Category: Review

New ES6 review by Telescope: NIO’s complete package

Overall, the ES6 is a very accomplished car. I cannot even pick an obvious problem apart from that lack of storage on the back of the front seat.

This is a guest post by Haoran Zhou, previously a member of 's PR team in China. The review was originally published as a video on the YouTube channel Telescope望远镜.

Hello and welcome to the Telescope. Every week we bring you fresh insight from the biggest car market in the world today.

We're on the launch of the NIO ES6. With over 127k units sold, the ES6 was, is, and by the looks of today, always will be NIO's biggest seller.

I know I said that with the ET5, but some people are not happy with some of the compromises NIO made on the ET5. Because of the battery swap system, for example, the seat height. They think the ride is a bit too harsh. They don't like there's not enough room in the back.

None of those problems exist on the ES6. This finally is the complete package.

The color we have here today is the stratospheric blue. This is the only standard color that's not black, white, and gray. So, this is going to be a very popular color.

We are on the optional twenty-inch wheels. I think this is only €600 extra. And this is on the low rolling resistance Goodyear tire.

In a moment you will see some of the performance footage we did on the airfield. This low rolling resistance tire when you are deliberately trying to extract performance figures out of it there is a difference between this and the Pirelli. But most of the time, I recommend people just buy this.

Several features on the exterior. First is this much bigger air curtain to send some airflow to seal off all of the turbulence and the wake of the front wheels. The second feature is only noticeable at certain angles, but once you notice that you cannot unseen it. This fully flush side window. The B-pillar, C-pillar and D-pillar no longer sticks out. It is fully flush with the side window.

This feature is pioneered by the Porsche Panamera. It's also present on the latest Range Rover. This is a design feature but it also has an aerodynamic benefit. Because once you hide all of these pillars away, the airflow from A-Pillar onwards will stay attached all the way to the rear of the car. That cuts drag.

All of these contribute to the 0.25 drag coefficient for this relatively boxy SUV. This is not a coupe SUV. You will find a coupe SUV that has a lower drag coefficient than this. But you will not find another traditional upright SUV that is as slippery as this.

The ES6 of course has all the cameras and a lidar that is standard on all of the NT 2.0 platform NIO models. This will have all the capabilities we showed you earlier in the ET7 NOP+ video. This of course being a NIO can battery swap.

We did a quick swap on the way here. So this car as big and as wide and as heavy as it is, is actually the most potent long-distance electric SUV on the market today. It's irrelevant about its range. It's so strong on long-distance driving purely because of that battery swap.

The new ES6 is about fifty millimeters lower in height compared to the previous generation, which is actually quite significant. You really see it on the rear of the car. They put more shape into this rear body.

This crease here is actually an aerodynamic feature called "the departure curve" being integrated as a design element. This basically sends the airflow away from the car. This deliberately separates the airflow from following the body all the way around, creating more drag.

This boot is competitive in its class in terms of capacity. This is about 580 liters. So it's right in between the coupe version of the Porsche Cayenne and the regular Porsche Cayenne. You also have over 100 liters of underfloor storage. So practicality wise this is competitive in its class.

I know we already did a static review of the ES6. But at that time that was before the press conference. We were not allowed to sit in the only ES6 available at the time. Now sitting in the car one thing i can tell this windscreen is much smaller in terms of opening area than the previous generation ES6.

I think this is where the lowered fifty-millimeter height comes in. To give an example the previous ES6 feels like it has a windscreen that is as big as a Range Rover Sport. This is more of a BMW X3 size windscreen. You probably don't know what I'm talking about. But

If you have sat in the previous generation ES6, now sitting here, this is the biggest difference in terms of overall visibility that you can tell. The rest of the cabin is 95 percent NIO ES7, which means I think is too good for the intended role of the ES6. The only area you can tell that this car is trying to cut some cost is the lower half of the door. It's using the same recycled plastic fiber seen on the ET5.

In the rear cabin, it's surprisingly spacious. The wheelbase has grown by 15mm. The headroom is actually better than the previous ES6 because they drop the floor by as much as, I think, 9-10cm. That is a huge amount in terms of packaging.

They expanded the panoramic glass, so you get a little bit more room by having the glass extended all the way to the top of your head.

