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DR CityCross - money n' style
Let's kick off with a bit of DR Motor's background and history. Contrary to what many may believe, the company didn't come from the dark side of the Moon, but is a brand selling Chery's (yes, the Chinese carmaker's) products in Italy. The line-up currently consists of DR1 and DR2 superminis and DR5 compact SUV, which, incidentally, looks awfully similar to the old Toyota RAV4 (at least from certain angles, particularly from the side). Components are imported from China and assembled in Italy, enhanced with bits and pieces of Mediterranean style and flavour. Does it sell? Apparently, since the company is introducing a new model and the dealer-service network already comprises approx. 70 facilities across the Apennine Peninsula.
But let's get back to our protagonist, the CityCross. It stylistically evokes the Fiat Grande Punto here and there and its general proportions are a bit quirky, but who would care in a sub-10 thousand euro car? Only one engine is offered – a 1,3-litre, 83-PS four-pot, which should be enough to move the 3,86 m long and nearly 1,6 m tall hatchback, but won't make it hot – but you can have it converted to run on either CNG or LPG, whichever you prefer. If you live in Italy, that is. Torque generated by the motor is rather modest at its 114 Nm, but combined with peak power it accelerates the CityCross from 0 to 100 km/h within 12,5 s, which is acceptable, and stops accelerating it at 156 km/h.
The trunk holds 370 l of luggage with back seats up and as much as 1200 l when they're folded down. We expect CNG/LPG tanks to be located somewhere beneath the trunk floor, but DR Motor have their secrets and don't reveal such information as tank location or capacity. Fuel economy is also confidential, but judging by the official figures of the smaller DR2 model we presume the crossover should make do with approx. 8 l/100 km in the city and 5,5 l/100 km in highway driving (we're talking petrol here). Add 1 l/100 km when you switch to autogas and there you go – you get an economical, fashionably-looking car available for 9980 euros (CNG/LPG system not included). True, a Chinese-Italian exotic of unknown quality and reliability might not be the car of dreams, but then remember its price equals to 6-8 monthly pays, which makes it a real bargain for a brand new car. If that doesn't sound affordable to you, we don't know what will.
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