hongqi e hs9 review

Hongqi E-HS9 Review

In recent years, China has emerged as a major player in the luxury car and electric vehicle (EV) market. Among the nation’s most premium brands is Hongqi, often referred to as the “Rolls-Royce of China.” Last year, the brand unveiled its electric E-HS9 SUV, which has garnered attention for its impressive range and luxurious features. In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the details of the Hongqi E-HS9 and explore its performance, design, and overall driving experience.

Image credit: hongqi-auto

Performance and Range of the E-HS9

The Hongqi E-HS9 is available in two powertrain configurations, both equipped with dual electric motor setups. The base model offers 430 horsepower and 444 lb-ft of torque, while the flagship model boasts an impressive 543 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque. Both variants feature a large battery pack, with the base model housing an 84 kWh battery and the flagship model equipped with a larger 99 kWh battery.

Despite its large size and “brick” aerodynamics, with a drag coefficient of about 0.345, the Hongqi E-HS9 delivers a commendable range. Range testing conducted by Bjørn Nyland, a popular YouTube reviewer, revealed that the E-HS9 achieved a range on par with other large EVs, such as the BYD Tang, NIO ES8, and Audi e-tron 55. At a speed of 90 km/h (56 mph), the E-HS9 achieved an energy consumption of 218 Wh/km (351 Wh/mile), resulting in a range of 402 km (250 miles). At 120 km/h (75 mph), the energy consumption increased to 321 Wh/km (516 Wh/mile), with the range decreasing to 269 km (167 miles).

The E-HS9’s range is particularly noteworthy when compared to the Audi e-tron, a smaller, lighter, and more aerodynamic vehicle. This raises interesting questions about the energy efficiency of the Audi e-tron and highlights the E-HS9’s impressive performance in this regard.

Hongqi E-HS9 Design and Interior

The Hongqi E-HS9 exudes a commanding presence with its imposing grille and large dimensions. Measuring 5209mm in length and 2010mm in width, the E-HS9 is comparable to other luxury SUVs on the market, such as the BMW X7. Its exterior design is largely conventional, with no overt indicators of its electric nature. However, the E-HS9 offers a touch of theatrics, with light displays upon opening the vehicle and a chrome strip on the C-pillar that acts as an indicator using LED strips during charging.

Inside the E-HS9, the interior is visually impressive, although some aspects of the material quality may fall short of expectations. While the quilted seats feature synthetic leather in parts, and the padding around the centre console cubbyhole doors is thin, the electrically adjustable seats offer comfort. They are equipped with heating, cooling, and massage functions. The touchscreen, which stretches from the centre console to the air vents, controls the air conditioning and other features. Screens dominate the dashboard, with the driver benefiting from a digital dial display and a text-heavy infotainment touchscreen. The front passenger is also treated to their entertainment screen.

In terms of seating capacity, this Chinese electric vehicle offers six seats in the top trim level for the Norwegian market, while the Chinese flagship model is a four-seater. The second-row seats resemble those in the front, lacking massaging functions but gaining an armrest. Climate controls and device-charging ports are conveniently mounted on the back of the center console. Rear-seat access may be slightly challenging, but once inside, headroom and legroom are reasonable. The boot space is generous, even with the third row in use, and thoughtful details such as electrically lowering and raising the bench enhance the overall convenience.

Driving Experience

On the road, the Hongqi E-HS9’s size is noticeable, particularly when maneuvering in tight spaces. Regenerative braking, aimed at maximizing energy recovery, is not as pronounced as one might expect, even at its highest setting, making one-pedal driving challenging. However, the E-HS9 offers reasonable acceleration for its size, and the air suspension provides a smooth and comfortable ride. Unlike many Chinese cars, the steering offers a sense of precision and is not overly light.

While the E-HS9 excels as a luxury barge, offering a high level of comfort and presence, it may not deliver the same level of excitement as a driver’s car. The material quality, particularly the soft-touch plastics and seats, may not meet the expectations of discerning buyers. Additionally, some equipment omissions, such as the availability of a head-up display only on the flagship model, may be surprising. However, early indications suggest that future models built for Europe will address these issues, showcasing Hongqi’s commitment to continuous improvement.

Pros and Cons: Balancing Luxury with Practicality

While the Hongqi E-HS9 boasts an array of impressive features and capabilities, it is not without its drawbacks. On the positive side, its luxurious interior, advanced technology, and spacious accommodations stand out as notable highlights. Additionally, its robust performance and respectable range contribute to its appeal as a premium electric SUV. 

However, some shortcomings, such as material quality inconsistencies and limited equipment options, may detract from the overall ownership experience. Despite these minor drawbacks, the E-HS9 remains a formidable contender in the luxury EV market, offering a blend of style, comfort, and performance that is unmatched in its class.

Final Thoughts Embracing the Future of Luxury EVs

The Hongqi E-HS9 represents a significant milestone in the evolution of luxury electric vehicles, showcasing China’s prowess in producing world-class automotive offerings. With its blend of opulent luxury, advanced technology, and impressive performance, the E-HS9 solidifies Hongqi’s position as a leading player in the global automotive market. 

As EV adoption continues to accelerate worldwide, vehicles like the E-HS9 exemplify the future of luxury transportation, offering discerning consumers a compelling alternative to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. With its unparalleled elegance, innovation, and sustainability, this vehicle paves the way for a new era of automotive excellence, setting the standard for luxury EVs for years to come.

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