News Detail

Xiaomi SU7: This Is A Game Changer

Issuing time:2024-05-17 08:00Author:Ethan Robertson

What is it?

The reality of covering Chinese cars is that at majority of people outside of our little bubble will never hear about them. The Xiaomi SU7 electric sedan is a rare exception. Even people who know next to nothing about the Chinese car market, like western automotive journalists, have heard about this car. Headline numbers include the fact that it convinced nearly 100,000 people to put down an $850 refundable deposit within just 24 hours of its launch event. How do you convince that many people to put down money on a car from a brand that’s never made a car before?

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Xiaomi makes everything

First, you need to know that Xiaomi is a household name here in China the same way as Apple, but unlike Apple, they make everything. A random sampling of some of the Xiaomi products owned by the Wheelsboy team includes: a phone, a TV, headphones, a washing machine, a dryer, two smart scales, a Bluetooth speaker, a doorbell, a power strip, battery pack, and a handheld steamer.

That makes them a known entity, not some all-new brand coming out of nowhere. Not only does that mean name recognition, which is something even brands from major automakers like BYD struggle with, also it means consumers aren’t worried that it will collapse at the first stiff financial wind (RIP HiPhi).


It looks like a Porsche (mostly)

But people don’t put down money for something that reminds them of their handheld steamer. What they will pay for is something that reminds them of a Porsche.

It’s unfair to call this a copycat, but the profile of the SU7 certainly has a whiff of Stuttgart, especially when they offer it in colors that look like they came right out of the Porsche catalog. Trust me, people here in China noticed as well, to the point that at least one Porsche Panamera owner saw fit to put a Xiaomi SU7 badge on the rear of their car.

You can tear each other apart in the comments about how much of a copycat this really is. For my part, I think it’s very good-looking, and not just the details that look like a Porsche. Regardless, the styling wasn’t the only thing that got this car so much attention, and it certainly wasn’t enough to light the internet on fire the way that it did


The specs are impressive

No, to understand that, we need to dig into what’s underneath and inside this car and what it costs to buy. The stats go like this; a standard, rear motor SU7 like our test car makes 220 kW and 400 Nm of torque (295 hp/296 lb-ft). It’s 73.6-kWh blade battery pack is made by BYD and has a claimed 700 km range on the CLTC cycle. It costs just 30,500 USD. For context, those numbers tie or exceed the “all-new” Tesla Model 3 while costing over 2,000 USD less here in China.

The same is broadly true for the SU7 equivalents to the Long-Range and Performance Model 3, as they offer similar or better range and performance while being noticeably more affordable. The Pro gets the same single rear motor as the Standard, but a larger 94.3-kWh Shenxing pack from CATL with a claimed range of 830 km. All that for a starting price around 35,000 USD. The dual motor Max model gets a 101-kWh Kirin pack from CATL with a claimed range of 800 km and a starting price around 42,000 USD.

Standard and Pro models of the SU7 come with a 400v architecture, while Max models get 800v. Charging times from 10-80% range from 30 minutes for the Pro model, to 20 minutes for the Max.


Your car can talk to your air conditioner

The specs are good, but there’s even more to it when you get inside. Recall that Xiaomi makes all those different products. Well, most of them are smart products, which means there is an entire ecosystem of Xiaomi devices that you can now tap into using your Xiaomi car and visa versa.

An example would be the smart scenarios that you can set up for your SU7. Let’s say you have one called “Going Home”, which sets the car’s AC at a certain temperature, turns on the heated seats and plays your favorite playlist. That’s great, but it’s something other brands have been offering for years. What they can’t do is integrate with Xiaomi smart device ecosystem to make sure that when you activate “Going Home” mode your smart air conditioner back home also turns on to cool your house to the right temperature and your smart lights turn on so you don’t come home to a dark house. You could also geofence these things, just for the record, ensuring that your air conditioner and lights don’t turn on until you get into the driveway.

Worried about the dog you left at home while running errands? You can access your Xiaomi smart security cameras via the center screen on your SU7 to see what’s going on at home. It goes the other way as well. If you have a Xiaomi Smart Speaker, which is their version of Amazon’s Alexa, you could use voice commands to do things like turn on the air conditioning and ventilated seats of your SU7 while you get ready to leave. For the record, you can set it so only authorized users will be able to control the car, not just anybody who walks into your house.

If you’re thinking, “I wouldn’t use any of those and I don’t have any smart devices,” I understand, and I don’t blame you. I’m not saying every SU7 owner will set up these complex scenarios or connect their SU7 to their smart microwave so their popcorn is pre-popped when they get home. The point is that they could, and that kind of potential convenience is a serious selling point, especially here in China where Xiaomi products are so ubiquitous.


