A seven-seat crossover from China, the Glory 580 i-Auto has all the luxury and comfort sought by a modern family while falling under the same price bracket as a brand new Japanese compact sedan.
The name Dongfeng Sokon – DFSK in short - might leave you confused or giggling, like one of our young photographers.
Though it is a newcomer in Bangladesh's automotive market, Dongfeng (roughly means "East Wind" in English) Motor Corporation has been around for over half a century and is one of the "Big Four" Chinese automakers.
The company manufactures military vehicles along with civilian trucks, buses, cars, and has joint production ventures with Honda, Nissan, PSA, Renault, Kia, and a few other brands. One such company is Sokon Group - another Chinese company that has been in a 50:50 joint venture with Dongfeng since 2003.
In short, Dongfeng is one of the biggest names in the Chinese automotive industry with a parts catalogue that has access to some of the well known Japanese, Korean, and French car brands; something that they took full advantage of while making the Glory 580 i-Auto.
How does it look?
Like a stealth fighter at work.
No, I do not mean the car looks like a ripoff of the Urus; you will have to check out another Chinese carmaker for that.
The design is perfectly capable of blending into traffic.
The Glory 580 i-Auto's most distinctive feature is its large "starlight" pattern front grille which singles out the car's Shino origin. The rest of the car's lines are inoffensive, understated, and vaguely resemble designs of other marques.
This understated design makes it perfect for those families who do not get into the "tug-of-war" of brands we enthusiasts are all too guilty of.
Exterior-wise, the car has 200MM ground clearance, all-around LED, and a five-star NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) crash safety rating.
The build quality is a little iffy with the creaky plastic door handles but as it comes with a five years/100,000KM warranty, it should not be a headache for quite some time.
What is the inside like?
Despite its surprisingly affordable price tag, the Glory is loaded with top-end features.
A giant panoramic sunroof covers the entire roof of the car, giving its occupants ample ventilation. The front seats are powered, while the middle row gets manually adjustable 70/30 split.
The entire upholstery is done in polyester leather, except for the steering wheel, which got the real deal.
The faux wood lining the dashboard looks pleasant while most of the touchy-feely bits are covered in soft-touch material.
The nine-inch touch screen infotainment system has both Android Auto and Apple carplay as well as an AI voice assistant. The six-speaker sound system is neat, provided you are not running compressed - read youtube - music through it.
The exterior creeky quality issues are also present inside of the car but the outside sound deadening is quite good.
In terms of cargo space, both the rear and middle row folds down, while the automated tailgate can be opened with a swipe of a leg under the car, provided it is running.
Behind the wheel
The engineers designing the 580 set out to build a family car and that goal translates well into the driving experience.
The Fiat-derived 1.5-litre turbocharged engine's acceleration is gradual and relaxed, even when you are flooring the gas pedal.
The brake pedal doubles as a footrest, thanks to its two inches of dead zone, although the Bosh brakes do slow down the car gracefully when you do push them down all the way.
The car's suspension is tuned for city travel, being surprisingly stiff for a crossover.
Designers also thought about the urban parking situation, as the car is fitted with a 360-degree surround-view camera system.
Security is also given high priority, as the car is equipped with an immobiliser, a built-in alarm system, and even a dashcam.
The Glory 580 i-Auto is built from the ground to serve one role, be an urban cruiser.
The car has ample room, modern tech, and luxury features one would expect in cars three times of its price tag.
If you are in the market for a brand new three-row crossover on a tight budget and do not have any issue with Chinese cars, this might very well be on your shortlist.
Engine Type: 1,498CC SFG15T Turbocharged 4-Cylinder (150PS, 220Nm)
Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), FWD.
Safety: 4 airbags, ABS, EBD, EBA, TPMS, Automatic Wipers, Built-in Dashboard Camera
Features: 9-inch Touch Screen Infotainment System With Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple carplay, Powered Front Seats, Panoramic Sunroof, Powered Tailgate, 6 Speakers, Smart Entry, Push Start, Steering Mounted Audio Controls
Price: Tk 3,150,000
For details, contact MA Enterprise.