Chinese vehicles were deemed to be unreliable, but several car brands have dispelled that myth. The X55 is one of those.
The X55 is an innovation-driven and iconic SUV, characterised by electrification, intelligence and connectivity. It’s a compact SUV with avant-garde styling, excellent power, advanced technology and the latest generation of the Baic’s group’s BMFA (Beijing modular functional architecture) platform chassis, which underpins future vehicle and plug-in hybrid vehicle models.
Hu says that the company has invested in developing intelligent cars under a new brand, Beijing underpinned by cooperation with its partners on intelligent connected vehicle technologies.
“We’re bringing the best of breed in innovation, supported by Daimler’s technology who have been our main partner in China for years, operating Mercedes-Benz factories in Beijing through joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive. The X55 is the only product in its class to be equipped with China’s double Top 10 engines.”
Mr Jianhui Wang, vice president of Baic Motor and Chairman of Baic South Africa, said: “As one of the Fortune 500 companies, Baic has a complete industrial chain covering R&D and manufacturing of vehicles and components, and is one of the largest automotive companies in China.
Transform your world
The all-new Beijing X55 is set to transform your world with its innovative, unique and trendy sporty look, accentuated sophisticated surfaces that are combined with soft, modern curves.
Basil Costa, senior manager at Baic South Africa says that the Beijing X55 boasts a sophisticated interior and exterior design. The LED lights, floor door induction, hidden door hands, split rear wing and the shark fin aerial accentuate the vehicle’s ultramodern design.
The exterior has a lot to offer with its good looks and a pleasant but striking pose. The seamless door handles with an induction pop-up, ensure that when carrying the key near the vehicle, the Beijing X55 automatically unlocks and pops up the door handle.
Also, when getting out of the vehicle, the vehicle automatically locks and closes the door handle. Then there is the Ice-breaking mode, which ensures that if the door handle is frozen due to low temperatures, the door lock motor automatically triggers three times force to break the ice to ensure that the car use is not affected.
This has to be the most value-for-money SUV in SA right now. It just ticks all the boxes, from being a good looker to having aerodynamics, a double panoramic sunroof, a gorgeous cabin and more. My feeling is that this SUV is going to take a good percentage of the local market.
The drive in all the models was just pleasing and all one could ask for. This vehicle is in a class of its own, with the best in its class, crafted in detail with a borderless low wind resistance grille, large sloping windscreen, flowing curves, split tailgate, hidden door handles, hidden wipers, flat chassis and other designs.
- Dynamic – R394,900
- Elite – R424,900
- Premium – R454,900
Warranty: Five years/150,000kms (In addition: two years and 50,000kms –on the drivetrain.
Service plan: Five years/60,000kms at R16,800. This is free to all customers that purchase before the end of 2022.