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 the arrival of the new XPENG G6 in August this year is notable.

If you don’t believe us, ask Volkswagen. The German group has already spent a whopping billion to secure a 5 percent stake in the Chinese start-up after discovering the brand’s new technology.

It’s safe to say that the beauty of Tesla Model Y’s pebble-shaped competitor lies deep beneath the surface.

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

It is considered highly adaptable and offers cutting-edge EV technology that can evolve over the life of a model.

On paper, the G6 doesn’t sound like a breakthrough. All models are equipped with an 800-volt electrical system that can be charged at up to 280 kW – significantly less than the 350 kW that Hyundai (dubiously) claims for the IONIQ 5.

It is the execution that impresses.

Independent tests have shown that XPENGs charge faster than almost any other battery, with the possible exception of the latest Porsche Taycan, which costs three times as much as the G6.

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

The same goes for range. Real-world testing has shown that drivers missed the fastest 350kW dual-motor all-wheel drive’s claimed 550km by just 3.5 percent. That’s impressive, because most electric vehicles don’t even come close to achieving the claimed range in practice.

In Australia, we won’t get the fastest version until late this year or early 2025. Instead, there will be a choice between the RWD standard range and the RWD long range.

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

The larger 87.5 kWh battery in the Long Range version enables a range of 570 km and delivers slightly more power (210 kW).

Both deliver brisk acceleration (6.9 seconds versus 6.7 seconds), but lack the powerful thrust offered by the twin-engine version (4.1 seconds).

It is pleasant to spend time behind the unusually oval steering wheel in the cabin of the XPENG SUV. The workmanship of the materials is of high quality.

The 10-inch driver display is sharp and the 15-inch infotainment screen is crystal clear, fast and intuitive to use, and has processing power that far exceeds that of many luxury cars.

Although XPENG developed the software from scratch, it allows you to use both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wirelessly.

However, the standard system is impressive and features apps like YouTube and Instagram.

The driver and passenger seats fold flat against the back seat, creating a bed where you can take a nap while the car charges.

Unfortunately, the G6 does not represent a breakthrough when it comes to driving.

Despite a sophisticated front and rear suspension and a weight distribution of almost 50:50, the XPENG is neither as easy to steer nor drive as the reference electric cars.

However, this is not a problem as the level of refinement is high and wind and road noise is low.

When it arrives here, only two options will be available – premium paint or a tow bar that will allow it to tow up to 1500kg.

The long list of standard features includes a full-length panoramic roof, 20-inch alloy wheels, two wireless phone chargers, heated/ventilated vegan leather seats, an 18-speaker premium sound system, a heat pump, semi-autonomous cruise control, heated rear seats and a power-adjustable gesture-controlled tailgate.

The icing on the cake of the XPENG G6 is its price. In China, it is already around 20 percent cheaper than the Tesla Model Y and is likely to become more affordable here too.

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

From our first impressions, it looks and feels like the better car.

AT A GLANCE

XPENGG6

PRICE: From approx. 53,000 USD+ (estimated)

ENGINE: An electric battery with 190 kW/440 Nm and 66 kWh

WARRANTY/MAINTENANCE: Seven years/unlimited km

SECURITY: Seven airbags, automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, intelligent high beam assistant, blind spot detection, door opening warning, lane departure warning, rear collision warning and rear cross traffic warning

THIRST: 17.5 kWh/100 km

BAGGAGE: 571 liters

LOAD: 10 to 80 percent in 20 minutes

SPARE PART: Repair kit

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