The Baojun Yep, a Chinese electric mini SUV, has finally made its entry into the Chinese market. This electric mini SUV is sold at a price lower than the estimations, starting from 10,500 € (79,800 RMB).
Although China is primarily a market focused on larger cars, the segment of small electric vehicles has experienced remarkable growth in recent years. And the specialist in this field, SAIC-GM-Wuling, intends to take full advantage of it with its two brands, Wuling and Baojun. The range is expanding rapidly and now offers a unique proposition in the market: an electric mini SUV.
The Baojun Yep is inevitably seen as a copy of the Suzuki Jimny. Its style is heavily inspired by it, but it manages to be even more compact, with a length of less than 3.40 meters. However, it is wider, as the original Japanese model belongs to the Kei car category.
Although the inspiration is evident, the Yep is not a true 4×4 like the Jimny. It is based on a monocoque structure and does not have off-road capabilities, despite the announcements of approach or departure angles that may suggest otherwise. There is no all-wheel drive. It is equipped with a rear-mounted electric motor of 50 kW / 68 hp and 140 Nm. However, a four-wheel-drive version is possible.
The LFP battery supplied by CATL has a capacity of 28.1 kWh and offers a certified range of 303 km in China according to the CLTC cycle, which would correspond to approximately 240 km in the WLTP cycle if it were to be sold in Europe, although this is unlikely.
The price war struck again when the first information about this model was released. The initial price was estimated to be around 100,000 RMB (13,200 €). Ultimately, the Yep is available starting from 79,800 RMB (10,500 €). At this price, the standard equipment includes, for example, two electrically adjustable front seats, two 10.25-inch screens, 4G-connected services, air conditioning with PM 2.5 particle filtration, and LED headlights.
The high-end version, sold for 89,800 RMB (11,850 €), mainly adds more advanced driving aids developed in partnership with DJI, such as contextual level 2 semi-autonomous driving and parking assistance with memorization function. The famous Car-Watch at the rear is also included. This screen embedded in the side-opening tailgate allows for displaying icons and personalized messages.
Although the trunk is tiny, the Yep compensates with practical tricks. In addition to multiple storage compartments, there is a bar on the dashboard for hanging various accessories, as well as a refrigerated storage under the front hood.
Considering the very positive reception received by this vehicle, it is likely that we will see similar offers from other Chinese manufacturers in the coming months.