Another important area is the seats. Because the slimmer the seat, especially the seatback, the more room you're going to get for the rear passenger. This seat looks significantly slimmer than the previous generation ES6. That has very bulky, sporty-looking seats. Looks cool but it takes up a lot of space.

This is an in-house developed seat system and it does look much slimmer. But one area I still don't understand is why there is still no storage space on the back of the front seats. I mean this may eat away 2cm of knee room. You have more than two centimeters of knee room available. I'm five foot eleven. This is easily doable if you want to add a storage compartment.

We are on an airstrip to demonstrate the performance, but I don't think there's going to be any doubt about this. All NIO models up until this point have an excessive amount of performance. This is no exception. 490ps, 4.5s to a hundred kph claimed. We're going to show you how does that feel like.

This is on the low-rolling-resistance tire. If we are on the Pirelli P-Zero, this should be even better, especially the braking.

The next part is where I was surprised. I actually drove this car briefly about two weeks ago on a damp track. On the solemn 21m apart, the standard setup, ES6 can regularly maintain close to 60 kph. I have recently driven the best-handling petrol-powered SUV on an F1 track.

That car can also only maintain close to 60 kph. So this car's solemn performance is unusually good. I need to sample more high-performance electric SUVs to see if this is an attribute specific to the ES6 or if it's just that all-electric SUVs are very good at this slalom test.

Now we are out of the airstrip and into the real world. This is a closed-off, very nice piece of mountain road that it is reserved for the ES6 test drive. I am happy to report that this is probably the NIO that most people wanted.

I still prefer the ET5 because it is firmer and sportier. This generation of ES6 is head and shoulders above the previous generation ES6. I criticized the dynamics of the first-generation NIO SUVs in the original ES8 review. I thought it was too comfort biased. The whole car is very floaty. This car is not floaty at all.

NIO achieved all of that improvement while making the spring rate on the suspension softer. Overall, you feel this car is a lot more stable. And it grips the road much better than the previous generation ES6 with none of the wobbly sensations.

Another highlight is the ESP system on this car. You probably saw earlier in a slalom test that it's achieving very good average speed. On a closed-off airstrip and also on these mountain roads, we've tested back-to-back to BMW X3.

It's surprising that, to me anyway, the X3 feels like the more conservative setup on the ESP system. I never thought that day would come for NIO to give the drivers more liberty on the body control of the car.

Another aspect that you know this generation has made a huge leap forward is just that sense of size this car feels on the road. This feels like a much smaller car because the body is and especially the rear and follows the direction so much better.

The previous generation ES6 on the road feels as big as the ES8 while being significantly shorter. This feels like a much smaller car although actually on the size they are virtually the same.

All the time I've been speaking to you on camera, I'm actually in the sport mode which is not a mode that I will use on a previous ES6. All NIO cars previously, they all have a lot of performance. But you never felt like they're set up for enthusiastic driving.

I think this car is set up for the sport mode. Even the sport plus mode is much more usable. For the previous generation cars, not just the ES6, the ES8, and EC6 in general, I will only use the sport plus mode when I was trying to demonstrate performance to new customers or new journalists.

This is actually in daily driving, even the sport plus mode is much more usable. That's just another area you know this car is so much more developed than the previous generation.

Overall, the ES6 is a very accomplished car. I cannot even pick an obvious problem apart from that lack of storage on the back of the front seat.

It's big enough. It's very well made. It's very luxurious inside. It can battery swap. It has very strong autonomous driving hardware. Currently, on software this is behind the Avatar we reviewed a week ago and on the urban assisted driving functions. But NIO will have that function ready before the end of this year.

But currently, the biggest talking point on the ES6 is not about the car itself, because we know how good the ES6 can be. And it really is as good as we expected. But it's about the price.

If I put my ex-NIO employee hat on, and look at the product lineup as a whole. I can very easily give you a very educated guess on the price of this ES6. Actually, I already did that in the static review of the ES6. I guess it will be priced around 358-368k RMB. By the time you're watching this video, you would have already known whether my guess is correct or not.

