Strangerover.........are you planning on BUYING or RENTING a car? I am assuming you will purchase, so I'll base my suggestions on that. I don't know much about the rental market anyway, so I'll stick to what I DO know about 4x4/AWD cars in China.
First, as far as chinese brands? Not all that many......yet. The usual import/luxury brands are here, but as they are mostly imported into China, they are QUITE pricey (example - the Toyota RAV4 small SUV sells in the USA for around $20,000 USD - in China the same RAV4 sells for about $38,000 USD). I will give you two suggestions, though so all hope is not lost!
1) Great Wall H5 (Hover) - a popular SUV in China, and they have a AWD version as well. I know they are planning to have a auto tranny version this year, but I don't know if it's on the market yet. Price range is in the 110-140,000rmb area depending on the options you choose.
2) Chery Tiggo 3 - I'm not exactly sure of the model name/number, although I DO know it is called the Tiggo! Nice SUV, and smaller than the H5 (better gas mileage, the Tiggo has a 1.8l engine while the H5 has a 2.4l or bigger). They have a AWD version, and they DO have a auto tranny option as well (go to the Chery sub-forum and check it out). Price range for the AWD with a auto tranny is about 110,000rmb, maybe a little less.
Great Wall also has some AWD versions of it's trucks, but they are more utility and work related......not nearly the level of comfort that the SUV's offer. Finally, Great Wall also has a mini SUV - the H1. This is a AWD version of the Peri (their mini car), and it has a 1.3l engine in it. Cute car with good safety ratings for it's size (3 stars from C-NCAP), and the AWD version is about 60,000 rmb - but no auto tranny option is offered with it.
That's about it for right now. I am fairly confident Beijing Jeep also has a 4x4 offering as well, but I don't know much about it. Geely will also debut their SUV this year as well, and I think they are planning a AWD version. Personally? I think the Tiggo is a excellent deal - good looking, fairly comfortable and it won't break your piggy bank to buy it. ALL of the cars I mentioned here have their own theads in the other manufacturers sub-forums, so browse around and check them out. Good luck in your quest!