Sleek Wheels

OHLALA SPENT THE DAY IN THE NEW HONGQI HS3, A DELUXE MID-SIZE SUV THAT DELIVERS A LEVEL OF TECH, LUXURY AND REFINEMENT USUALLY RESERVED FOR CARS WITH A MUCH HIGHER PRICE TAG.

This month, thanks to the team at Zayani Motors, OHLALA got behind the wheel of the new HONGQI HS3.

Having recently experienced two of this Chinese luxury car marque’s saloons, the H9 and the Ousado, plus the outstanding HS5 Deluxe 4WD SUV, we had high expectations for the brand’s latest release.

BOLD & ELEGANT EXTERIOR

We were taken by surprise the first time we laid eyes on a HONGQI in 2022. We were not expecting the level of craftsmanship and sophistication we experienced. However, when approaching our fourth HONGQI test-drive model, we immediately appreciated the now familiar design concept of the HONGQI family DNA, along with the novel ‘Wings of HONGQI’ greeting lights, designed to create the effect of an eagle taking flight.

In the HS3, the brand has continued its winning formula of bold design concepts combined with elegant touches. From head-on, this striking SUV exudes athleticism and power while maintaining an air of refined grace.

As with all the other HONGQIs we’ve experienced, the HS3 showcases a sculpted bonnet complemented by the red HONGQI logo line at its front and centre that continues down the middle of the grille.

The upscale grille is eye-catching and exhibits a geometric design for optimal air intake. Enhancing the SUV’s aggressive-looking face are split-design headlights and well-positioned fog lamps.

Focussing on the flanks, we appreciated the aesthetically pleasing convex and concave surfaces that add to the aerodynamic nature of this sturdy SUV. Sleek yet pronounced wheel arches house stylish 19-inch wheels featuring a unique rim design, while power-folding and movable side mirrors with integrated turn signals further enhance the classy nature of the car.

At the back end, the well-designed tail lights frame a boxy yet modern-looking rear, with a single LED light running the full width of the vehicle, providing a touch of sporty appeal. The neatly designed rear bumper and exhaust system further add to the handsome hind quarters.

TIMELESS INTERIOR

We discovered the luxurious nature of the new HS3’s exterior to flow effortlessly into the interior, where we were greeted by a high level of opulence. Slipping into the uber comfy, ventilated and multi-adjustable front seating of HONGQI’s new SUV, we had the perfect position to take in the upmarket interior.

Along with the high-end materials used throughout the vehicle, the HS3 features 253 ambient interior lighting options, allowing us to customise the mood of the internal environment. During the heat of the day, the dual-zone climate control and panoramic sunroof ensure plenty of cool air and natural light.

“In the HS3, the brand has continued its winning formula of bold design concepts combined with elegant touches.”

The centre console and gear controller deserve a special mention, thanks to their stylish look, expensive feel and convenient design.

As the day progressed, the more we inspected the cabin, the more impressed we became with every little detail and finish. It is obvious HONGQI remains steadfast in its commitment to creating beautiful vehicles with first-class interiors.

Furthermore, the abundance of space on offer throughout the SUV meant plenty of head, shoulder and leg room in both the front and the back.

ADVANCED INFOTAINMENT & TECH

We discovered the infotainment system of the new HS3 to be both clean and minimalistic. The system comprises one 12.6-inch LCD screen and one 12.3-inch LCD instrument display.

Not only did we find the system beautifully integrated into the HS3’s cockpit, but intuitive and easy to navigate, providing us with simple access to the vehicle’s extensive range of functions.

A 10-speaker Bose Centrepoint surround sound system is a part of the setup, amongst several other entertainment amenities. Further fancy features of our test drive model included wireless phone charging, an air quality sensor, a head-up display and a multi-function steering wheel with audio, Bluetooth switch, MID select and voice command.

POWER, PERFORMANCE & SAFETY

Despite the impressive nature of all aspects of this luxury SUV’s exterior and interior designs, it was its on-road performance that secured our attention. Housing a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, Turbo Charged Direct Injection Engine, coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the new HS3 is no slouch on the tarmac.

Delivering 248hp and 380Nm of torque, this new HONGQI accelerates from 0-100km/h in a respectable 6.9 seconds. Every time we applied pressure to the right pedal, the car responded, adding plenty of enjoyment to the driving experience.

Additionally, the four-wheel drive system, combined with the five selectable driving modes, ensures the best possible performance on any surface and in all conditions. We found the Sport Plus mode especially pleasing, adding extra verve to the SUV’s performance.

To ensure the well-being of all occupants, HONGQI have included an extensive range of safety and driver assistance features in the new HS3. These include Lane Departure Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking, ISOFIX points in the rear and airbags located throughout the vehicle, to name but a few.

OUR VERDICT

HONGQI seem to be raising the bar further with every new premium car model they produce. If the brand continues along its current trajectory, it may soon gain the popularity of other, more established, elite brands.

For more information or to have a test drive of your own,
please call Zayani Motors on 1770 3703.
@hongqi.bh
@zayanimotors

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