Car review – Aiways U5

Apt pupil with potential

The Chinese Aiways U5 has not yet really broken through in our country, but that is more down to its lack of fame than its lack of qualities. Still, there are some points of improvement.


Original cross-over

The U5 boasts an original design that turns many heads in the street. It is also quite big: this Aiways stretches over a length of 4.68 metres and is very spacious inside. The boot holds 432 litres, which becomes 1,555 litres with the back seats folded down.

The Aiways U5 is fishing in the same pool as the Tesla Model Y, VW ID.4, Skoda Enyaq iV, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, all of which are more expensive but have more credibility and a rock-solid image.


Spacecraft without sat nav

Unlike previous Chinese products, the Aiways U5 does not disappoint in terms of interior plastics and finish. It even stands comparison with the VW ID.4, which has lowered the standard somewhat for cost reasons.

The electric motor may not be the quietest, but its Star Wars soundtrack never becomes disturbing. The spacey cabin feeling is reinforced by the flattened steering wheel, both at the bottom and the top, which reminds of that of a game console. Ergonomically, it’s not ideal: the top edge masks part of the digital instrument panel. 

The latter looks rather simplistic, in contrast to the floating central touch screen for the infotainment. A built-in navigation system is not available. Most people today have a smartphone with Google Maps, Waze, and other apps to guide them to their destination, according to the importer.


Peppy sprinter

Under the bonnet of the U5 is a 150 kW (204 hp) and 310 Nm electric motor that drives the front wheels. This setup is quite unique: most competitors opt for rear-wheel drive. With its 1,770 kg, the U5 is also relatively light. It reaches 100 km/h from standstill in just 7.5 seconds.

This means there is quite some driving fun to be had at the wheel of this electric crossover, which is nevertheless comfort oriented. The electric motor is actually too powerful for the front wheels, which start spinning on a wet surface. Fortunately, the electronics keep everything on track.

Aiways has taken a good look at its competitors to give the U5 the necessary assets. Digitally and technically it still has some way to go, but the Chinese learn fast. Who knows what they have in store for us at Aiways?

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    + Spacious, practical crossover

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    + Driving comfort

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    + Good performance

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    -Grip issues - Digitally obsolete -Slow on-board charger