Publication date: 5 October 2023
Zeekr X

Zeekr X

Great progress, but not ahead

Review - Zeekr has a special story. The models now sold under the Zeekr name were actually designed for another brand. However, they were too good and to give room for innovation, the parent company decided to create the "Zeekr" brand. The "X" is said to even be ahead of its time...

The "X" is Zeekr's second model. The first is a large, fast and luxurious sedan whose sole purpose is to put Zeekr on the map. The X, on the other hand, is a compact SUV and thus the new Chinese brand is targeting the most popular segment of the market.

Zeekr X

To set the tone, a sleek and futuristic design has been chosen. In doing so, black panels create contrasts that make shapes stand out more. For example, black frames make the wheel arches appear larger, while the black roof seems to float above the car. The rear window stands upright, giving the X something quirky. Good to know: despite the very small rear window, visibility in the interior mirror is quite decent. The rimless exterior mirrors are just a little on the small side, so visibility is not optimal.

Despite the modest exterior dimensions, interior space is good. Up front, the X is not only roomy, thanks to generously sized front seats, the car feels bigger than it actually is. Rear seat space is adequate and so is boot space. An extra storage space can be found under the bonnet, but it is so small that it actually only holds a charging cable (if rolled up very tightly).

Zeekr X
Zeekr X


To enhance its futuristic look, a minimalist design has been chosen and everything that can be left out has been omitted. Like many electric cars, the X therefore has no start button. When "drive" is selected, the car powers on. When the driver gets off, the car turns off. The X doesn't even have a light button or volume knob. Really everything is controlled via the central display. Alternatively, voice commands can be given (only in relation to navigation and climate control) and the interior camera recognises gestures (e.g. thumb to the right for next song, to the left for previous).

All this takes some getting used to initially, as the number of options is huge. For Zeekr provides many safety systems in addition to the usual audio, communication and navigation system, even the necessary gimmicks. For instance, instead of honking, the car can also bark, grunt or meow, and the driver can communicate with the outside world via a voice converter. The audio system is provided by Yamaha, but unfortunately it does not offer the quality the brand is known for for home hi-fi. The sound is spacious, but the sound is only "good".

As required by the European Union, the X is equipped with many safety systems that warn or even intervene at every turn. If even a moment is driven too fast, a warning appears and a sound is heard. If the speed then remains too high, a more intrusive warning sounds and a voice exhorts to reduce speed. A warning also sounds for driving too close to a vehicle in front. All this is not only belittling, it is also often unjustified because the camera does not always read road signs properly. As a result, the driver ignores all warnings, even when they might be justified once.

Zeekr X

Despite its very rich equipment, the Zeekr X offers nothing the competition does not. The main difference is that the X is very richly equipped as standard, while a comparable model from the competition requires a lot of extra payment. Compared to the Zeekr 001 released a year and a half earlier, the brand has made clear progress in ergonomics and build quality.

Electric car

Zeekr, like many other Chinese brands, sees room in the market because the establishment is still too slow to switch to electric driving. All of Zeekr's models are therefore electric-powered. In doing so, the X offers a choice of rear- or four-wheel drive. The rear-wheel-drive variant has 272 hp, while the all-wheel-drive version has an additional motor bringing the total to 428 hp. This power also affects the range. The "long range" (rear-wheel drive) has a range of 445 km, while the "performance" covers 425 km on a full battery. During the test drive, consumption came out at 17.9 kW / 100 km, and with that comes a range of over 400 km.

Zeekr X

Charging the X can be done with 150 kW at a fast charger and 22 kW at a public charging point. A special feature  is the small display on the B-pillar so that outside the car it is possible to see how the charging process is progressing.

For this test, the Performance version was driven and, as expected, it is very fast, but never nervous or intrusive. Only when really asked for, the X shows its capabilities. Then its performance is not only good, but even better than other electric cars in this price range.

The four-wheel drive is not permanent. Many times a second, the electronics determine whether the front wheels should assist. In other words, the X basically behaves like a rear-wheel-drive car.

Zeekr X

Highway behaviour

The X shares its platform with some of the parent company's other cars. For instance, the Volvo EX30 and Smart #1 are also on this brand-new base (the Volvo XC40 / C40 and Polestar 2 are on an older platform). This technical base not only accommodates a modern powertrain, but also an advanced suspension. In the all-wheel drive version, this does come at the expense of the turning circle, as it is awkwardly large.

The X has no trouble converting its generous engine power into performance. Moreover, almost nothing is noticeable from the high battery weight. The suspension is not harsh, but despite this, the car steers very tightly. The rear-wheel drive ensures that the feeling in the steering wheel is not disturbed by forces from the drive train. Thereby, the X feels extremely solid, as if the car has been hewn from a single block. All this makes for an extremely confidence-inspiring feel and for driving fun.

Zeekr X


The new Chinese brand "Zeekr" has the slogan "ahead of the curve" and promises to deliver now what other manufacturers promise only in the future. In practice, the X does not live up to that claim. Apart from its progressive design and a few gimmicks, the X does not offer any technology or feature that the competition does not. Of course, the X does get way ahead of combustion engine cars, but that is true of all electric cars.

But... there's more! What Zeekr does is bundle all the goodness of other cars into one model. For instance, the equipment simply includes everything that is available in others at best with many options. In addition, the powertrain, battery and chassis are of the very latest generation and that ensures longer range, faster charging, better performance and more refined handling. Moreover, Zeekr offers all of this at a price for which others provide only a basic model. In short: the X doesn't offer the promised edge, but it does offer huge advances.

  • Excellent driving characteristics
  • Competitive price, rich equipment
  • Excellent performance, fast charging
  • No glove compartment
  • High energy consumption
  • Awkwardly large turning circle