2013 Chery Fulwin 2 1.5 ACTECO from Uruguay

Summary:

Comfortable, affordable small car. Reliability remains an unknown quantity

Faults:

Strong rumble in when moving in reverse. Solved at the 5000 km service. I was told by the serviceman that these cars tend to tremble in reverse, but after the service it didn't happen again. The solution was a supplemental cushion in an engine mount.

Besides that, and considering the car is almost brand new, nothing has happened, and nothing should be expected to happen either.

I sold my 2000 Hyundai Accent. It had 135.000 km on it, had good maintenance all its life, and was really comfortable and rattle-free, but service costs and parts were being required more often, and were costly.

I settled for a Chinese car because of cost reasons, and chose what I deemed the best product/cost ratio. The car is rattle-free. Interior fit and finish are good, not Hyundai-class, but good enough. Heating/ventilation/air conditioning are very workable, though the ventilation selector seems a little less durable than the rest of controls.

Regarding comfort, the car is adequate for drivers of up to 1.85 metres. I am 1.73m, and head, elbow and hip space is very good. But, and it's a big but, I'm 103 kg, and for overweight people it's not as nice to get in or out of the car. Then again, I'm comfortable at getting in and out only of larger or much taller cars, such as minivans or 4.8 meter long vehicles.

Engine power is adequate for around town driving, though its torque curve is not the best, even for a 1.5 liter. Most driving needs second and third, perhaps fourth in sustained speeds of around 60 km/h on wider roads. The ride is a little harsh, I think it's because the tires might be hard. The tires are a little on the hard side.

On the open road, I did 120 km/h, I'm not a fast driver. The engine seemed willing enough to accelerate a little more; I did not try any typical 120-140 overtaking acceleration.

Steering is adequately light, and the steering ratio is good.

Steering wheel is '70s or '80s in its very thin and hard grip. No cushioning at all.

Controls seem relatively robust. I say relatively in comparison to my Hyundai Accent. Those felt more robust at 135.000 km and 13 years old than these seem in a new car.

Regarding fuel consumption, so important in a small car, I can't say anything yet, as my first full fill-up is still in the tank. My best bet is 11 km/liter around town, in stop-and-go driving, no open road at all.

Long term reliability, of course, is still to be seen. In my country there are only a handful of these cars more than 2 years old and 100.000 km on them, but about 500 have been sold, which for our market means seeing no less than 10 every day.

If there are any comments to these review, I'll keep readers posted every 1000 km. I feel regular posting about little known cars is good for prospective buyers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2013