He was called crossover: the first test drive Dongfeng AX3

This cute Chinese crossover will soon be the company DFM H30 Cross. Before the beginning of the Moscow Motor Show, where it made its debut, “Dongfeng Motor Rus” has given us an exclusive opportunity to ride a bit on a single copy of the new model.

Crossover or not?

H ow man with natural science education (and, I hope, not the worst, yet the Moscow State University – Moscow State University is), I got used to the importance of clear definitions and classifications of severity. Here, for example, he appeared in the 90s of the last century the term “crossover”: “terrain vehicle, to a greater extent combines the quality of the SUV, off-road vehicle, but also having the advantages and disadvantages of other classes of vehicles, primarily cars station wagon, hatchback and a minivan. “

Maybe this is given in “Wikipedia” definition and suffers from a certain vagueness, but more importantly it reflects: if you can talk about the terrain, and the base of the car called “crossover” is also available, and if not – sorry. Initially, because the way it was. Well, who would doubt that the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V – is exactly crossovers? In the “real” SUVs do not pull, no downshift, but also from ordinary cars are also gone too far.


But then came the mess … First, there were simplified versions of crossovers with two-wheel drive, and secondly, jamb hatchbacks go, the whole “crossover” which was in the presence of the plastic protection. That DFM AX3 – from the same opera. Whether four-wheel drive vehicle – I certainly would define his younger brothers in versatile terrain, such as the Subaru Outback, Volvo XC70 CrossCountry and Audi A4 Allroad. But there is in fact his, all-wheel drive. And what is?

Clearance, mm

For example, if there is enough to have a ground clearance of 170 mm, to name a crossover vehicle? Then my first own car, VAZ-2102, will have to “crossover” to call, it is exactly the same clearance was, and the “eight” to “nine” … As for the plastic lining, they, of course, reduce the likelihood of negative consequences meeting with our travel realities, but for continuity as such is not affected.

However, the DFM is not the first to “devalue” the concept of crossover, as the Peugeot 3008 has sold only with front-wheel drive. Why, in the US and Europe for a number of crossovers monoprivodnom models overtaken by four-wheel drive sales. And if you dig into the history, we will find a funny French car as Matra Rancho, who as passenger car, SUV pretended “long before it became mainstream.” Years that way in the 70s. But enough philosophize.

Vehicle Ok, made a good impression, and the consumer does not pay for off-road ability, but rather for the image. So we’ll start my review with the exterior.

Young lion with dragon eyes

I immediately thought that the appearance of DFM AX3 has something French … Anyway, I could easily imagine this car with heraldic lion or two chevrons on the radiator grille. And that, in fact, in this surprising? Dongfeng and PSA – a long-standing partners, have a joint venture, is now working to develop a common platform on which will be created and the French, and Chinese cars.

Dongfeng AX3
Brief specifications
Dimensions in mm (LxWxH):
4518 x 1740 x 1562
Gasoline DFM A16, L4, 1,6 liters, 115 liters. p., 153 Nm
automatic four-Aisin II
Drive unit:
0-100 km / h, with unknown
Maximum speed km / h:

In general, I liked and tightly knit, harmonious body with a slightly falling back roofline and side walls without any “architectural excesses”, and glass plates on the rear rack, giving the rear window view of the panorama, and modern lighting fixtures with rings of LED daytime running lights. Somewhere I had seen a similar solution … Well, precisely, on the Peugeot 308 station wagon of the first generation! But this is not an exact replica, namely that the development of the general idea.

And it seemed to me that the arch can accommodate a larger wheel. Or the suspension of such a large compression stroke? However, this is a matter for the future. Respond to it will only be after a full test …

In short – it is a normal car, looking not only energetic, but also solidly in the first place – because of the massive chrome trims on the radiator grille and on the tailgate.

Yes, it’s not “Pyzhik”

Curb weight, kg

But universals do not buy because of the solidity (although, in my view, it is often generalists look more stylish and harmonious than sedans and hatchbacks in the framework of a model platform). They buy because of practicality: a large volume of cargo compartment and ability to transform the passenger compartment. Naturally, it is assumed that the driver’s workplace equipment passenger comfort and will at the same level that the cars of the same model group with other types of vehicle.

