I am happy to have applied for the “Garage Crowdsourcing” qualification of Garage No. 42, and gained the 48-hour right to use DENZA X pure electric vehicle.
After graduation from university, I have been working in Shanghai. Because of the staggered working hours and the location that does not require highway driving, I have been driving a car with a license plate from my hometown, and occasionally practiced the low-profile method to grab the attention of a local license plate.
Last month, Shanghai issued new regulations on traffic restrictions, and the road rights of foreign license plates began to be gradually restricted. I never got a local license plate in Shanghai. Seeing that new energy vehicles have become a major trend, I couldn’t help but want to try it out, and I began to pay attention to relevant information. Accidentally, I participated in this activity.
How does the car look?
Some people say that DENZA X is just a “well-decorated version of BYD Tang”. Although the basic structure and configuration of the two cars are almost the same, the first impression of the temperament looks different.
Although the body structure is the same, DENZA X’s sharp headlights, exaggerated large wheels, Brembo brake calipers, fenders, and “Styled by Mercedes-Benz” on the tail all demonstrate its unique design sense.
The space inside the DENZA X is spacious and flexible to some extent.
According to Queen’s feedback, the comfort of DENZA X’s front passenger seat is slightly inferior to that of NIO ES6. The passengers in the rear seats feel quite spacious.
The third-row seats are proven to be quite cramped (a label next to the rear door indicates that the third row is only suitable for passengers under 170cm in height), and the 2-3-2 layout makes it difficult to get in and out of the third row. Of course, it is enough for temporary use.
I have almost no need for seven seats. After the third row of seats is put down, the trunk can form a complete flat surface, which is also very convenient to use.
The neatly arranged tools are placed at the bottom of the trunk, and there is no additional space. For such a large car, the storage capacity is slightly weak in comparison. In contrast, the NIO ES6 still has a deep storage compartment under the trunk floor, while the Tesla Model 3 has a front trunk.
Cabin and Atmosphere
Many design elements from Mercedes-Benz can be seen in the door panel style, decorative strips, and air conditioning vents, which have greatly improved the sense of quality. The driving seat feels good, with solid support and not too hard, providing a certain sense of wrapping. The seats and steering wheel are both electrically adjustable and have position memory, with a large adjustable range.
The storage space is very practical. There is a glasses box in front of the skylight switch, a storage box with a wireless charger and a cup holder in the area under the center console which can just fit a phone, and the armrest box is very deep with two cup holders in front of it. However, the wireless charger is placed horizontally, making it a bit awkward to put in and take out the phone, and if a higher drink is put in the cup holder, it will interfere with the elbow. If the positions of the phone charging stand and cup holder are swapped and the phone is placed vertically, it may be easier to use.
Multimedia SystemThe car infotainment system is equipped with a 15.6-inch 16:9 large screen, which is the same size as a large laptop. Therefore, the visual impact is quite strong.
The system is based on Android, with strong expandability and rich functions. It can be used with split screens, allowing the driver to navigate while the passengers watch TV shows.
The 360° panoramic image is generally clear and very practical. The panoramic image can switch between multiple views, making it easier to park in narrow spaces.
However, in terms of details, the DENZA X’s large screen infotainment system feels more like a large Android tablet, giving the feeling of using a large-screen elderly phone. There is still a lot of room for deep customization and optimization.
For example, when opening Baidu Maps, the map interface occupies almost the entire screen, without leaving any quick access space for other commonly used operations such as music and air conditioning control, which makes it less efficient to use.
Some applications only support vertical screens, and although the screen automatically rotates to the vertical direction during use, these applications are designed for phones with messy and complicated interfaces, making them difficult to operate. In addition, when the screen is vertical, it actually blocks the line of sight.
Comparison: DENZA X navigation interface, Apple CarPlay main interface, NIO ES6 navigation interface.## Dashboard
DENZA X’s operating logic is similar to traditional fuel cars, which is easy to use. After pressing the start button, the dashboard will play an animation. The accompanying music is a bit retro, reminding people of the startup sound of Windows XP back in the day. Although the dashboard is a 12.3-inch full LCD, the amount of information displayed is relatively small, and the operation menu is a bit rigid. Compared to this, I still prefer the “virtual cockpit” of my own car.
