Test – Aiways U5: The Clean Automotive Supertest

Supertests are also interested in the cars we hear the least about. For this new work, it is the Aiways U5 that passes to our life-size test bench.

What is the Supertest? This is a new test format on Automobile-Propre.com that follows the first impressions collected during the initial handling. This is an in-depth study worthy of the greatest speleologists carried out over much longer distances and always on the same route according to a very precise protocol that is to be repeated with each novelty. We had started this exercise with plug-in hybrids and now we are also applying an evolution dedicated to electric ones. The goal? Gather complete information of a long-term test in real conditions!

Feel free to suggest more questions in the comments on this new section!

Electric car supertests
our complete test protocol

With the development of electrical technologies, Chinese manufacturers are making a strong comeback on the roads. Although they are present in their internal market, they are increasingly looking at Europe. This is the case of Aiways, which arrives in the Old Continent with the U5. After a remarkable first in Corsica, the electric SUV hits the roads of France. And it has more than one advantage to show, although its consumption limits its autonomy.

Presentation of the Aiways U5

The U5 technique

Aiways appears as an exotic brand in the extensive list of Chinese entities. The manufacturer is attached to the Jiangling Motors Corporation group through a complex organization chart of joint ventures and partnerships. Launched in 2017, the brand stood out for the first time with the Nathalie, a vision of a sporty “hybrid” (methanol and electricity) imagined with Roland Gumpert, please.

But for its first vehicle, Aiways has chosen an electric SUV developed from a blank page, forgetting Nathalie’s style. The 4.68 m vehicle prefers smooth lines with a bow that is otherwise better made than the stern. It is placed under the ground a battery with an advertised capacity of 63 kWh. Gross or clean, the manufacturer does not specify, but we will determine quickly. This is a unit of manganese cobalt nickel supplied by CATL.

She feeds a single front engine with a power of 204 hp (150 kW) for 310 Nm of torque. With 1,770 kg (empty) to tow, performance is not at the center of the specifications with a 0-100 km / h in 7.8 s. On the other hand, the announced autonomy seems satisfactory on the benches of the WLTP with 400 km in this trial version, now called Prime. The 58 kWh Skoda Enyaq battery (405 km WLTP) and the MG Marvel R (402 km WLTP) are in the spotlight.

In terms of charging, this model was equipped with the old 6.6 kW AC onboard charger. But the new version automatically includes an 11 kW drive to shorten the charging time in Wallbox. The fast charging power does not change and shows a peak of 90 kW at the fast DC terminals. The manufacturer announces a time of 35 minutes for 20-80%.

Hyundai Kona and Aiways U5 charging

All our Aiways U5 consumption measurements

Mixed range: 287 km

A family vehicle in particular, the Aiways U5 is best appreciated at a leisurely pace. It has very little taste or a slightly more dynamic driving and requires early braking and soft watt discounts. With this rate, then it allows to maintain the consumption in 20.1 kWh / 100 km, that correspond to 313 km of autonomy. The same observation in the city, where it is relatively low weight for an electric vehicle, particularly of this size, which allows it to aim at a contained consumption. On our route, it has a value of 17.9 kWh / 100 km, or 351 km. Correct for such an SUV, which in any case has not been studied for the city and where autonomy does not matter.

Unlike the freeway, where the U5 shows another face: the SUV averaged 27.8 kWh / 100 km. This represents a range of 226 km. In the end, at the end of this “daily” mixed loop that serves mainly to determine an average range, the Aiways U5 had a final consumption of 21.9 kWh / 100 km, ie 287 km of range.

Road vs. Highway: Follow the green signs

Benefiting from a Cx of 0.29, but an average SCx of 0.78, the Aiways U5 does not like to scrub at speed. Like its electric motor, it supports weaknesses in terms of efficiency as it increases speed. In our comparison workshop, the SUV showed an average consumption of 30.2 kWh / 100 km.

This is almost double what he achieved on the national road section with a deliberately favorable profile, with a score of 16.2 kWh / 100. Thus, it is possible to go from a theoretical range of 388 km on the road to 208 km on the highway at a sustained speed. In short, you will reach your destination without recharging on the road, when you would have to make three stops (two 10-80% and one reinforcement) on the highway to travel 350 km. Of course, driving times vary from single to double (average speed of 60 km / h against 120 km / h), but the same.

Renault Megane e-Tech

Instant consumption of the Aiways U5

It is a fact that the higher the speed, the greater the consumption with an electric vehicle. But the variations of the Aiways U5 are so sensitive that you quickly realize that it is better to avoid exceeding 100-110 km / h. Impressions that are confirmed during our measurement of average instantaneous consumption on a round trip.

At 110 km / h, the Chinese SUV has a value of 26.2 kWh / 100 km. At 130 km / h, consumption increases to 30.5 kWh / 100 km! This represents a variation of around 16.4% with a difference of 20 km / h. Which with a full tank translates into almost 40 km difference.

