It must be said that China’s Xpeng has made a relatively moderate impact on the Norwegian electric car market – at least so far. The compact SUV G3 was the first model released in 2020, and at the time of writing it has been registered in just over 800 releases in this country.
Since then, however, things have happened on the importer side and, in addition, Xpeng has centrally set up a separate organization in Norway which, among other things, is behind the new showroom at Bjørvika in Oslo. The P7 has joined the G3, and the updated G3i and the new Tesla Model 3 competitor, the Xpeng P5, will soon appear.
Everything points to a bigger investment in Norway than before.
So we borrowed a P7 to see what a slightly more expensive Xpeng could offer — not least whether the user experience inside has improved since we drove the G3 in early 2021. The model we borrowed was the top-of-the-line “Wing Edition” model, with electric wing doors that open up.
However, the car is exactly the same as the High Performance model without the spoiler doors, although the price difference between these two models is 130,000 crowns.
The wing version costs 650,000 kroner, while the high-performance version costs 520,000 kroner. In addition, there is a cheaper back payment model for 460,000 kr (all prices before delivery costs just under 10,000 kr). All models have the same 80 kWh battery, with a stated WLTP range of 470 km for the four-wheel drive models and 530 km for the rear-wheel drive model.
High performance and the wing version has a total of 430 hp and 655 Nm of torque, which should give 0-100 in 4.5 seconds. Its length is 4.88 metres, which puts it roughly in the middle between cars like the Tesla Model S (4.98 metres) and BMW i4 (4.79 metres) – a class safe for relatively roomy sedans.
Perhaps it’s still more apparent than the P7 compares to the Model 3 in terms of interior dimensions, thanks in part to the long, pronounced bonnet that makes the cabin itself a bit smaller than it might otherwise be.
The trunk volume of 440 liters, for example, is only 15 liters more than what the Model 3. The rear seat is also on par with the Model 3 more than the Model S – in the sense that it’s good, but not luxurious, and it’s It does hurt a little because of the mid-height that should be unnecessary on a pure electric car platform. The benches are also designed so that you can’t push your legs down in any easy way, so they also take up very little space.
In height, it is the case that I, with 183 cm, hang the ceiling if I sit completely upright. The P7 has a glass roof as standard, but the roof is divided in two by a large beam in the middle. It also can’t be opened, but it at least contributes to a slightly airy feel.
The interior materials feel like a step up from Tesla faux leather, with nappa leather on the seats, some kind of wood in the doors and generally soft materials on most surfaces. LED strips, which are gradually becoming a relatively common sight in modern electric cars, are very tastefully placed here, but the piano paint in the center console we can, as usual, control ourselves.
The Dynaudio audio system (optional on the more expensive model) encases and plays well, and separate speakers in the front headrest are a fun little detail.
In the driver’s seat, you’re actually sitting surprisingly unsportsmanlike for such a sporty-looking car, perhaps thanks to the battery under the floor. It does help with visibility and overview, however, although the rear window design naturally gives a slightly limited view through the mirror – in typical sedan style.
The controls are reasonably Tesla-inspired, for example with the autopilot function activated by two pulls down on the “gear lever” behind the steering wheel and mirrors that are adjusted using buttons on the steering wheel. A relatively prominent screen in the center console takes care of most settings and functionality in practice, but it seems to us that Xpeng has made progress in usability here since we drove the G3.
They are all designed quite similar to what Tesla has in their cars, with most things easily accessible from the tiles on the far left side of the screen and easy-to-understand menus that are easy to navigate. The screen is sharp and beautiful, and the system works responsively and well. Motorized. However, the voice control, which is activated with “Hey Xpeng”, is somewhat limited at the moment.
It’s only available in English, and fails to perform many common commands – like adjusting the air conditioner or even telling you how much is left. However, Xpeng says that a Norwegian version is under construction, and the functionality will be greatly improved during the year. A three-part instrument panel provides less need for glare in the infotainment screen than on the Model 3, but you don’t get a head-up display.
Autopilot mostly works as it should, sitting quietly and healthy on the road and keeping you on track as it should – but you’re very careful to follow and hold the wheel. In one case, we also noticed that the car was practically “Phantom Brake” because it had become unsafe on a truck that was in the right lane when we were in the left. It was a bit scary experience. It also sometimes gets a little unsafe as the road splits from one field into two, so it can be worth driving a bit.
