In 2010, the Euro NCAP safety ratings were updated for the cars that are being sold in Europe. The Citroen C8 managed to get top marks with a five star rating, but there was one seven-seater that, unfortunately, should be avoided thanks to the safety ratings concluding that the Landwind CV9 would only receive two stars.
The NCAP tests have had an overhaul, for the safety of Europeans, and the tests are now more stringent and more difficult to pass. It's not just the Landwind CV9 that struggled, but 65% of other cars that had hit five stars in the past now have been downgraded to four stars.
Is it Really That Bad?
The Landwind CV9 is not necessarily a bad car nor should it be completely forgotten about, as it offers one of the cheapest ways to carry seven people around in relative comfort, it's one to remember for the future. Being built in China, the company is trying to penetrate the European market but needs a few tweaks here and there. Too many people write off Chinese-made machinery or goods, but in reality a huge proportion of items we use every day are made there, just check the 'made in...' sticker on the back of your next purchase!
Safest Seven Seaters Are ...
The top seven-seaters in the safety records were the Volkswagen Sharon and SEAT Alhambra in the large class, and the Toyota Verso in the hybrid estate/seven-seater class. Where the Landwind falls down is in crash protection for the front passengers and the lack of an electronic stability program (ESP), which is now mandatory for the NCAP tests. It wasn't just the cars from overseas either that failed miserably, the Citroen Nemo just scraped three stars and no doubt the French company will be back to the drawing board in order to not muddy its reputation.
Does the Landwind CV9 Have Potential?
If we put the safety ratings to the side for now, the Landwind CV9 does have potential. The interior is very Asian, which means bright dashboard, simply laid out and easy to reach controls. It may not exude the character and emotion of a Fiat or a Peugeot, but it certainly doesn't embarrass itself. The exterior is fairly bland, but one factor which will sway buyers – once its gains a few more NCAP stars – is the price. Starting at just under £10,000 for a seven-seater that is loaded with air conditioning, height-adjustable seats, ISOfix connections, USB port for the stereo, remote central locking, power mirrors and windows, climate control and an airy cabin, it's not the worst car on the market.
There are two engines to choose from, a 1.6-litre or a 2.0-litre petrol engine, which are average performers in both terms of performance and economy. Expect around 35-40mpg and a 0-60mph time of around 11 seconds. The CO2 emitted is around 169g/km, which could be better compared to the ultra-efficient German cars out there, but it's not too bad.
It may not be for now, but the Landwind CV9 will be a name to watch in the future, especially as the CV5 – an Aygo competitor – is also being brought to the UK with a low price tag of just £6,000.