Long distance travel: 157 km of useful range

Regulator-like cruise control, the Aiways U5 was not going to show miraculous consumption on the highway during a long journey, like our 500km test run on the A6. At our goal, the SUV announced an average of 28.0 kWh / 100 km everywhere. Small reservation here as the temperatures were a bit cooler with an average of 8 ° C, but not enough to fundamentally change the result.

That with the announced battery of 63 kWh allows the U5 to rely on a total range of 225 km, or a useful range of 157 km. Remember that this useful life is between 10% and 80% of the battery, thresholds that are rarely exceeded when discharging or recharging on the highway. In short, it will be necessary to think about stopping every 1:10 to 1:15 at an average speed of 120 km / h on the motorway in case the stations are flourishing. Otherwise, as usual, we will have to settle for what we find on the road. And as such, most of the electrics are on the same boat. It remains to have a fast enough recharge. See you in the next episode of this Supertest.

Comfort and performance of the Aiways U5

Aiways is written AI Ways. IA for “love” in Chinese, ways of “road” in English. Meaning: love on the road. This could partly characterize the U5, which prefers national roads over motorways because of its exponentially unreasonable consumption as it increases in speed. On the road, the Aiways U5 does not create surprises: like any good family vehicle of this size, it promotes driving comfort with a rather flexible cushioning. But it is not enough to let its mass prevail in the turns. Sure, we should expect pumping effects on the supports and a bit of rolling, but the course is rigorous. At least when the road is perfectly dry, as Cooper Discover HTT tires show their weakness from the first traces of moisture on the bitumen. In addition, the consistency and bite of braking do not invite excess, while the poor transition between regenerative braking and wattage resumption will push more than one driver to drive with the default setting. Even in the braking chapter, the Auto Hold in the city has no responsiveness: this is sometimes surprising when unlocked when the throttle is already well pressed. Finally, keep in mind that it is the brake pedal that acts as the starting motor by pushing it down. It’s fun to impress your mother-in-law.

On the highway, the comfort is of good quality. We value the driving position in height more than the slightly shorter seat, but chaining the miles is never tiring. The volume of the sound seems just above the average of the detector, but the aerodynamic noises are quite well channeled. Unlike the rolling noise of previous generation tires. The truth is that we often have a cold on board this U5: the seats are timidly heated even at full speed, the air conditioning temperatures seem optimistic and when the air conditioning is off, the nozzle is directed to the cellar let the outside air through. Through .

Still aboard technologies, the SUV puts the package in terms of screen. Few complaints about the original instrumentation, except for the small font size. The center screen shows a nice 12.3-inch diagonal and is pleasing to the eye. A little less to the touch, with little responsiveness (and sometimes you have to press the screen hard to select a function) and perfect ergonomics: for example, you have to touch the screen to open the windows, manipulate the curtains on the ceiling. pan or manage smartphone browsing. On the other hand, the panel dedicated to the air conditioning of the center console is welcome.

Volkswagen ID.3

Aiways U5 Supertest: the results

Large, livable and equipped with two lockers (432 l / 1,555 l + 64 l), the Aiways U5 is very suitable for family use. The behavior of the road is not dynamic, but it has nothing to envy to a placid European SUV, while the finish is above average. Comfortable in the city, although it is not designed for this, it is on the secondary roads where it is most interesting with an average range of 350 km. And, to attract European customers, the Chinese SUV is based on its price / equipment ratio.

The first of the two available versions is already full. The Premium version, about to be called Prime, also carries the panoramic roof, the heated seats or the wireless charger of the smartphone. Its price of € 44,990 allows you to get the maximum bonus. The only option that can blow up the premium: the black ceiling at € 830. And for those of you wondering about the network, you know that Feu Vert is in charge of after-sales service. Recommended first service: 5 years or 100,000 km.

Of course, at this price, you’ll have to deal with an interface straight out of obscure Chinese / French online translation software and complex ergonomics (we always get used to it over time). Details, unlike its true Achilles heel: its unreasonable fuel consumption on the highway, which seriously limits its versatility. With a medium capacity battery, therefore, you will have to stop very often to recharge and above all prepare your trip well. But next Saturday we will talk about it in detail with the second part: the Supertest is every weekend!

What is the Supertest?

Lovers of numbers and allergic to the official tabs, the Supertest, the new test format of Automobile-Propre, is made for you, gathering the data collected during a test in real conditions and according to a transparent and precise protocol. We will add them next Wednesday to the publication of the second part dedicated to Aiways U5 in our summary article allowing to compare the annotated values ​​of the tested models, which will make all the value of the section.

If you want to go further, feel free to check out our tests and exchange with the community in our discussion forum.


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