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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Source: http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/carreviews/firstdrives/204329/brilliance_bs6.html


The car's called the Brilliance BS6, and 3,000 of the new executive saloons will be specially imported over the next year, with the first arriving in showrooms in January.

Pitched against rivals such as the Hyundai Sonata and fellow Chinese firm SAIC’s forthcoming re-engineered Rover 75, the Roewe 750, the BS6 has a great deal riding on it.

Not only does the model have to prove to UK buyers that Chinese cars are worth considering, but also that the Brilliance brand can rub shoulders with some of the best in the business.

After all, this isn’t the last car the company wants to see on British roads. It is set to be followed by a Brilliance coupé, supermini and SUV. Similar in size to the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes E-Class but carrying a £15,000 price tag, the BS6 is certainly a promising package. Yet does the Brilliance live up to its grand name?

Initial impressions aren’t promising. Except for the garish chrome brightwork on the grille and rear number plate surround, there’s nothing at all distinctive about the shape.

In fact, it’s as if the styling team has mixed two other cars together. The front bears more than a passing resemblance to Daewoo’s long-since-departed Leganza, while the rear has shades of the current Hyundai Sonata.

Add a bland four-door profile and, although Brilliance would like to think the BS6 will appeal to budding executives, this is not a car for people who want to stand out. It doesn’t get much better on the inside. Although there is decent legroom in the rear for tall passengers, and a highly usable boot, little else impresses. Hard, shiny plastic and some cheap-feeling leather upholstery dominate the cabin, which is not particularly well put together, either.

The dashboard features mismatched fake wood trim, beige leather and a shiny silver stereo. In all, it’s as though you’ve taken a step back in time when you sit behind the wheel, ending up somewhere in the late Eighties.

Equipment levels leave a lot to be desired, too. Although air-conditioning and a CD player are standard, even the range-topping Deluxe trim comes with only two airbags, and it doesn’t get any form of stability or traction control.

What’s more, any passengers sitting in the centre rear seat will have to make do with a simple lapbelt. And although most modern cars achieve at least four stars out of a maximum of five in the Euro NCAP crash testing programme, the BS6 gained only two – with some serious concerns being raised about its side-impact protection.

So, does the driving experience bring better news? Clearly, Brilliance engineers have set up the car with comfort in mind. Despite the brand’s close links with BMW and Toyota in China, not much mechanical knowledge appears to have been shared.

In town, the car’s front-wheel-drive chassis and softly sprung suspension do a good job of absorbing bumps. Start to push harder in tight corners, though, and the ride quickly becomes spongy, with lots of body roll.

The shortage of driver aids means the BS6 suffers from poor traction. The steering doesn’t help matters, either, as it’s very light with little feedback. However, the engine fares better. Sourced from Mitsubishi – yet another company with which Brilliance works in China – the 130bhp 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol powerplant delivers smooth, if not exactly spirited, performance. It’s linked to a rather vague five-speed manual box, and propels the car from 0-60mph in around 12 seconds.

This is the only engine option for now, although an entry-level 2.0-litre unit is on the way. However, bosses currently have no plans to introduce a turbodiesel – and that’s a gaping omission in the European market, where sales of oil-burning variants outnumber their petrol equivalents.

The Brilliance is currently available only in left-hand-drive guise – and on this evidence, that shouldn’t prove too much of a disappointment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I thought the summing up was even more cutting:

'Oh dear! We were expecting so much from China’s European debut – but the Brilliance BS6 is a massive letdown. It falls behind rivals in every area, with poor quality, average dynamics and nondescript styling. The lack of safety kit and terrible crash test rating are real causes for concern. The idea of having a large executive car for the price of a hatchback is appealing but, apart from space, the BS6 offers little else'



I'd love to know how much Brilliance spent on that pile of junk. An estimated 15K price tag is outrageous! How much did Nanjing spend buying all of MG Rover's assets? 50 million pounds? Looks like a very good buy if this is meant to be what it's competing with! With the exception of Roewe/ SAIC it looks like Nanjing is the only Chinese car maker ready to take on Europe and America's big boys!
 

