The new car in town: Blackwells

It seems like New Zealand is getting rather spoilt. So many new car brands have entered our market within the last few years. The latest of these is Omoda, which has joined the stable of Blackwell Motors. Ben Selby reports.

Omoda, pronounced “Oh-Mo-Dah” is already grabbing attention in New Zealand with the brand’s recent unveiling of the petrol-powered C5 SUV and its all-electric counterpart, the E5. I was invited to have a brief introductory drive of the only E5 currently in New Zealand.

Beginning with looks, the E5 shares much of its styling cues with its petrol C5 counterpart, though the most obvious difference is the E5’s lack of a front grill, that instead encompasses a front mounted flap which hides the charging point. The E5 is compatible both with AC and DC fast charging, with the latter giving you 30 to 80 percent charge in a claimed 30 minutes.

Powering the E5 is a 61kWh LFP battery pack sending 150kW of power and 340Nm of torque through the front wheels. Full electric range sits at a claimed 430km according to WTLP.

The interior is far more refined and well put together than I first thought. The quality of the switchgear is impressive and, providing you have the key, the car will wake up the moment you get in. The leather clad seats give plenty of lateral support and head and legroom for front and rear passengers is pretty good.

An electric boot lid opens to reveal 380L of space which can swell to 1075L with that second row of seats stowed away.

My drive in the Omoda E5 was brief, yet the trip around urban Christchurch left me rather impressed on a number of levels. First of these was the level of ride comfort. The E5 manages to be both supple and plush while also drowning out the outside world nicely.

The driving position is good and the dual 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster is sharp, clear and easy to interpret.

The E5 also comes with a voice activated user interface system. Simply say “Hey Omoda” and you can issue a wide range of voice commands. You can even lower the driver’s side window by using this feature. You don’t even have to budge.

Having a play with the 360-degree camera was also fun as it gives a clear picture of everything your E5 sees. Performance is also fairly sprightly, and turn in is crisp and responsive.

While I can’t comment yet on price and what kind of kit will be standard or extra on local spec models, the chance to sample this pre-production entrée Omoda E5 has left this scribe dead keen to try the main course real soon.


  • Price: TBC
  • Powertrain: 61kWh Battery Pack
  • Drive: 2WD
  • Power: 150kW
  • Torque: 340Nm
  • Energy Consumption: 15.5Wh/km
  • Energy Consumption: 15.5Wh/km
  • Electric Range: 430km
  • Zero to 100km/h : 7.6 seconds
  • Boot Space: 380L-1075L

Blackwells Omoda Jaecoo
Corner of Moorhouse Ave & Montreal St
03 379 5500

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