The Chinese are not known for making particularly great cars. They are usually cheap, tacky and often unreliable. Jonway tries to buck that trend with the new 2016 Jonway A380. Brought in by Rancon Imports, it's a crossover SUV whose design features closely resemble a car we are all familiar with – Toyota RAV4.
First impressions: It has the name of the largest passenger airplane in the world and looks like a 15 year old Toyota. It does not look bad at all, has fancier trim and headlights than the Toyota. Take for example, the straight body parts - if any body parts are dented or bruised, the body shop mechanics will not have a hard time fixing it. It looks quite demure and subdued, and will look elegant sitting in your driveway, especially in the black we got for the test drive.
What it felt like to drive? Jonway sourced the drivetrain from Mitsubishi for the A380. Its 1.8-liter petrol engine and is plenty smooth and should be quite frugal in its drinking of fuel. It does not feel fast, yet it has enough torque to haul a fully loaded vehicle around with ease. The automatic transmission is great in its power delivery at the top end and will have you overtaking other cars on the highway with ease.
The A380 has a bit of body roll in the corners, typical for most crossovers with a high center of gravity. The ride is steady and it takes on the potholes without hesitation.
The interior: Now as our photographer put it, this interior is designed to be as user friendly as possible. You have a sunroof and multimedia controls on the steering wheel, as well as decent interior trim. Everything else looks and feels moderately adequate for a budget crossover.
The verdict? Jonway needs a few more years to become a market rival to the bigger Japanese and Korean brands. However, the price Rancon is offering it to you at seems to be a good proposition for a brand new car of this category.
Photos: Tasdid Chowdhury