The battle of the grilles is hotting up with the Forthing Youting MPV (Yacht) latest to launch on April 15th.
A mid-sized MPV aimed at the mainstream market, it is the latest model from Dongfeng’s Guangxi-based subsidiary.
Grilled to perfection?
The front end is dominated by a supersize Lexus-esque bowtie grille. Big mouth MPVs are all the rage in China but it’s questionable how successfully the style is applied here.
Small headlights with vertical running light features give a slightly droopy feel to the nose, akin to that of a fish or sea creature. In fact, the sparing application of chrome, certainly compared to some rivals, may actually work against the Youting here by accentuating the enormity of the grille.
It does, however, provide a visual connection between the front of the car and the rest, running along the bonnetline into the wings and beyond.
Space for up to seven
From the side, we can see that chrome element extends the full length of the Youting’s 4.85-metre long body. Both six and seven seat options will be available within a car’s 2.9-metre long wheelbase.
An otherwise attractive side profile, featuring a ‘floating roof’ design and gentle side sculpting, is only really hampered by a bulbous nose and hefty front overhang but the wheels are well proportioned to the car.
Traditional style doorhandles feature, as so hinged doors which may hamper practicality for families in tight car parks.
The rear three-quarters may be the best angle of this car. A full-width lightbar dominates the rear with boomerang light clusters wrapping around the corners. LED detailing should look quite attractive in use, while twin reversing lights and a single fog lamp sit lower down.
Other details include the Forthing name written out above the lightbar, and aerodynamic outlets behind the rear wheels.
Better looking inside
Inside, the Forthing Youting features an attractive and simple dashboard characterised by circular air vents and light colours. In this trim, the seats are lined in cream and grey with orange piping, giving a modern and bright ambience. Wood trim and quilted door cards combine to create a bright ambience, as does the panoramic sunroof.
A wide display unit consisting of two screens, one of which is a touchsreen, sit atop the dash. Menu options seem clear enough but the screen size is small compared to modern rivals.
Multiple speakers are deployed throughout the cabin with dual units in the doors promising a reasonable sound experience, while levels adjustment and 4G connectivity are also available.
Physical ventilation controls are also present on the gloss granite-effect centre console with the gear selector, cupholders, and storage space.
Liberal use of silver details on the steering wheel and a quilted pattern on the door cards add further bling.
Heated and ventilated seats are an option for front row passengers, while second row seats get electric adjustment and armrests.
The rear bench seat splits 60/40 and folds flat into the floor to create a large storage space, but there’s limited boot space with all seats up.
ICE, ICE Baby
A 1.5-litre turbocharged unit, possibly that used in the EREV version of the Voyah FREE, is the only available engine. Here it produces a maximum output of 197hp with peak torque of 285Nm.
This is twinned with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox to provide reasonable, if not earth-shattering performance. Top speed is electronically-limited to 180kph.
The Forthing Youting also boasts L2-level autonomous driving features which enable some purely hands-on driving assistance on highways, possibly with adaptive cruise control.
Prices have yet to be announced but expect the Dongfeng Youting will likely compete against the likes of the Trumpchi M8 and Honda Odyssey.
The car is based on the Super Cube EMA architecture.
Image credits: XCar