XPeng G9 Review | Goodwood Test

A big, luxurious SUV, but how does the G9 compare to the likes of the BMW iX...?
09th June
Russell Campbell



XPeng is one of several Chinese brands you can expect to become a household name in the proceeding decade. Like many of these companies, it seemingly comes from nowhere, but it was founded in 2014 and sold its first cars in 2018, before arriving in Europe (EV-loving Norway) in 2020.

While it would be easy to compare XPeng to the likes of Kia and Hyundai, which began selling budget models in the UK and slowly improved to take on established players, the G9 already feels good enough to compete with the mainstream. 

In the Netherlands, where we are today, the company already sells the P7 saloon and G9 flagship SUV in Europe, so we took the latter for a spin to find out what to expect before the company launches in the UK with its mid-sized Tesla Model Y-rival, the G6 SUV. 

We like

  • • More tech than the Starship Enterprise
  • • Powerful and comfortable
  • • Lethally keen pricing

We don't like

  • • Temperamental infotainment
  • • Driving experience needs a buff
  • • Doesn’t have the glitz of a premium brand



The XPeng G9 has the imposing dimensions you'd expect of a top-of-the-line SUV, if not the recognisable badge and the big, bold grille of the likes of BMW, Mercedes, or Audi. Instead, XPeng makes it clear its SUV is an EV with a filled-in grille and flush-fitting door handles.

There are distinctive styling points, like the mono-brow front-end with a hint of Fisker Ocean and, if you're in a generous mood (or several beers into a good night), you could say the lower light clusters, which also hide the Lidar, mimic a McLaren 750's eye sockets. Even without alcohol, the intricate alloy wheels look great, and who doesn't love a rear light bar that dances an illuminative tango when you lock and unlock the car? 

The bold and brash design of the German big three's SUVs is missing, but the G9’s bigger problem is that it hasn't got the premium badge wedded to posh SUV ownership. XPeng will be banking on conquest EV customers willing to step away from well-known brands. 

Performance and Handling


If you don't care about dynamics and want a big, comfortable, and relaxing car to drive, then you won't be disappointed by the XPeng G9.

It's at its best as a mile-munching cruiser. It has all the power you need for overtakes, and you can sink into the big seats without being disturbed by road, wind, or motor noise, knowing the battery won't rapidly shed range on the motorway. 

As far as SUVs that almost weigh 2.5 tonnes go, the G9 handles neatly on A roads, and there's plenty of grip at the kind of normal speeds you drive when you've got a car full of family. On tight, twisty roads, the steering's lack of precision doesn't encourage you to unleash the XPeng's impressive performance – it doesn't shrink around you as the best big SUVs can. 

Like a plastic house plant, the G9 gets slightly less convincing the closer you look. 

On the motorway, where, as we've said, the XPeng's generally very relaxing, it's let down by active cruise control that drives like a taxi driver, barrelling towards the person in front before braking unnecessarily hard to match the speed. 

The air suspension also needs polish. It's mostly very cosseting, but occasionally, it gets caught by sharp bumps and expansion joints you wouldn't notice in an air-sprung Mercedes. 

It's also not easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces – despite its commanding view out and 360-degree camera coverage – and our car also had an alarming habit of rolling backwards down slopes when we took our foot off the accelerator in Drive. 



The XPeng's interior ticks all the boxes you'd expect of a big, posh SUV without you having to tick any boxes because almost everything you see comes as standard. 

Its air suspension drops to aid entry, and the soft-close doors need the lightest tugs to pull shut. Inside, you get a passenger-side display that means your wing wo/man can browse the internet, flick through music, or watch a film independently of the central infotainment screen. 

Quality is decent but not as earth-shatteringly amazing as we've come to expect of cars like the BMW X5 and Mercedes GLE. Nappa leather (more on that in a second) covered almost all our car's interior. Still, some areas let the side down, like the plastics on the steering wheel, and the XPeng doesn't have feel-good features like the intricate speaker covers in a Mercedes or the haptic-feedback screens of an Audi. 

It also tries a little too hard to reinvent the wheel at times; the screen-controlled air vents are far tricker to use than the manual ducts you get on pretty much every other car – if they're good enough for Rolls Royce, then they're probably good enough for the G9. Up front, the seats feel like sofa chairs. They don't offer much lateral support, but they're deeply padded, come with almost every adjustment option, and move away (painfully slowly) from the steering wheel to aid entry and exit. 

The seats are even better if you go for the Premium Comfort & Audio Pack (€3,990 in the Netherlands, or £3,400), which adds extra seat adjustment and passenger leg support, and wraps the whole lot in that welcomingly soft Nappa leather mentioned earlier. The same pack adds a stonking Dolby Atmos Stereo with speakers everywhere, including in the seats, and a reclining back seat with a massage function – it’s a set of options that would cost five figures in German rivals. 

Even without the pack upgrade, rear-seat passengers won't find much to complain about. The seats have the same sofa-like qualities as the ones up front; there's loads of knee room and an embarrassment of headroom, despite the car having a panoramic glass roof that sucks light into the cabin. 

The boot is another area that is not short of space. Its huge opening and square cargo bay mean you can use up every last one of the car's 660-litre capacity, and there's a button at the door that makes the G9 drop to its knees for loading. The XPeng gets the same handy features found in rivals, including a small netted cubby, tie-down hooks, and a 12V power socket. 

Technology and Features


The XPeng G9 comes as standard with the kind of infotainment you'd pay thousands of pounds extra for from one of its competitors. Front-seat passengers can watch movies on the Porsche Cayenne-style third screen, which appears blank from the driver's seat to avoid distractions. 

The downside of having three huge screens is that you have to weed out functions from a never-ending cascade of menus. It's especially annoying for the speed-warning system that's three button-presses away from the home screen, and halfway down a long drop-down menu. A simple software update – or some common sense from NCAP, would fix it.

This annoyance is amplified by the patchy service provided by our car's voice activation system, which perfectly transcribed our requests on the screen but appeared to have connection issues that stopped it from actioning them. We're unsure whether it was a quirk of our specific car or a lack of coverage, but other cars' systems have worked just fine in the same area. 



The XPeng G9 is a big mother-hugger of a car that makes you feel comfortable and safe, like a maternal embrace. Its seats are some of the most comfortable we've ever experienced, and the car's equipment levels are jaw-droppingly generous for the price point.

But as a big, luxurious SUV, the G9 needs to be more than just very well-priced and very comfortable. To take on the likes of the BMW iX it needs a cabin with a silencing ‘wow’ factor, a plush ride, and a driving experience that can surprise and delight. 

But mentioning the G9 in the same breath as the Brawny Bavarian already proves XPeng has got a lot right, and we've got a feeling the G6 – which won't face the same fiercely luxurious competition, could fare even better. 


Engine AC induction/asynchronous, Permanent magnet motors

551PS (405kW)

Torque 717Nm (529lb ft) 
Transmission Single-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Kerb weight 2,415kg
0-62mph 3.9 seconds
Top speed 124mph
Battery 93kWh
Range 323 miles
Price €74,000 (£63,000)

Our score

4 / 5

This score is an average based on aggregated reviews from trusted and verified sources.

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