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Cherry QQ

By B.S.
 
Even at twice the price of the world’s cheapest car, the Chinese made Cherry QQ is likely the least expensive automobile available on Thailand’s car market. Retailing somewhere in the neighborhood of 155,000 Thai baht, the Cherry Automobile Company, a subsidiary of the Thailand Automobile Group has recently announced the arrival of a ‘city car’ produced by one of China’s leading auto manufacturers – Cherry Automobile.
The Cherry QQ, a mini-model hatchback that was specifically engineered for the urban environment, was first launched in China back in 2003. Since its release this affordable, easy to drive, and modestly equipped motor consistently topped China’s auto sales charts until its popularity peaked in 2010. Today four similar models of the – the Cherry QQ3 1.1-TXE, Cherry QQ3 0.8-TX, Cherry QQ3 0.8-TE, and the Cherry QQ3 0.8-TE (Aircon) are now rolling off Chinese assembly lines for domestic consumption and export to the Land of Smiles, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, as well as other developing nations.
 
Exterior
Classed as an ‘urban’ or ‘city’ vehicle, this miniature motor measures 3550mm in length, 1495mm in width, 1485mm in height, and has a wheelbase of 2340mm. Exterior wise, its body styling and interior design bear a striking resemblance in both form and structure to the Daiwoo Matiz, which was marketed as the Chevrolet Spark outside of Korea. This coincidence initially sparked some trademark infringement disputes with General Motors, which have since been settled out of court. Other external Cherry QQ design components include four doors and a hatchback, a rear windshield washer and wiper, rear spoiler, a mud skirt, and a high mounted break light.
 
Interior
Given its puny price, the QQ’s interior finish can best be described as being closer to ‘top shelf’ than ‘bargain basement’. This claim is not made without good reason as its interior space easily accommodates a family of four, but nothing more. The split rear seats however, have the ability to fold down in order to create a spacious cargo area capable of transporting luggage, groceries, or the family pet. Other internal conveniences include, child locks and a remote release for both the boot lid and fuel filler.
 
Packages & Options
With two models, each with two trim packages (TXE & TX) to choose from, potential buyers have much to consider in the way of options. The various packages are equipped with a vast selection of modern amenities all with style, safety, comfort, luxury, and convenience in mind. Some of the Cherry QQ’s many outstanding choices include:
 
  • Power steering
  • Air conditioning
  • Electric mirrors
  • Sunroof
  • Central locking
  • Electric Windows
  • Remote alarm system
  • Leather upholstery
  • Compact disc player with two or four speakers
  • USB ports
  • Alloy wheels
 
Power & performance
Internally, the Cherry QQ is powered by one of two different sizes of forward mounted engines: a 0.8 L, 3-cyl engine or the 1.1 L, 4-cyl engine, which deliver a maximum torque of 70Nm and 90Mn at 3500rpm, and are capable of going from 0 to 100kph in 18.5 and 20 seconds respectively. Both engines utilize a 5-speed manual transmission and consume between 5 and 6.8L of petrol per 100km. With a 35L capacity fuel tank, the Cherry QQ can cover approximately 500km between refills. Its diminutive size allows for a 10M turning radius, and the suspension on all models is comprised of MacPherson struts on the front, and beam and coil springs at the rear. The combination of front wheel drive, 13 inch wheels and 125mm of ground clearance ensures that the QQ rolls smoothly and unobstructed over all but the roughest of road surfaces.
 
 
Safety
All Cherry QQ models are equipped with antilock brake systems, dual airbags; three point safety belts on the front and rear seats, as well as a full size spare tire. Structurally speaking, the QQ’s strength is beefed up by side impact protection bars, as well as an engine immobilizer. For peace of mind, the quality of the Cherry QQ is backed up by a 3 year or 100,000kn warranty.
 
  • If you’re in the market for a motor who’s gotta’ haves include being:
  • Easy to drive
  • Nimble enough to qualify as a city runabout 
  • Of a size that allows it to be shoehorned into even the smallest of parking spaces 
  • Frugal in terms of fuel economy
  • At a price point that’s easy on the pocketbook … then this Chinese Cherry should be checked out.