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New Omoda 3 crossover will target Ford Puma as part of four-car Omoda range

The compact crossover is one of four models Omoda plans to bring to the UK, starting this summer with the Omoda 5

New Omoda 5 and Omoda 9

Omoda, the latest Chinese brand hoping to crack the UK car market, is plotting to go after the best-selling Ford Puma and Nissan Juke with its own compact crossover called the Omoda 3.

Speaking to Auto Express, the brand’s UK country manager Victor Zhang revealed the Omoda 3 will be offered with a choice of petrol, hybrid and all-electric power, meaning it will be able to take-on the Ford Puma Gen-E EV being unveiled later this year, and the next-generation Juke.

The still-under-wraps Omoda 3 is currently slated to arrive in the UK in the second half of 2025, and should have a lower starting price than the brand’s first offering, the Omoda 5, which goes on sale shortly and will start from around £24,000. 

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Zhang told us, however, that, “[Omoda 3] will not be so cheap, because I don’t think we just want to do the lowest-price product. This is not our philosophy.”

Four Omoda models planned

The Omoda 3 is part of a four-model offensive the brand has in store for the UK, which begins with the aforementioned Omoda 5 – a compact SUV that’s been benchmarked against our reigning Car of the Year, the Hyundai Kona

Order books for the Omoda 5 and its pure-electric E5 variant open this summer, with the first examples set to arrive in June. Both models will come in two trim levels: Comfort and Noble.

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The petrol-powered Omoda 5 uses a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to drive the front wheels. The motor produces 180bhp and 290Nm – enough for 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds – and can return up to 31.4mpg, according to the firm. A more efficient hybrid version will join the line-up in time.

In the meantime, the Omoda E5 will start from approximately £33,500 and offer a range of up to 257 miles from its 61kWh battery. For context, the entry-level Kona Electric can go 234 miles between charges, and costs roughly £1,500 more. 

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Next to arrive is the brand's flagship model, the Omoda 9. The nearly 4.8-metre long range-topper will be available later this year, with either a pure-petrol engine or plug-in hybrid powertrain, and the choice of two or four-wheel drive. UK pricing for the Omoda 9 has yet to be confirmed. 

Then in 2025, the Omoda 7 will touch down, also featuring petrol or PHEV options. Zhang revealed to us that the Omoda 7 is similar in size to the Toyota RAV4, which would position it as a potential rival to popular mid-size SUVs like the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson. It will of course bridge the gap between the Omoda 5 and 9 as well. 

What is Omoda?

Omoda was created by automotive goliath Chery, which has been China’s biggest car exporter for the past 20 years and is bringing another of its brands, Jaecoo, to the UK in September.

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While Omoda focuses on value with its philosophy of “affordable premium”, Jaecoo is being pitched as the more premium of the two and has a more rugged aesthetic – which appears to have been influenced by cars like the Land Rover Defender.

The Jaecoo 7 will be the brand’s first offering to Brits, initially just with the Omoda 5’s 1.6-litre petrol engine. A plug-in hybrid version with two or four-wheel drive will arrive shortly after. The larger Jaecoo 8 will make use of the same plug-in hybrid setup when it comes here towards 2024.

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The brand has also confirmed it’s working on a more compact model, called the Jaecoo 5, which is expected to sit on the same platform as the Omoda 3, however, technical details for the entry-level car have yet to be confirmed.

Omoda and Jaecoo models will be sold out of the same dealerships in the UK, with over 60 locations spread across the country confirmed so far, and plans to have 100 by the end of 2024. 

Q&A with Victor Zhang, UK country manager, Omoda & Jaecoo

Q: How are you able to adapt to different markets’ demands?

A: “This is an advantage for us: we have a very dedicated R&D team for the international markets. They have international mindsets because they have lots of experience developing different products for different markets, and they understand the importance of speed. And Chery has designed a new product development program. We want to be quick to respond to meet the requirements from the market.”

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Q: So many brands are arriving from China at the moment, what do you think UK motorists’s perception of them is?

A: “The UK is quite an open minded market, because you have already embraced Japanese brands, Korean brands, American brands, German brands and French brands. So I don't think people will stay away from Chinese brands, they will be interested and want to discover more about them and their products. 

“I think UK motorists will gradually welcome these new brands, just like you’ve done over the last 20 or 30 years.”

Q: How committed are your brands to the UK and European market?

A: “Chery, our mother group, is fully committed to the European and the UK market. So we have Omoda 7 and 3, and the Jaecoo 5, 7 and 8 all coming and all these cars mean investment. We have invested a lot for the European markets, we have our European R&D in Germany and we carry out local testing. We want to be in the UK, not for one or two years, we want to be here for many years to come.”

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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