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Every Euro auto mag rips on every car for some strange reason, as if by doing so makes them experts and authoritative. So I would not take that article too seriously.

Still, going straight for the near luxury segment borders on suicidal - you really need a strong product to do that, especially being new to the game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The big problem is the estimated price. 15K would buy you a lot of car from househod names. You could get a BMW 1 series or VW Golf for that kind of money. Even if they priced it at 10k then it would still have to battle it out with much better cars from a range of established manufacturers. The UK is the toughest car market in the world. Even directly imported US models struggle here. Western Europeans generally expect high grade plastics, lots of kit, reliabilty, top saftey marks, etc. To be brutally honest this car simply won't cut it in Western Europe. It's just not good enough.

Frankly a Dacia Logan is a better buy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is what more or less what Nanjing will be selling in direct competion:

http://www.mg-rover.com/mg_GB_en/static/mg_zt.html

Click on the Interior and compare the difference in quality. This model is a few years old but if priced keenly it will sell very well indeed. Ironically if Brilliance had got it's act together and done a deal with MGR it might be selling this rather than the pile of doo doo that it's trying to sell.
 

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BringIt said:
Every Euro auto mag rips on every car for some strange reason, as if by doing so makes them experts and authoritative. So I would not take that article too seriously.
Circling the wagons to protect other brands that pay a good deal in advertising?

:confused:
 

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Every market region has different taste in automobile.

For example, Hyundai Sonata is well received in the US and often rated above Toyota Camry in comparison tests is blasted in UK for being too big, too thirsty, and too floaty.(The car is tuned to US market taste)

On the other hand, Kia Cee'd, specifically designed for Euro market, is getting very favorable launch reviews in UK, but this car would have received a bad review in Korea because the suspection setting is too hard and car is too small for Korean taste.

So the point is that it is difficult for non-Euro cars to get favorable reviews unless it is specifically designed for Euro market. Since Chinese auto market taste resembles that of US/Korea, Chinese cars won't be region specific for decades to come, bad reviews will continue.

Auto Taste

US/Korea/China - Big dimension and soft suspension, gasoline engine
Europe/Japan - Compact dimension and hard suspension, a strong emphasis on highest build quality. Diesel engine for Europe.
 

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That's a Valid and excellent post I must admit :) ( altho I hate to :p )

Anyways , whatever you think of the UK review . maybe they've gone far bat only a bit .. since I've driven this car and seen it here in Egypt with the same 2.4 Mitsu engine .

The UK review is just about 85% correct , the car is called Brilliance Galena here , and boy the interior .. doesnt sound brilliance or even chery ... the interior might be a bit better than a geely .. .especialy talking about the DASHBOARD / The Stereo and the QUESTIONABLE fake wood , I'd rather they do it a simple layout with some good leather/plastic insted of that really really cheap looking wood .

however what I disagree with the review about , is the exterior , the Brilliance might look like alot of other cars , but its really the size that cut it off the rest , seriously speaking , I first mistaked the Brilliance for Honda accord , but when it went side by me .. I felt like a limo has just passed ... especialy when ur driving a supermini like mine ;P

however I think the exterior might be subject to personal tastes , but again UK reviews seriously are wierd ... for example .. here in egypt WE LOVE the Proton Gen 2 - Proton Impian/Waja and the Wira ..

in the UK , they just say that if you really want a 5 seater .. then get a proton for the price of superminis , thats the only way they recommend it !

back to the Brilliance, I Think they shouldn't have sent the Galena , the M3 ( plz rename it ) would've been alot better choice , i mean c'mon look at this car interior ... if I didn't know the brand , I would've simply say its a bm or a merc .
 

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Yes............

Real_I_Hate_China said:
Every market region has different taste in automobile.

