Hongqi E-HS9 2021 review

China’s equivalent of Rolls-Royce heads into BMW territory with this big electric SUV

An electric Hongqi E-HS9 being driven in Shanghai, China.

 

What is it?
Hongqi has actually commonly been the cars and truck manufacturer for the top echelons of the CCP. Founded in 1958, it’s usually described as the Rolls-Royce of China. But while its L series is still really exclusive, with the L5 limo readily available just to those with the right links, it currently appreciates expanding industrial success with its H collection.

In 2015, the FAW-owned company marketed practically 200,000 vehicles, with most analogous to versions from Germany’s huge 3 and Jaguar. In 2018, FAW worked with former Rolls-Royce man Giles Taylor to oversee Hongqi’s layout instructions. The Brit was accountable for the Cullinan, and definitely there are mirrors of that in the very first design under his stewardship: the E-HS9 electrical SUV. Sales have actually currently commenced in Norway, and also a lot more European countries are most likely to follow.

What’s it such as?
There’s absolutely nothing underrated about this cars and truck, from its 5209mm length as well as 2010mm size to its imposing grille. The lines in general are mostly standard, with absolutely nothing handing out its EV nature. Press the open switch, though, as well as you obtain light theatrics, and also when it’s billing, the chrome strip on the C-pillar acts as an indicator utilizing LED strips.

The inside is visually impressive, yet the worldly top quality does not meet assumptions. The natural leather of the quilted seats is synthetic partially and the extra padding around the centre console cubbyhole doors is as well slim. Just as, the timber veneer on the centre console appears to be fake.Nonetheless, the electrically flexible seats fit and have home heating, cooling as well as massage features. These, together with the air conditioning, are managed through the touchscreen that stretches from the centre console approximately the air vents.

Certainly, displays dominate the dashboard. The vehicle driver obtains an electronic dial screen (using buttons and also scrollers on the steering wheel, you can change the driving setting as well as what data the display screen reveals). In the centre is a very text-heavy infotainment touchscreen (with 3 columns of Chinese text to navigate through, it was extremely hard to make use of). As well as in our examination car, the front guest obtains their very own enjoyment screen.


The top trim degree for Norway gets you six seats, however the Chinese front runner is a four-seater. The second-row seats are similar to those in the front but lack rubbing as well as obtain an armrest. Environment controls as well as device-charging ports are placed on the back of the centre console.

Entering as well as out of the very back isn’t that simple, once you remain in, head space is reasonable and leg room (based on the positioning of the 2nd row) acceptable. Boot area is great, even when the third row is in usage, and there are switches to electrically reduced as well as raise the bench. While the headrests instantly fold on the way down, they do not prolong when increased. Opening pockets in the doors and also ambient lighting, however, reveal great interest to detail.

When driving, you see the E-HS9’s bulk from the sheer acreage of the hood and also the lack of four-wheel guiding when you’re manoeuvring into a tight garage. You would certainly anticipate such heft to truly aid with power recuperation, yet regenerative braking is hardly visible also in its highest setup, so one-pedal driving isn’t feasible.

Velocity is reasonable, provided the cars and truck’s size, and the air suspension provides a smooth flight. Press the throttle pedal, though, and the nose climbs.

Unlike in many Chinese autos, the steering isn’t extremely light as well as there’s an element of precision to it.

Should I get one?
There’s no question that the E-HS9 is a head-turner: it has strong existence. In addition, you get a lot of vehicle for your money (concerning ₤ 74,000). The devil, however, remains in the detail. While it’s extravagant and also in several means quite cosseting, the worldly top quality isn’t fairly well, from the soft-touch plastics to the seats. Some equipment noninclusions are additionally unusual: a head-up display screen is readily available just on the f lagship version, as an example.

As a high-end barge, the E-HS9 just about supplies, however it provides little exhilaration as a chauffeur’s vehicle, in spite of its decent velocity.

Early indications suggest that cars and trucks built for Europe will resolve several of these concerns, and also absolutely Hongqi gets on the right lines with the E-HS9.