Despite January being off-season for plug-ins in China and a time where the market made a sharp downturn, local automakers just keep on pumping new models, last month it was SAIC, with its Roewe eRX5.
SAIC Roewe eRX5 - This rather striking SUV, kind of VW Tiguan-meets-Audi Q5, landed last month with its first 131 deliveries, a rather un-extraordinary debut for a plug-in SUV but, truth be told, January is always a slow month and the only New Energy (NEV) SUV to succeed in China so far is the BYD Tang, that sits higher in the market.
Anyway, focusing on its strengths, the eRX5 features an Alibaba-developed software “YunOS for Car” and is marketed as “the world’s first mass-produced internet car.”
It also helps to have a good value for money interior, with a Tesla-like screen in the center console, a must have nowadays in China, so plus points for design and user technology.
On the electric front, this 1.5T (170hp) plug-in hybrid has a good 60 kms electric range, being also the lowest gas consumption PHEV SUV sold in China, with 1,6 liters/100 kms. Despite this, it is no slouch, with 0-100 kms/h being done in 7,8 seconds.
Finally, its price. Starting at 265.900 Yuan (USD 38.700), before subsidies, it sits somewhere in the middle between the all-mighty BYD Tang (300.000 Yuan) and the more pedestrians BAIC EX200 (207.000 Yuan) and the like.
Will this be enough to make it the best selling SAIC model?
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