XPeng G6 review: price, specification, drive impressions

Another week and another Chinese brand announces its launch in Australia.

It’s hard to keep up, but it’s worth paying attention to the arrival of the new XPENG G6 this August.

If you don’t believe it, ask Volkswagen. The German giant has already dropped a nice billion to acquire a 5% stake in the Chinese start-up after witnessing the brand’s new technology.

It’s fair to say that the beauty of the pebble-shaped rival Tesla Model Y lies well beneath its surface.

The electric platform is a work of art, at least for automotive engineers.

Claimed to be highly adaptable, it offers cutting-edge EV technology capable of evolving over the life of a model.

On paper the G6 does not seem like a decisive turning point. All models feature an 800-volt electrical system that can be charged at up to 280 kW – well below the 350 kW claimed (dubiously) by Hyundai for the IONIQ 5.

It’s the execution that impresses.

Independent testing has shown that XPENGs are faster to recharge than anything else, except perhaps the latest Porsche Taycan which costs three times as much as the G6.

This means many are already exceeding the 20 minutes of charging required to charge a G6 from 10 to 80 percent.

It’s a similar story for the range. Real-world testing has shown drivers can achieve just 3.5% of the claimed 550km for the fastest 350kW dual-motor AWD performance. That’s impressive, given that most EVs don’t come close to their claimed real-world range.

In Australia we won’t get the faster version until later this year or early 2025. Instead there will be a choice between the RWD Standard range and the RWD Long Range range.

The base model has a single electric motor that drives the rear wheels and musters 190kW and 440Nm of torque. It has a smaller 66kW battery that allows it to travel up to 435km on a charge.

The larger 87.5 kWh battery in the Long Range version produces 570 km of range and provides a little more power (210 kW).

Both provide lively acceleration (6.9 seconds versus 6.7 seconds) but lose the powerful thrust offered by the dual-motor version (4.1 seconds).

Behind the strange oval-shaped steering wheel, the cabin of the XPENG SUV is a pleasant place to spend time. It seems well made with high quality materials.

The 10-inch driver’s display is sharp and the 15-inch infotainment screen is crystal clear, fast and intuitive to use, with processing power well above that of many luxury cars.

Despite building its own software from the ground up, XPENG will allow you to use both wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The standard system, however, is impressive and includes apps like YouTube and Instagram.

The driver and passenger seats fold down to meet the rear bench, creating a bed where you can nap while the car charges.

Unfortunately, the G6 isn’t a game-changer when it comes to driving.

Despite featuring sophisticated front and rear suspension and close to 50:50 weight distribution, the XPENG doesn’t steer or ride like benchmark EVs.

That’s not a problem as refinement levels are high and wind and road noise are low.

When it lands here only two options will be available: premium paint or tow hook to allow it to carry up to 1,500kg.

The long list of standard kit includes a full-length panoramic roof, 20-inch alloy wheels, dual-wireless phone chargers, heated/ventilated vegan leather seats, a premium audio system with 18 speakers, a heat pump, cruise semi-autonomous control. , heated rear seats and a gesture-controlled electric tailgate.

The icing on the cake of the XPENG G6 is its price. In China it is already positioned about 20% cheaper than the Tesla Model Y and should be cheaper here too.

If that’s the case, there are plenty of reasons to overlook Tesla’s excellent charging network and buy one instead of the Model Y.

From our first meeting, it looks and feels like the best car.

AT FIRST SIGHT

XPENG G6

PRICE: From approximately $53,000+ (estimated)

THE ENGINE: One battery electric, 190 kW/440 Nm, 66 kWh

WARRANTY/ASSISTANCE: Seven years/unlimited km

SAFETY: Seven airbags, automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, intelligent high-beam assist, blind spot detection, door open warning, lane-keeping assist, rear collision warning and rear cross-traffic alert

THIRST: 17.5 kWh/100 km

LUGGAGE: 571 litres

RECHARGE: From 10 to 80% in 20 minutes

REPLACEMENT: Repair kit

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