There is an interesting analysis on Chinacarforums: China-produced Western cars tend to come out bigger than their Western siblings. Especially at the higher end. A made-in-China Cadillac STS is 124mm longer than the U.S. sister model. The wheelbase grew by 100mm. A Chinese Audi A6 L has gained 97 mm in length over the Made-in-Ingolstadt relative. A BMW 5-series, made at the Chinese joint venture with Brilliance, has gained a whopping 140 mm in length and wheelbase over the Bavarian model.
This odd trend persists to varying degrees even into the smaller models. Chinese Honda Civic: 12mm longer and 15 mm higher than the Made-in Japan type. The Chinese Corolla must have been fed growth hormones: 130 mm longer and 64 mm wider. The only incredibly shrinking car is the Suzuki SX4: 46mm less in length, 25mm less in girth, and 50 mm less in height than the Japanese variety.
One explanation for the growth tendency: In China, a driver is common and cheap to hire. His monthly salaries are less than an U.S. insurance premium. Chinese tastes in cars are not unlike the Americans’: They want their cars big. Why Suzuki went to the pain of making the already small SX4 even smaller for China is anybody’s guess. Maybe the water was too hot in the car wash.
Bonus tip: The site has a (for a Chinese site) amazingly frank analysis of how blatant “homegrown” cars have copied their overseas “inspirations.”. The most outrageous copy according to their analysis: The FAW Redflag HQ3 v.v. the Crown Majesta. The HQ3 received a 90 percent similarity rating. Duh, it’s a badge-job.