Because we are filming on May 16, about nine days before the actual launch. I think if you look at this car close enough, you would come to my conclusion that the ES6 is easily worthy of that price. However, whether the market has the patience to find that out, whether the customers have the patience to find that out, is a separate question that I cannot answer.

That is all from the Telescope today. If you enjoy this video, keep watching, keep subscribing, more videos coming along very soon.

NIO ET5 review by Telescope: Open the floodgates

The post New ES6 review by Telescope: NIO's complete package appeared first on CnEVPost.

For more articles, please visit CnEVPost.

Zeekr 009 review: Is Toyota losing its crown jewel?

With Toyota's reluctance to embrace the EV revolution, Chinese premium EV brands, like Zeekr, are eyeing the luxury MPV space as a chance to charge big money.

This review is done by ChinaDriven, which creates content about Chinese EVs on YouTubeTwitter.

Zeekr, Geely's premium EV brand, has introduced a luxurious MPV called the Zeekr 009. But why would a Chinese premium EV brand make an expensive people mover?

MPVs in the West have largely died out from their hay day in the 90s. Nowadays referred to as ”Soccer Mum Vans,” they don't have the swankiest of images. In China, there is a smattering of low-end MPVs for sale but most of the action in this segment happens at the top-end.

MPVs are mostly statement vehicles, a sign of wealth and success; they're chauffeur-driven rides of the wealthy. My experience living in China for the past decade, the absolute epitome was the imported Toyota Alphard.

With Toyota's reluctance to embrace the EV revolution, Chinese premium EV brands, like Zeekr, are eyeing the luxury MPV space as a chance to charge big money and show off their tech and quality nouse.


The large grille, a mainstay of the luxury MPV space, is perhaps a necessary evil. Behind it 154 programmable dot-matrix LEDs dubbed “The Spring of Light.” Distinct square LED daylight running lights, a break from the EV norm of LED Light bars.

It's a big square front end, with deliberate and unapologetic styling. It's a brutal-looking thing. But there's something quite cool about that, especially in all-black.

The side profile is long, square, and functional. Darkened pillars give the roof the illusion of floating, with some choice of chrome accents down the side, including the door handles.

Thankfully the door handles are normal door handles; Unlike so many EVs that try to create new intricate ways of opening a door, confusing every passenger you have.

The whole rear is cleaved in half by its chrome belt line. A huge rear windscreen gives gobs of rearward visibility. Something you'll need in this 5.2-meter long MPV. The rear end carries over the styling cues from the Zeekr 001 with its fin design in its rear LED light bar. The rear-end styling isn't as abrasive as the front-end and offers a clean look.


The interior of the Zeekr 009 boasts premium materials that solidify its status as a top-notch vehicle. From the abundance of Nappa leather, micro suede, and metal touch points, to the borrowed styling cues from the Zeekr 001, such as the steering wheel and gear selector, this vehicle exudes class.

The ambient lighting, which primarily resides in the rear, is a deliberate styling choice rather than an ambitious soft under-glow.

All seats are comfortable, with multiple options for heat, ventilation, massage, and adjustment. However, it's the second row that truly shines. As a luxury MPV, the second-row seats are essential, and the Zeekr 009 delivers plenty of room and adjustment options.

In fact, the layout of the three rows is incredibly well thought out, with even the third row providing ample space while still allowing for a trunk space of 37 liters with the seats up and a cavernous 2979 liters with the third row down.

Entertainment in the rear is delivered through a roof-mounted 15.6 LCD screen controlled by a remote. While it may seem archaic, it makes sense given the amount of legroom in the second row.

The first and second-row seats also boast headrest speakers, bringing the total speaker count up to 20 for the super-powerful Yamaha system.

The second row is truly the place to be with its HDMI connection for screen mirroring, roof-mounted camera for conference calling, pull-out solid metal tables, and built-in 60W fast charging for each seat.

Overall, the Zeekr 009's interior is classy, comfortable, and functional, with a particular focus on the second row to deliver a luxury MPV experience

Battery, Range, Charging

The Zeekr 009 is available in two trims: the WE Edition and ME Edition.