The car is seen as very agile. There’s a lot of power under the hood here, and the Xpeng has managed to camouflage over two buzzes in an excellent way. The P7 feels light and agile, well supported by a surprisingly soft and comfortable cushioning that smooths out most bumps.
Again, an indication that a sporty exterior can’t always translate into a driving experience where you have to sit on the asphalt and feel every little stone on the road. The car is still quite solid and has the usual low center of gravity, which means it’s in a good place on the road and looks fun and dynamic to drive.
The car always starts in standard mode, but you can also choose Sport for slightly snappy throttle response, Eco for power saving or Xpedal for more aggressive regeneration than the standard trims offer. We still don’t go fully on one pedal, because the car won’t come to a complete stop if you release the accelerator pedal without applying the brakes. It is also strange that there is no option for this.
Noise reduction also worked well for us — raw Norwegian asphalt rarely gives a distinctly quiet experience even in an electric car, and the P7 feels in that sense a plus average.
We tested the range as usual on our regular route from Oslo to Halden and Orge and back to Oslo. The range measurements are a little complicated due to the fact that in an almost incomprehensible way there is no way to know the current battery percentage in Xpeng cars without the charging cable being connected.
The only range estimation is also based on WLTP numbers, so the car in practice assumes that you have consumption that exactly matches that of the WLTP, without taking into account historical consumption or other conditions.
We started in Oslo with about 97 percent battery, and conditions weren’t ideal for electric cars, with rain, wet roads and about 13 degrees in the air. As usual, we stayed close to the speed limits and avoided sudden acceleration.
On the highway from Oslo to Halden, at a distance of about 116 kilometers and at an average speed of exactly 80 kilometers per hour, we saw a consumption of 20 kWh / 100 km.
On the road to Orji, at a lower average speed, but at a more uneven speed, this was reduced to about 19 kWh / 100 km. Back in Oslo, with a combination of 70-100 speed limits and a slightly negative mileage, we saw lower consumption – just under 18 kWh/100 km.
In all, we traveled 268 kilometers on this day in May. When we plugged in the lightning charger at the Shell in Etterstad, the car reported 28 percent battery left – that is, we spent 69 percent driving 268 kilometers.
That should indicate a total range of 388 kilometers on this route and under prevailing conditions – about 82 percent of WLTP range and a bit of a disappointment. In cars and NAFs Recent Range Tests P7 reached 436 kilometers, then it was mentioned.
You can see the charging curve below, with the P7 in blue. The maximum charging power should be 90 kilowatts, which is very moderate in the P7 segment. For example, a BMW i4 can handle up to 200 kW, while a Tesla Model 3 can handle up to 250 kW.
We’ve never seen anything above 80 kilowatts, but we might have gone even higher if we started with an empty battery. In total, we spent just over 40 minutes charging from 28 to 80 percent, after which we charged just over 43 kWh, according to the charger. Exactly fast charging performance is another area where someone will – rightly – be able to opt out of the P7.
It’s worth noting, however, that the P7 ships with CCS, while the G3 (and the new G3i) still uses the Chademo standard, which is pretty much on its way out.
Overall, we still have a good impression of the most expensive Xpeng sedan to date. It is attractive and entertaining, but at the same time it is comfortable to drive, has a reasonable range and a large area. The Xpeng has done well with the operation and infotainment system, although there is still a lot to do when it comes to voice control – which will be available in Norwegian and with an improved version eventually.
There are still some small rarities as well, like you can’t see the battery percentage without plugging in the charger, for example. We also need to put a small minus sign on the fast charging speed. With a battery of up to 80 kWh, it should be possible to ensure maximum power and average power increases during fast charging sessions with the P7.
The wing doors are mostly an addition that makes the P7 stand out a bit among all the other electric cars, but they’re not very practical. It swings so far that you often have to push yourself out of the front seat if you’re too close to a car in a parking lot, and the extra 130,000 kronor is definitely not worth it.
However, both the rear-wheel drive and performance model are reasonably priced, and Xpeng also appears to have somewhat shorter delivery times than many other brands on the market today. You can get a lot of good equipment and specs for the money if you can live with some little “quirks” that the Chinese haven’t yet been able to get rid of.
Now we are just waiting for the cheaper P5.
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