So let’s see what’s inside … Yes, this is not the 308th “Pyzhik” with its soft plastic in a small scar. All plastic – typical Chinese soft onions, slippery, soap and glare. The only soft part – covered with artificial leather boxing-armrest cover. interior designers obviously first think about the budget … But all the details fit perfectly quality, no backlash and no creaks.

The seats – with small gray leather interior, which animates passing in the middle of a strip of colored threads. seat profile I have no complaints did not cause, and rather liked the developed lateral support. Mechanical adjustments, but their range is quite sufficient. The steering wheel is quite pleasant to the touch, though hard, covered with high-quality eco-leather with stitching trim. “Ergonomic” nodules on it have failed – in the hands do not lie.

“Big Dipper” in Moscow

Analog Devices is quite small, but read without any problems. Present and blue light, but very modest and did not cause irritation. And here it is located between the speedometer and tachometer monochrome display in the shade to read normally, and the sun disappears.

Even worse situation with a six-inch touch screen media system, crowning the center console: it is generally desperate glare and the light and shadows. However, I suspect that in both cases the main culprit became glued to the screen protective film: the car something completely new.

But I was surprised to find that set in AX3 Chinese satellite navigation system “Beidou” ( “Beidou” – so called for the Chinese constellation Ursa Major) and regularly works in Moscow. It seemed to me that it must act only in the eastern parts of the country … However, the future owners of the cross-wagon should not fear the prospects of learning Chinese characters: we will certainly do cars with a navigation system, receiving the signals of GLONASS and GPS, and a slot for SD- card on which the card is stored, is located behind a door hinged on the console. There housed USB inputs and AUX.

To the left of the steering wheel, a unit that controls the mirrors and headlight range control, there is a very useful container for small items. About the same I saw on Zotye T600, but here it is normally fixed in the closed position.

transformation Framework

Chinese cars have always flaunted a fairly rich equipment, even the most simple-standard. That’s when I discovered ax3 nor illuminate the mirrors in sunshields, no case for glasses. But there are electric windows on all four doors (although automatic – the driver only) and air conditioning.

But that is highly commendable – is the possibility of transformation of the cabin. Moreover, that in itself is quite solid trunk volume of 550 liters. Folding rear sofa, cargo volume is easily brought to 1.3 cubic meter!

Cargo Volume, L

At the same time designers have come up with highly refined circuit transformation: the rear seat folded forward on the special framework, and lift up the back to form a flat area almost two meters long. And dlinnomery can be transported, and a berth in the way to organize. Moreover, if during the night you want to place inside the cabin some very valuable things, the pillow is easy, just one touch release from the movable frames, and at the head, behind the back of driver’s seat, an additional amount.

Guessing on fluid mechanics

But what will be the car in motion, I can only guess. For ax3 Dongfeng offers two engine options, a 115-strong aspirated 1.6-liter and 1.4-liter turbo power of 140 hp. from. At the same time the automatic transmission (the role of which is the well-developed, very reliable and unpretentious four-stage “Fluid» Aisin) is only available for 1.6-liter engine.

Fuel consumption, l / 100 km

As I see it, the car in such a combination should be dispersed to “hundred” for 12-13 seconds. But who buys a “shed” in order to drive on it? To do this, there are other cars. But peaceful movement from point A to point B, our ax3 with “automatic machine” to ensure it is in a state with a fair and cargo on board. The question remains on the steering and suspension, but it can not be answered without a full test …

But in the end it is not clear one: if Dongfeng AX3 have a Russian court? Of course, in this regard, much depends on the price issue, pardon the tautology. But in general – and why, actually, no? That, in Russia there is little economic peasants of middle age with not too much income, who have to travel frequently on not the best roads and carry the seedlings for the garden, the wallpaper for the repair of apartments, wishing, however, have in the car a certain level of comfort and I do not want to pull the gearshift lever in urban traffic? The main thing – it does not take ax3 like a crossover and not try to force him to do what he is not exactly on the shoulder.


  • Your previous VAZ-2111;
  • On the road, you will often arrange to sleep in the car;
  • You used to ride in a calm and measured manner.

You do not like DONGFENG AX3, IF:

  • You generally do not trust the Chinese auto industry;
  • Prior to your favorite fishing place – five kilometers of forest road;
  • You can not stand in the outer chrome decoration.

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