Vehicles made in China are just steps away in terms of buyer confidence in the local market and as the years pass, they are getting better. This writer was privileged to test drive the 2012 Geely LC 1.3 MT better known as the Panda.
Inside, the cabin space you will find ample elbow, leg and head room, when seated the control lever to recline the front seat, this writer finds, unusual and the power window controls were more applicable to drivers with shorter arm reach. The air-conditioning system could cool the cabin sufficiently.
The steering wheel diameter creates a good feeling and the material used, grips well on the hands. Even with 5-speed manual transmission shifting was smooth and the clutch pedal was soft to depress. The maximum output of 63 kw/6000rpm and the maximum torque of 110nm/5200rpm was enough to pull this Panda. Although tackling corners at relative speeds the body roll was felt. The engine power was matched with the brakes and with the upscale variant ABS was standard.
A lot of amenities are standard, with a few more twitching and for the low price of less than half a million, for a daily ride, point A to point B would be more exciting.