For example, Hyundai Sonata is well received in the US and often rated above Toyota Camry in comparison tests is blasted in UK for being too big, too thirsty, and too floaty.(The car is tuned to US market taste)

On the other hand, Kia Cee'd, specifically designed for Euro market, is getting very favorable launch reviews in UK, but this car would have received a bad review in Korea because the suspection setting is too hard and car is too small for Korean taste.

So the point is that it is difficult for non-Euro cars to get favorable reviews unless it is specifically designed for Euro market. Since Chinese auto market taste resembles that of US/Korea, Chinese cars won't be region specific for decades to come, bad reviews will continue.

Auto Taste

US/Korea/China - Big dimension and soft suspension, gasoline engine
Europe/Japan - Compact dimension and hard suspension, a strong emphasis on highest build quality. Diesel engine for Europe.

VERY well said............factual, professional and tasteful. It's obvious that Brilliance has a BIG uphill road to climb as far as presenting a competitive product in the UK market. I hope other chinese car companies take notice and prepare accordingly...........the European (and American) market will not be a easy nut to crack. I hope Brilliance looks at this as a valuable (if hard) lesson and not a failure - and I DO give Brilliance credit for at least going for it and seeing what happens!! Let's hope they learn from this, and when we get the next version of the BS6 it will hopefully be SUBSTANTIALLY improved.

I've always applauded the chinese car companies enthusiasm when it comes to getting into the world market - but they MUST have a competitive product if they want to be successful.
 

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Can someone tell me why Brilliance is leading with its old Zhonghua Zunchi (M-1) model in Europe, and not its much more appealing Junjie (M-2)? The interior enhancements in the Junjie are dramatic.

I couldn't but notice that the article was absent of criticism about assembly quality, in contrast to the critique in Europe of Geely and Chang'an models displayed at recent shows.
 

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dragin said:
Can someone tell me why Brilliance is leading with its old Zhonghua Zunchi (M-1) model in Europe, and not its much more appealing Junjie (M-2)? The interior enhancements in the Junjie are dramatic.
I wondered about that too... not enough production to go around???
 

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To some extent it sounds like the rover 75 I am running. Good size but terribly boring dynamics - would appeal to people who value practicality but not the driving experience.

rover 75 interior build quality is ok, but unless you like having lots of little oval features set into oval housings and mirrored by some other oval bits then you won't be impressed. not sure what pills were being taken by the designers, but they must have been oval shaped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I_real_I_China was spot on with his analysis. In Europe we now expect really high quality interiors. Back in the 80's/ 90's the European car makers that survive today decided to see off the threat of imported cars by going upmarket. This in turn made everyone raise their game. Therefore if you can suceed in Europe you can suceed almost anywhere. That's why the new MG ZT could make it big in the US, because expectations are lower but the quality and reliabilty of the car is very high.
 

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dragin said:
Can someone tell me why Brilliance is leading with its old Zhonghua Zunchi (M-1) model in Europe, and not its much more appealing Junjie (M-2)?
I thought that too ???? I wonder why Zhonghua released the Zunchi when as you say Junjie is newer fresher model, strange isn't.
 

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I think maybe because it won't be VALUE enough Phaeton ??
I mean won't be priced low enough to compete ??

I mean the UK review noted that the price of the Brilliance can get you a hatchback , so Maybe the Junjie's price won't be so competitive ..

Altho I still think its a stupid move !

btw since u know alot about VW , A friend of mine ( girl ) wanted to buy the VW Eos , recently Launched here ... but she thinks its a bit overpriced for the features it offers ,, ( $41,000 here ) what do you think of it ? ( sorry for going off topic ).
 

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phaeton said:
I thought that too ???? I wonder why Zhonghua released the Zunchi when as you say Junjie is newer fresher model, strange isn't.
Might be because the Zunchi is a more stable model that has been launched in the domestic market about 4 years ago and sold quite succesfuly. The makers probably felt that the Junjie needs some more on-road maturity in China, further testing and improvements based on Chinese clients experiences, before exporting the model.

I compared both models myself and they do seem to have some differences in the finishing (welding, painting etc.).
 
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