What if I don't care about "smart" stuff?

Let’s assume you’re one of the people above and you don’t care about this smart device nonsense, you care how things on the interior look and feel. Huge surprise, the SU7 delivers plenty of bang for your buck on that front as well. With a starting price of less than 31,000 USD you can’t expect the world in terms of material quality, but the SU7 overdelivers at that price.

This is a Founders Edition, which means it was one of the first 5,000 SU7s produced and comes standard with features like Nappa leather seats, a 25-speaker sound system and a few other features. The rest of the interior has soft touch where you want it, and reasonably “premium” plastic everywhere else. Could the panel gaps be better in certain areas? Yes, but I don’t think buyers care about that nearly as much as people like to pretend.

What they care about are the features inside this car, such as the standard 16.1-inch screen with Xiaomi’s HyperOS. I really like the layout of the menus, the modularity, and the aesthetic. Thanks to a Snapdragon 8295 processor, I also like how responsive it is. I would still prefer physical buttons for a lot of functions, but Xiaomi has a solution for that and it’s one that I wish someone else had thought of years ago.


That solution is a variety of different attachments you can integrate into your center screen, including a row of physical buttons that attach to the bottom. I used it on the first SU7 that I drove and it works perfectly. The buttons feel solid and there is zero lag. There are a ton of other optional magnet features, from a phone mount with wireless charger to dual LCD gauges that can display your speed, range, compass direction or even a G-meter. This is the type of thing you can only do when you have a background in manufacturing everything, but it’s genius and I hope I see it in more cars.

Our Standard test car was equipped something less useful; little side lights that jump along with music or any other noise that happens in the car. I do mean any noise, even your voice. I’d have saved the $30 dollars and put it towards getting that row of physical buttons for $75. We also have this optional fragrance system that costs $60, but was money well spent.

There is an available 56-inch heads up display, but only on the most expensive Max trim level. The Standard and Pro trims go without, but they do still get the standard trick instrument cluster screen that flips when you turn on the car. Cool. Forward of that is a steering wheel that I absolutely love. The size, the shape, the physical buttons, it all works. Down on the right is a scroll wheel for changing drive modes, and on the left is the button for turning your driver assistance on and off. More on both of those later.


First, let’s talk about the second row. Legroom is very reasonable considering the 3m wheelbase, but headroom is far less impressive. I stand a very average 1.75m (5’9”) and I had very little space above my dome. On the bright side, seating position, including the angle of the seatback and the height of the floor, are perfectly acceptable for an EV of this size. Thanks to good lower back support, long seat bottoms, and plenty of space to put your feet, I could still see myself being comfortable in the back of a SU7 for a journey of a few hours.

You also get standard heated rear seats, which isn’t something you see on most cars in this segment. However, it serves to draw attention to the fact that the SU7 does not have available massaging front row seats, which are heated and ventilated. That might seem like a lot to ask at this price, but massage is something you do see in most cars in this segment.


Our test car has the optional a fridge, which is standard in Founders Edition cars, but costs an extra $300 for everyone else. It’s not as capable or capacious as the one you’ll find in something like a Li Auto, but it will keep things between 2 and 15 degrees Celsius. If you want screens back here, you have to pay for one or two Xiaomi tablets and the mounts that go on the seatbacks. I’ve used them, and while they do integrate into the car's system very smoothly, they’re pretty wobbly.

The trunk on the SU7 measures 517L, with a surprisingly massive compartment under the floor. That’s smaller than the Model 3’s 594L, but the SU7 snatches the win when it comes to the frunk, which measures an impressive 105L.


Tempting auto enthusiasts

So, we’ve got a car with impressive range and tech, not to mention a big frunk. But if you’re going to make a world beater, it needs to drive like one. Xiaomi has been talking a big game on this front from the very beginning. The chassis architecture for the SU7 is called Modena. Yes, Modena, the city we all associate with Ferrari. Their HyperEngine electric motor family has three motors at the moment, dubbed the V6, V6S and V8S.

It would seem that Xiaomi, in addition to courting smart home enthusiasts and hypermilers, is purposefully going after car enthusiasts with promises of a more driver focused EV. I have driven both the single motor and dual motor variants, and I am here to tell you that they have delivered, at least for the most part.   

Power isn’t an issue for any version of the SU7. Standard and Pro models come with the same rear mounted motor and manage a 0-100 km/h sprint of 5.3 and 5.7 seconds, respectively. The dual motor Max version, on the other hand, has more than double the power at 495 kW and 838 Nm of torque (670 hp/620 lb-ft). The Max is of course the fastest version, with a buck wild 0-100 kmh time of just 2.78 seconds.


