When it comes to the representative of A0-level micro cars, it’s hard to bypass the Wuling Hongguang MINIEV, which achieved sales of 554,000 solely from this model in 2022. Although the withdrawal of national new energy subsidies since this year has greatly impacted the micro car market and resulted in a significant decline in MINIEV sales, it has left a significant mark in the history of China’s new energy vehicles.
Last December, Wuling launched the Air EV Qingkong, which can be viewed as a comprehensive upgrade of MINIEV, with improvements in vehicle design, handling, and intelligent car networking. With added configurations, naturally the price has also increased, with the 4-seater version of Air EV Qingkong price topping around 80,000 RMB.
However, both of these cars have the common problem of A0 micro cars – limited interior space – which often leads to the back seat being used as storage space or folded to expand the trunk. Is there a car with a small body size but spacious interior? Of course, and it’s our protagonist today: the brand new 4-door micro car Wuling Binyue, which has just started pre-orders.
The official price of this car has not yet been announced, but I speculate that it should not exceed 100,000 RMB, so I have brought in four similar-priced models for comparison: Nezha V, Leapmotor T03, Changan Benben E-Star, and Jiangnan U2. Although BYD Haiou will also be one of its major competitors in the future, there is not much known information about it now, so it is not included in this comparison.
So how does Binyue compare to these competitors in terms of its product strength?
Comparison of Exterior and Interior
Exterior Comparison: Cuter and More Adorable
Many of the buyers of micro cars are female car owners, who naturally have some requirements for the appearance and aesthetics. So, let’s first take a look at the exterior comparison between Wuling Binyue and the other four models.
It can be seen that both the Bingoo and the ORA T03 adopt rounded exterior design, which looks “cute” and meets the aesthetic requirements of many female car owners.
The Nezha V and Changan Benben E-Star adopt more aggressive line design, which can be seen on the front of the car, headlights, and body lines. The E-Star has a “big mouth” designed in the front bumper, which adds some aggressiveness.
The front of the Jiangnan U2 is a bit special, and the entire front part looks like it has been flattened. The two headlights are connected by a black decorative strip, and the front design is somewhat similar to that of the Baojun KiWi, giving people a cute feeling.
The two headlights at the front of the Bingoo, which are round and look like the eyes of two pandas. The daytime running lights are X-shaped, and the official website states that the inspiration comes from Naruto.
The cute design is more evident on the side, with rounded lines everywhere. The car being photographed uses a suspended black roof, while the blue and white color scheme uses a white roof. A chrome strip is added below the car door, which is parallel to the chrome strip on the window and makes the side of the vehicle more coordinated.
The Bingoo uses water splash-shaped low-drag closed wheel covers, which I like. The tire model brand is GREEN-Max HP, with a size of 185/60 R15.
The door handle adopts a conventional design with a chrome-plated strip added to it. Such a design can be frequently observed in the future.
The rear of the car is also round in shape, and the two taillights use the X-shaped water ripple design, while the two lower rear fog lights are connected by a silver chrome-plated strip.
The high brake light is located below the rear windshield, but there is no design of a rear wiper blade on the rear windshield.
Looking at the picture below, have you noticed that the BinGoo logo has added a small surprise to the tail text? The points in a few words have been replaced with yellow BinGoo logos.
The reversing camera is located above the license plate, and the button to open the trunk is on the right side.
This is all about the appearance of BinGoo. It can be seen that the five cars have different ideas in terms of appearance design. So here is the question, which car’s appearance design can impress you the most?### Interior Comparison: Let’s Have a Retro Touch
For mini cars priced below 50,000 yuan, it is natural that their interiors are not very impressive. So, does the situation improve when the price increases to 50,000-100,000 yuan? Let’s directly compare the interiors of 5 cars.
As can be clearly seen from the picture, the interior of the Wuling Baojun E300 is of retro style, which is completely different from the modern style of other models. The only thing that is not quite the same as the overall style is the two 10.25-inch large screens. Among the other 4 cars, only the Changan Benni E-Star also adopts a dual-screen design, while the remaining ones all have a small screen instrument panel + a separate large screen central control design.
Another obvious point of comparison is that only the Changan Benni E-Star and Jiangnan U2 have an armrest box design while the other 3 cars do not. In other words, if you want to rest your right elbow under the steering wheel during driving, there is no support.
The front center area of the Wuling Baojun E300 from front to back is a phone holder slot, a knob-style gear lever, an electronic parking brake, and two cup holders. The entire central area adopts a design of large area black piano paint + chrome strip.
