By Jameel Ismail


I’ve been looking forward to driving the BAIC (pronounced "bike") Beijing X55 since its launch in South Africa back in November 2022. The company has muscled its way to becoming China’s 5th largest automobile manufacturer in a very short time.


Being crowned the Compact Family category winner of the 2023 South African Car of the Year (COTY) competition and setting a record by being the first Chinese manufacturer to take an award at the prestigious event, certainly made my eagerness to get behind the wheel grow even more. 


Finally, the day came and there she was, the Elite derivative, parked in my driveway proudly displaying its bright metallic yellow paint.