Photo: Roger Wo via Flickr
Over the past few years there has been a lot of discussion as to when Chinese cars will be entering the American marketplace.With Warren Buffett’s investment in Chinese automaker BYD as well as growing interest from Chery and other Chinese automakers, the day for these cars in America could be fast approaching.
But will they be worth your dime?
Check out these crash tests and decide for yourself >
Throughout the years, the structural integrity of Chinese cars has been tested over and over, but they have often been found to lag far behind their contemporaries from other countries.
According to China Daily, independent crash testing was only instituted in the nation in 2006. Cars from before 2006 were tested solely by the manufacturers, who were not required to publish the results to the public.
To be fair, there have been recent advances with two models achieving impressive four-star crash test ratings, according to Car Advice. But that still means a large number of Chinese automakers are mired in ratings of three stars or below.
Without an established history of automotive production, Chinese automakers need to rely on pricing to make their cars the most attractive to prospective buyers. In order to reach that value price point, they need to find areas to cut costs in the assembly; hence the poor scores.
While they can be a great value proposition, the trade off in safety surely is not worth the price.
Now, we are not saying that the Chinese automakers will never be successful; they will certainly get there over time. But as is the situation with any new player, it may be best to wait a few generations before buying.
Ford Fiesta: This is how it should look. Front end crushes, airbags immediately deploy, and the seats and seatbelts help to actively restrain the occupants.
Chery A520: The front end does not absorb the impact at all. Energy generated in the crash did not dissipate and was instead transferred to the driver, which could result in grave injuries.
Unlike the Chery in the previous slide, this car dissipates far too much energy. The utter lack of structure causes the car to fold in on itself.
Chery QQ6: Two major issues here. The jarring bounce means that the car absorbed almost no energy at all. What is more disconcerting is that the airbag never even opened.
Brilliance BS6: In this comparison with a BMW 7-Series you can truly see the extent of the issue. The BMW handles the crash with poise, the Brilliance nearly loses the entire left side.
Chery A3: Keep an eye on the back seats. The way they move is certainly a huge area for concern, especially for those with children.
Chery J11: Its easy to see why this SUV recently earned a two-star rating from the Australian NCAP (New Car Assessment Program). It performs much like the Brilliance BS6 shown earlier.
Great Wall Motors V240: Another two-star car. The head-on view from this video really demonstrates how the seatbelts are not helping to restrain the occupants.
Geely Emgrand: This is one of the recent four-star winners. It lost points because of poor protection for feet and ankles in a head on crash.
Classic Holden Commodore: And just to show what happens when it goes really wrong, this Australian Holden Commodore completely crushes itself when presented with a wall.
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