Autocropley reported today that the storied former Bremen brand Borgward bets on bringing its barges to Britain.
Autocropley styles them as “affordable premium” which has the ring of the oxymoronic about them. The marque is already available in mainland Europe, selling the BX5 and BX7. Alas, Autocropley did not go into much detail about the prices, just saying they would cost less than similarly sized cars from Audi. Borgward’s own website is schtum on the matter.
So, what are these cars like? The company say the “Borgward BX5 brings a breath of fresh air to the more compact SUV segment with its youthful design and embodies classic SUV qualities, such as versatility, spaciousness, comfort and off-road capability at the same time.” And they say it is “young, energetic and smart.” The BX5 is a shade under 4.5 m long and weighs around 1600 kg. The wheelbase measures 2685 mm. A 1.6 litre four-cylinder engine propels the vehicle and it has a 60 litre fuel tank (holding petrol, I presume).
The BX7 “… belongs to the large mid-size SUV market, which is popular all around the world, and impresses with its confident appearance and innovative technology.” That means another 20 cm on the length and another hundred kilos of weight. The wheelbase is 2760 mm and the English website is mysteriously silent on the fuel tank capacity. What are they hiding?
The German text is honest and upfront about the 60 litre tank. The engine is a “four-cylinder light metal inline motor, high-pressure direct injection with piezo injectors, turbocharger with intercooler, variable valve control, EGR”: about 2 litres.
They offer only hide seating, I note but one is in alluring caramel with quilted stitching. The TS model has available grey cloth and comes in… white, grey and another dark grey, which they call “expressive”. That vehicle has a diesel motor.
I’ve spent about 40 minutes to get this far and I have not found any USPs to focus on. I found two vehicles and three engines. What I notice is a coyness about prices. Autozeitung says the BX7 TS wil cost from 44,200 euros, so the other cars are going to cost less. If I was going to enter a new market with an unknown product I’d be quite clear what the price was going to be, so as to get the customer reading further.
The other images and details describe a nice-looking but not extraordinary vehicle about to shoulder its way into a crowded, boiling segment. I saw a DS5 Crossback yesterday and it looked as nice as one of these types of vehicles can look and also looked quite undistinguished. I am not sure Borgward is going about this in the right way when it looks about the same sort of prospect as the anonymous DS.
I’d have expected something more comprehensively thought through, beginning with a consistent web-site informing me in the easiest way possible why I’d pay money for something that is not detectably different from a lot of other known quantities who declare their pricing at the stroke of key.