To get the fastest acceleration out of your SU7, however, you need to revisit the little nubbin on the bottom right of the steering wheel. Not only is it a scroll wheel for changing drive modes, it’s also a button that activates a function that overclocks the electric motor, allowing it to deliver its maximum power for 20 seconds.

One of the cool things about the SU7 is that it’s not just quick, it’s also pretty fast for EV. The Max version has an official top speed of 265 kmh. That’s faster than a Telsa Model 3 Performance and a Taycan Turbo S, just sayin.

Use the wellshaped steering wheel to throw the SU7 into a corner, and lo and behold, it actually feels good. The steering is very light, even in sport mode, but with more communication than almost any EV I’ve ever driven. The SU7 lacks the agility of a Tesla Model 3, probably due to its longer wheelbase and higher curb weight. The lightest SU7 still tips the scales at 2000 kg or about 4400 lbs. That’s about 200 kg more than a base Model 3.


The SU7’s double wishbone front suspension and five-link rear make for a nice trade-off between body control and ride quality. That’s especially true on the Max version, which has dual chamber air suspension with adjustable height and stiffness. Apart from outright speed, however, I didn’t find the driving experience of the Standard and Max cars to be as different as you might expect. The suspension of the Max does absorb road imperfections better than the standard car, and it stays a flatter in corners, but the Standard car feels much more approachable.   

One thing the Max did have over the Standard car was Master Mode. Turn that on and you can adjust many aspects of the SU7 Max’s driving experience. There are the expected things, like varying levels of traction control and ESP intervention. Not something I see on a lot of EVs, but nothing new in the grand scheme of things.

What I didn’t’ expect to be able to do was adjust the distribution of the SU7’s power down to the percentage point. I don’t mean literally moving it forward and backward like some AWD vehicles. The two motors aren’t physically connected, so that’s impossible. By moving the power to the rear what you’re actually doing is lowering the power on the front motor. Do it all the way and you have a completely RWD vehicle with 275 kW and 500 Nm of torque (360HP/370 lb-ft), or move the slider the other way and make it FWD.   


Your car will be noticeably slower, but it does change the way it drives. Want to learn how to drive an AWD car on a race track? Use a SU7 Max. How about a FWD car? Use a SU7 Max. RWD? Still the SU7 Max. This is the type of innovation that we need to see in electric cars to make sure that the future is still fun for those of us that actually enjoy driving.

This being a Chinese EV from 2024, it has to have an impressive seeming driver assistance. Xiaomi calls theirs Xiaomi Pilot,a nd it comes in two flavors: Pro and Max. Pro costs 2,500 USD and features highway NOA, while Xiaomi Pilot Max 3,700 USD and adds city NOA. Pilot Pro is only available on cars base cars that dont have a lidar unit,. Pro and Max trim cars come with a lidar unit, giving them the opportunity to buy Max.

I never used the City NOA function on the Pilot Max-equipped car SU7 Max that I drove, and since I wasnt logged into the system of the SU7 I spent more time in in Shanghai, I couldnt even use cruise control, let alone highway NOA. I did try the highway NOA system briefly on the SU7 Max, but while my initial impressions were good, and I would need to use it more thoroughly before I could confidently share my opinion.   

Before I reach my conclusion, we should address another hot topic with regards to the SU7, and that’s quality. This car has been out for a few months now, and we’ve already heard about brakes that overheat on track, thin paint, fenders that you can pull off with your hands, and lumpy seats. These issues are real and Xiaomi needs to deal with them as they ramp up production this year. But if you think a few quality issues in early production vehicles is going to stop this thing from succeeding, I have but one word for: Tesla.



A lot of people from outside of China saw this car and almost immediately dismissed it as a copycat Taycan. I hope that after reading this review you understand why that is uniquely stupid way to approach the SU7, because it misses the point entirely. The takeaway should be this: If anyone is going to try and compete in the Chinese EV market, the world’s largest and most influential EV market, this is the standard they are going to have to meet in terms of connectivity, range, and performance. Period. Best of luck, rest of the world!


Xiaomi SU7 Standard

Motor: Rear-mounted

Power: 220 kW, 400 Nm (295 hp/296 lb-ft)

Battery: 73.6-kWh

Range: 700 km CLTC

0-100 km/h: 5.28 seconds

Size: 4997*1963*1455 mm

Wheelbase: 3000 mm

CDM Price: 30,500 USD

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