As a current fuel car owner, when considering a pure electric car, the first thing that comes to mind is “range anxiety.” DENZA X claims a range of 500 km NEDC, but how does it actually perform?
Taking advantage of good weather on the weekend, we went out for two days and observed the energy consumption in different driving conditions.
On Saturday afternoon, we departed from Wu Zhong Road Wanda Plaza, passed through Wujiaochang Dabaishu, and went to Gongqing Forest Park, and returned in the evening. The navigation showed a total distance of 62 km, half of which was on the ground and the other half was on the inner ring elevated and Yan’an elevated. The traffic was heavy and the average speed was relatively low. Before departure, the total mileage was 5688 km, the battery level was 87%, and the remaining range was 373 km. After returning, the total mileage was 5751 km, the battery level was 71%, and the remaining range was 322 km. Based on the actual 63 km driven, which consumed 16% battery, the overall range can reach 394 km. Moreover, the actual distance driven is more than the difference between the displayed remaining range, which shows that DENZA X performs well in urban commuting.
(The map interface is a screenshot after the fact and does not represent the actual road conditions.)
On the second day, we went to Songjiang to see how this car performs in the suburbs and test its performance on less congested roads. The total mileage was 5757 km and the battery level was 69% when we set off. When we returned, the total mileage was 5826 km and the battery level was 51%.Ran 69 km and consumed 18% of the battery, during which 5 consecutive zero to 100 km/h acceleration tests were conducted. With these data, the estimated range is about 383 km (about 74% of the NEDC range). The performance was impressive and solid.
Though not traveling a long distance this time, I used it for two days and the remaining battery and estimated range displayed were always accurate, which is reassuring.
In SPORT mode, it has sufficient power reserves whether on city roads, highways, or freeways. In ECO mode, the throttle response is gentler but still adequate.
The official 0-100 km/h acceleration time is 4.6 seconds. I also tried to measure it on a dry road with 21℃ temperature.
Keeping ESP on, it took about 5.5 seconds, and it could go under 5 seconds if ESP was turned off (non-professional test for reference only). For a seven-seater SUV, it has more than enough performance.
As mentioned earlier, will it be difficult to drive such a big car? Actually, it is still very light to drive (even the Queen said it was unexpected) – effortless.
The only downside is the steering feel. The electronic steering assistance is inconsistent and sometimes too light or too heavy (despite overall being very light), seemingly with no clear correlation to speed, and tends to slightly shift direction on uneven roads.
The 22-inch oversized wheels not only look domineering but also provide a solid guarantee for high performance. However, on a seven-seater SUV, such large wheels with low profile tires may partially reduce the comfort.
Advanced Driving Assistance Systems
AutoHold is very useful. With the function enabled, the vehicle will automatically maintain the brake until the accelerator is pressed.
I personally like this logic, and the design of NIO ES8 is more convenient to use as it does not require deep depression of the accelerator, different from NIO ES6 and Tesla Model 3.Lane keeping assistance is somewhat lackluster. The accuracy of lane departure warning is poor, sometimes responsive, sometimes sluggish, and the feedback is delayed by a few seconds after the wheels run over the line, which is not particularly reliable.
Suspension Feeling and Driving Quality
The suspension is very comfortable. The fine vibrations of the road surface can be well filtered out. When passing through bumps and potholes, the car body shakes slightly, but it doesn’t feel bumpy for passengers.
When driving at medium and low speeds, the whole car is very quiet, giving a feeling of “close the window and the world becomes quiet.” When driving in the city, road and wind noises are almost inaudible. Even with 22-inch wheels, tire noise is not obvious.
On the way back from the suburban park, five people in the car were watching the scenery and listening to music. Except for the driver (me), everyone else fell asleep…
The only sound you can hear when you press the accelerator is the faint high-frequency electric current. If this sound can also be properly controlled, the quietness will be even better.
The X from DENZA is a decent pure electric family car with large space, full functionality, and very good practicality. The range is enough to meet daily use and short trips. The outstanding power also enables this family car to occasionally get passionate.
DENZA’s brand intent is to “create more quality and stylish mid-to-high-end electric car products.” On the DENZA X, my impression is that the highlights and shortcomings coexist, and the overall strength is still good.
This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email email@example.com.