Hongqi H5 Facelift Unveiled, Mazda6 Underneath

The Chinese car market has come a long way in the recent years. The hunted is now the hunter, as Chinese car makers went from selling rebadged and knock-off versions of cars from foreign markets to foreign car makers selling rebadged versions of their cars instead, alá Proton. 

However, old habits die hard and some older Chinese cars still retain some foreign influence, like this Hongqi H5. 


Underneath that Lincoln Continental-esque body of the Hongqi H5 actually lies a Mazda6, which is no bad thing as the Mazda6 is one of the best large sedans out there. Furthermore, credit where it is due to Hongqi took the effort to redesign the rest of the car, unlike other manufacturers who simply perform some badge engineering and call it a day. 

To many who are unfamiliar with the Hongqi H5, it is large sedan built by First Auto Works (FAW) under the Hongqi name. Launched in 2017, the H5 sits beneath the Hongqi H7 in the range and is sold exclusively in China. 

A facelift is slated to arrive in 2021, bringing along with it a brace of new engines. Although a front wheel drive Mazda underneath, the H5 originally came with the sole engine choice of a VW-derived 1.8 litre turbo four-cylinder at launch. For the facelift however, this well-proven power plant will receive a 19 horsepower bump to to 197 hp and 250 Nm of torque, thanks to a 48 volt starter-generator. 

The exterior design of this large China-exclusive sedan continues the theme of borrowing from other car makers. The front of the Hongqi resembles a cross between a Lincoln Continental and a Rolls Royce, while the rear is strikingly similar to the Mercedes A-class sedan. That being said, the H5 is a handsome looking car with LED headlights and taillights, riding on 19 inch alloy wheels. 

However, the changes to the exterior of the facelifted model is allegedly limited to a tweak in the shape of the hood fin only. 

Typical of any Chinese market car, the Hongqi H5 is packed full of features on the inside. Starting with the heated and ventilated front seats and the panoramic sunroof, this large sedan also comes standard with some desirable safety features like Adaptive Cruise Control and Intelligent Headlight Control (IHC), along with six airbags. 

The refresh brings along with it an updated 10’ infotainment system and LCD TFT dials. An upgraded voice command system and a wireless charging pad also also slated to come as standard as part of the facelift. 

Prices of the Hongqi H5 is rumoured to range from 146,800 yuan (RM89,500) to 190,000 yuan (RM119,000). Considerably cheaper than the car on which it is based, while having more kit thrown in. Makes you wonder then, is a Mazda6 still worth it if the Hongqi H5 was exported out of China?

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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