Chinese off-roader looks similar to popular Jeep but is £10,000 less

A Chinese car company has launched in parts of Mainland Europe, selling a more affordable alternative to the Jeep Wrangler.

The ICH-X K2 is one of a number of Chinese models that has been rebadged for the Italian market by DR Automobiles.

Whilst the DR name is used for the company’s more family-focused range of hatchbacks and crossovers, the recently launched ICH-X sub-brand is reserved for rugged lifestyle vehicles.

The first model in the ICH-X range, the K2 is a slightly restyled version of the BAIC BJ40 Plus, a fairly compact off-roader that has been built in Beijing since 2014.

Whilst there are no plans current plans to sell the model in the UK, in Italy it represents good value for money. The K2 starts at €54,500 (£46,500), making it £10,000 less than a basic Land Rover Defender 90, and nearly £16,000 cheaper than an entry-level Jeep Wrangler.

Despite being a unique model, built from the ground up by BAIC, the K2’s styling is quite similar to that of the Jeep Wrangler, helped by the flat body panels.

Small features, such as the exposed door hinges and a removable hardtop, help to give the car a more rustic feel, and help to make swapping a panel straightforward enough for impromptu repairs off the beaten track.

Nevertheless, the ICH-X K2 does have quite a few styling features of its own that help to give it a more modern look, including LED daytime running lights on the bumper and a sporty air-vent on the bonnet.

Only available with a 2.0-litre diesel engine, the ICH-X K2 is hardly the most environmentally friendly choice for an off-roader, however can still produce 162bhp.

As a result, the K2 is capable of fording up to 50cm of water and can climb slopes with an angle of up to 37 percent.

As a result, the Chinese off-roader is slightly less capable than a diesel-powered Land Rover Defender 90, which can ford through 85cm of water and take on slightly steeper inclines of 38 percent.

With only one trim level on offer, all ICH-X K2s come with an impressive level of standard equipment, including a security alarm, dual-zone climate control, a reversing camera and leather seats.

In Italy, the model also features a five-year or 62,000-mile warranty, nearly double the amount that Jeep offers customers in the UK.

Nevertheless, the K2 has been criticised by some Italian motoring experts for a lack of safety equipment. Despite coming with some driver assistance functions, such as automatic emergency braking (AEB), there are only two airbags, three times less than a modern Defender.

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