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QQ and safety

Hi JM Steiny,
this is what I wrote in another post about my experiences with the QQ:

Let me tell you first that I am a regular China traveller since 24 years, but that I never drove more than a couple of kilometers in a new car, mostly on factory sites. I did a tremendous lot of bicycling, so I am used to the Chinese traffic, and each taxidriver or busdriver must have hated me, as I am always looking critically and fully attentionally how he or she drives.
So this was my first real driving experience in China.
The QQ was hired. In Beijing, it was not easy to find a company that rents QQs. The hiring price was 200 yuan per day, the car was hired for a month.
The roundtrip (3750km) was made in 7 days, but we spend 1/2 day in Qufu, a full day in Wuhu, a full day in Huangshan and a 1/2 day in Jingdezhen. So that leaves us 4 driving days. Mostly on highways (about 80%), some in the countryside (15%) and the rest in the cities (5%). Beside of the trip we used the car also in the Beijing traffic.
My friend measures 1.92m, and we had some worries if he would fit in. That came out easy, he could place the drivers and codrivers chair easily backwards, he had space enough. You can understand that there was not much legroom left for potential rearseat passengers, but we hadn't any.
We had a manual geared 1.1 version of the QQ.
The car was 3 years old, made in September 2003, and was one of the first QQs made, serial number 746. It had driven 65.000 km.
Lacking power steering, the steering was extremely heavy in city traffic, probably due to damage or extensive wear out.
The gearbox had the same wear problems, sometimes the reverse wouldn't work (and that gives you sometimes a lot of problemes), the five difficult to find, back from five to four needed some skill and experience.
The car was perfectly balanced, and driving fast felt perfectly secure. We started to drive 120 at the highway, but -as the highways in middle China are most of the times completely empty- we went faster and faster, and the last day I drove continuously 135 km (on the meter) for ten hours (1000 km). You can understand that we were anxious about the temperature of the cooling system, it was hot that week, 35 degree celsius) but we didn't spill a drop and the cooling fluid temperature never raised. We measured the fuel consumption, we did 1 liter to 13 kilometers, which is according to my opinion much too much, but the high speed we drove is probably the main reason of a high consumption. We didn't use any drop of oil during the trip.
We were surprised how well the car performed.
When at Chery factory, they let us drive a brand new QQ (the QQ311) to compare with our gearbox and steering, and I must say that this car gave us a totally different (much better) feeling.

Though I care a lot about safety, and I am fully aware of the risks of car driving, I don't mind driving "fast", even with a QQ. I agree with one of the earlier posts, that your own skill and prudence is very important in avoiding accidents (I drive now 40 years without any accident, a lot of km's in Europe, a lot highway -which in Germany means -when free- 160-170 km/h-)
But in traffic, and especially in Chinese traffic, you are also dependable on others. So how more airbags, the better!
Greetings!
 

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Qq6

Hi JMSteiny, about the QQ6: I haven't driven the car and also I haven't sit in it, (stupid, I had the opportunity, as they were used as taxis at the Chery factory site, but I suppose the inside is the same as the QQ (QQ3).)
From the outside the car looks horrible to me, it lacks imagination, is the ultimate conventional car, and it has no longer the lovely charisma of the QQ, you know, the "girls-car" (with in real-life a majority of male drivers!), having cuddly toys in the car, etc etc.
But I suppose it is as sturdy as the QQ, has a big trunk, will sell good and is good value for money.
Greetings, on the picture: with the QQ on the road, between the truck-drivers.
 
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