The knob uses white piano paint in the middle, with a silver texture around it. The knob feels good but because of its low position, drivers of my size need to bend over to shift gears.
The top-of-the-line version uses a leather steering wheel, which naturally feels better than plastic. The grip of the steering wheel is medium to thin, probably to cater to female drivers. However, when male drivers come to drive, they will not feel that the steering wheel is too thin. I tried the steering wheel’s buttons and they already feel pretty good at this price point.
The door panel features a design of leather and white paint, which looks far from cheap. However, except for the driver, the other window buttons do not support one-click up and down.
Two 10.25-inch dual screens provide a good display effect at this price point, and the infotainment system covers commonly used functions. It’s unbelievable that cars that cost less than 100,000 yuan have such great infotainment systems nowadays.
The three air conditioning knobs at the bottom of the central control screen, along with the white piano paint around them and the chrome strip below the air outlet, make it feel retro.
There are two USB A ports below the air outlet, one for charging and the other for data transmission. There are two foldable hooks on the right side, allowing items that are not easy to be placed directly on the floor to be hung.
Like MINIEV, the entire front row adopts a through-style floor. The manufacturer claims that it is easy to get in and out of the car from the front passenger door in some special scenarios. However, this also brings a risk, that is, the front passenger can operate the driver’s pedals.
As there is no armrest in the back row, the only cup holder in the rear is placed behind the two cup holders in the front row.
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Finally, let’s talk about a detail. Perhaps due to the lack of interior space, the rear window glass of the Baojun E300 can’t be completely lowered.
That’s all for the interior. Do you prefer the retro-style interior like the Baojun E300 or the modern one like in other cars? Wait, you want to know how big is the space of this car? Don’t worry, next I’ll introduce the biggest selling point of this car – space.
Size comparison: the longest wheelbase in the same level
The slogan of Baojun E300 this time is “big space, 5 doors”. Let’s take a look at the comparison with other products in terms of size first.
It can be seen that among the micro-cars at the same price, the length and wheelbase of the Baojun E300 are the longest. The longer length and wheelbase have also laid the foundation for its superior internal space. As for the Nazha V, which is positioned as a small SUV, the length is indeed 120mm longer than the Baojun E300, but the wheelbase is 140mm shorter.
Next, let’s take a look at how big the internal space of the Baojun E300 really is.
Seat and interior configuration comparison: superior space performance
First let’s take a look at the space performance of the Baojun E300, the length and height of the front seats are shown in the figure below. The top version of the driver’s seat supports six-way electric adjustment, coupled with an adjustable steering wheel, people of different body types can easily adjust to their own comfortable position.
The storage space on the front door is very considerable, and at least 3 bottles of 500 ml mineral water can be easily placed inside.
Moving to the back row, with my height of 176 cm and weight of 100 kg, there is still one fist and two fingers of legroom left, and three fingers of headroom. This performance of the back row not only surpasses most compact SUVs but also some midsize SUVs.
However, there are still some disadvantages with the back row. Firstly, its floor is high, making it difficult for passengers to stretch their legs. Moreover, the short back cushion fails to support the thighs well. Nonetheless, since the scene of five passengers traveling in the Binoculars is rare, the slightly uneven back platform hardly constitutes a problem.
The storage space on the back door is not as big as that of the front door, but it can still hold 2 bottles of 500 ml mineral water.
I actually measured the capacity of the Binoculars’ trunk, and the size is shown in the following figure. Without folding the rear seats, the trunk capacity is 310 L. Furthermore, the depth of the trunk from top to bottom is more than 60 cm.
Just talking about figures, everyone might not have a clear concept, so let me give you something more intuitive. The following figure shows a backpack placed in the trunk by myself and other media teachers, which barely fills up this “huge” space.
You should be able to get a more intuitive feel for the height of the trunk from the picture below, and even bonsai plants can be easily placed in it. Last night’s official presentation also demonstrated the placement of large items such as cat climbing frames and children’s rocking horses.
Moving the cover below the trunk reveals emergency tools, but there is also plenty of space to use. The lower space can be completely outfitted with a few storage boxes for small items.
The rear seats of the Bingguo support a 5/5 folding design, leaving 790 L of extra large space in the trunk. If only two people are traveling daily, the rear seats can be folded down completely, making it easy to do a large shopping run.
Now let’s take a look at the comparisons between Bingguo and its competitors regarding the seats, steering wheel, and trunk.