WE Edition

  • Priced around $72,500
  • Equipped with a 116-kWh NCM battery pack
  • Claimed range of 702 km

ME Edition

  • Priced around $82,500
  • Equipped with a 140-kWH CATL Qilin battery pack
  • Claimed range of 822 km

The Zeekr 009 is positioned as a premium vehicle, but its pricing is surprisingly reasonable compared to the Toyota Alphard in China, which commands a price of between $121,000-134,000.

One of the major selling points of the Zeekr 009 is that it is the world's first vehicle to be equipped with CATL's Qilin battery, which offers a 13% increase in power compared to a pack of the same size filled with 's 4680 cells. CATL Qilin is an advancement in the cell to pack packaging rather than cell chemistry. But it offers impressive gains.

DC fast charging is of course available and quoted at 10-80% in 28mins.


Upfront the driver is greeted with a 10.2-inch digital instrument panel and a 15.4-inch central LCD touchscreen which together with the rear screen is powered by a Snapdragon 8155 CPU.

The central infotainment screen is snappy and well laid out. However, there is no English UI, but you can't blame Zeekr for that, especially when it's highly unlikely the 009 will be released in Europe.

There's a 5G connection, plenty of USB-C connections, and a wireless phone charger. All pretty standard tech on premium and even mid-level EVs in China nowadays. I do wish there was a HUD, but it's not a dealbreaker. A voice assistant is also included, but again in China, this is a somewhat standard affair.

In the second row, you'll find Zeekr's smart bar, a 3.4-inch circular LCD panel on the door that controls the third zone A/C, as well as capacitive touch buttons for the rear windows and panoramic roof shade.


Zeekr's Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) is powered by the Mobileye Supervision full-stack ADAS solution. While they have promised a more advanced ADAS suite called the Zeekr Autonomous Driving (ZAD) that can be added for a one-time fee, it is not yet available. The ZAD promises to provide exceptional ADAS capabilities for complex driving scenarios.

Currently, the Zeekr 009 comes standard with a level 2 ADAS system that includes Lane Keep Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), as well as Zeekr's Highway Autopilot (ZNP).

The ADAS sensor array includes seven 8MP cameras, twelve ultrasonic radars, one milliwave radar, and four 2MP cameras for the 360-degree camera system.

The Mobileye Supervision solution is vision-based, which means that the Zeekr 009 does not have LiDAR. All the data collected by the sensors is processed by dual Mobileye EQ5H chips that deliver 48 TOPs.

Driving & Performance

For an MPV, the Zeekr 009 has a ridiculously powerful dual-motor drivetrain. Delivering 400kW (544hp) of power and 686Nm (506ft-lbs) of torque to the pavement; it smashes 0-100kph in 4.5s.

While it's unclear why an MPV needs this level of power, it certainly adds some fun to the driving. The Zeekr 009 can come to a stop from 100kph in 36.9m, which is impressive, but the sheer mass of the vehicle is felt during heavy braking.

Driving dynamics are nothing to write home about, as expected, but it delivers a comfortable ride thanks to its air suspension and CDC. While this sort of vehicle is not ideal for high-speed cornering, the tires do a commendable job, but no matter what physics cannot be overcome. This is very much a comfortable point-and-squirt kind of speed. Slow in, fast out.

Ultimately, the Zeekr 009 is designed to deliver comfort to the person in the back, most likely the "Big Boss." The rear seats are feature-packed, relaxing, and remarkably comfortable, making them perfect for long chauffeured journeys.


Would I buy a Zeekr 009? I'm not wealthy or important enough to warrant a luxury chauffeured ride, but if I were, I'd take the Zeekr 009 over the Toyota Alphard any day of the week.

However, the decision isn't as simple as that. In my city, the Alphard still reigns supreme as the go-to MPV that screams "I've made it." Even though the Zeekr 009 is a superior product with a lower price point, those with seemingly endless pools of money aren't price sensitive.

But in larger cities where getting a license plate for an internal combustion engine is expensive and difficult, the Zeekr 009 may be a popular seller.

In my city, I think I'd still be a maverick for choosing it over the Toyota Alphard. But I'd be right, they'd be wrong. And I'd have $40,000-50,000 in my back pocket, a better vehicle and a big smug smile on my face.

The post Zeekr 009 review: Is Toyota losing its crown jewel? appeared first on CnEVPost.

For more articles, please visit CnEVPost.