As can be seen, in terms of seats, only Bingguo and Jiangnan U2 support the electric adjustment of the main driver’s seat, while other vehicles only support manual adjustment. However, all of Jiangnan U2’s series are equipped with a plastic steering wheel, which is certainly not as good as a leather steering wheel in terms of feel and is more likely to slip when the hands are sweaty. In terms of steering wheel adjustment, only the Nezha V series does not support vertical adjustment.
Only Bingguo and Benben E-Star support separate folding of the rear seats, while other vehicles only support folding the entire row. Obviously, folding a single seat down allows for more flexibility in terms of passenger and storage space. Regarding the trunk space, Bingguo has a clear advantage over Jiangnan U2, and both are far ahead of the Lingpao T03.
Battery life comparison: No advantage
Although the use case for micro cars is for urban commuting, the longer the battery life for electric cars, the better. So does the Wuling Bingguo have any advantages compared to its competitors in this regard?
The answer is no advantage. The 203 km version of the Biyue has a battery capacity of only 17.3 kWh, while the 333 km version is 31.9 kWh, both of which are phosphate iron lithium batteries from Guoxuan High-tech.
This endurance performance is only comparable to the low-end and mid-end versions of the Jiangnan U2 and the Changan Benben E-Star. In addition, the endurance performance of phosphate iron lithium batteries is not as good as that of models using ternary lithium batteries in winter. It can be said that endurance is the obvious shortcoming of Biyue compared with models in the same price range.
However, at the price range of 50,000 to 100,000 yuan, the high-end versions of all cars support fast charging function. According to official channels, the maximum charging power of Biyue is 50 kW, which is sufficient to quickly replenish the power of a 31.9 kWh battery.
As for the slow charging speed, the Biyue supports a maximum AC slow charging power of 3.5 kW and takes 5.5-9.5 hours to fully charge. In terms of slow charging speed, the Zerun T03 is significantly faster than other models.
Comparison of safety and assisted driving features: safety airbags are included, but we cannot ask for more
The Wuling Hongguang MINIEV used to be criticized as “big old man’s joyride” because it did not have safety airbags. After all, safety airbags are very important when driving on motorways. The 5 cars at a price of 50,000 yuan all have safety airbags for driver and passenger, and the Jiangnan U2 is even equipped with front side air curtains.
In terms of reversing image, only the basic versions of Changan Benben E-Star and Jiangnan U2 do not have this feature, but the top-of-the-line version of Jiangnan U2 is the only model equipped with 360 panoramic imaging. Bingguo and Benben both lack safety assistance features such as brake assistance and vehicle stability control, which also have some impact on driving safety.
As for the driving assistance aspect, Benben has nothing to show for it and Bingguo’s entire lineup only has cruise control, while the top-of-the-line versions of the other three models support adaptive cruise control. When driving on city expressways, the adaptive cruise control function can still alleviate some driving pressure.
Performance Comparison: Not Much Difference
Finally, let’s talk about performance. Given that micro-cars do not have high performance requirements, I have placed this part at the end of the article. The difference in this aspect between the five models is not large.
The maximum motor power of the Zhi Zero T03 and Jiangnan U2 is the highest, reaching 80 kW. These two models are also the only ones that have published their acceleration data, with Jiangnan U2 being the only model among the five to have an acceleration time under 10 seconds.
In terms of suspension, the front suspension of all models is unified as MacPherson, while the Nezha V is the only model that uses a trailing arm non-independent suspension in the rear suspension, and its hardware configuration is slightly better than other models that use torsion beam.
In terms of brakes, Nezha V is the only model that does not use ventilated disc brakes for the front brakes. However, like Changan Benben, its entire lineup uses disc brakes for the rear brakes, which theoretically should be better than drum brakes used by other models in their basic versions. However, the entire lineup of Changan Benben does not have an electric parking brake, and the basic version of Jiangnan U2 doesn’t even have a handbrake, while other models are all equipped with an electric handbrake.
After the above comparisons, we can easily see that the biggest advantage of Wuling Bingguo over its competitors is the rear seat and trunk storage space. Compared to the former popular model MINIEV, the addition of fast charging and airbags can be considered a comprehensive upgrade.
So who is this car suitable for? I can think of two groups of people:- For those who live in the city center with a small radius of daily activities and poor parking environment, an electric car can be a good addition or first purchase for their family;
- For those who live in the countryside, don’t travel with too many people on a daily basis, and need to buy a large amount of daily necessities in town or the city, an electric car can be a good option as a means of transportation.
If you are looking for a car that is easy to drive, sounds good, and has certain family attributes, the Wuling Baojun E200 is definitely a good choice. The premise is that it will provide a suitable price in the end.
This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.