BAIC X55. The compact SUV from China.

On the drive to Schwallungen, the import warehouse of Indimo, I was unsure what to expect. Now he is in front of me, the BAIC X55. And I'm disappointed - a little bit at least, because the SUV does not look at all to China. But on the contrary !

The typical Senova Grill is said to be reminiscent of Saab
The typical Senova Grill is said to be reminiscent of Saab

Like all BAIC Senova models, the front features the grille with stylized wings. This is what a Chinese friend wrote to remind me of Saab. Whether it does or not, I leave open. It certainly looks pleasing and gives the car a friendly, European face, as does the rest of the design. At the C-pillars a decorative turbo sticker is to be found, at the rear carries the X55 LED taillights.

Engineering DNA from Mitsubishi, Opel, Mercedes

The view under the bonnet shows a clear, tidy engine room. An 1.5 turbo engine from Mitsubishi, ECUs from European and Japanese suppliers, all routinely and skilfully arranged. The exotics effect is missing, and that has a reason. The BAIC is Mitsubishi, Mercedes, Opel. The steering wheel in the interior, as an example, is Opel. The electric power steering is used in many models from Rüsselsheim, the list could now continue even further.

A look into the interior. Our test vehicle has cloth seats with contrasting stitching, an 6 gear shift and an entertainment system. In addition, climate control, a reversing camera, Android and Iphone connection and all the other comfort features that you need. The interior seems to be routinely processed, the materials used are no surprise. The brain classifies the ambiance as European. If you sit in a BAIC X55 with your eyes closed, you think you're in a Kia, Mitsubishi or Opel. But never in a car from China.

The impression stops when you press the start button. The BAIC starts to move and first of all the stiffness of the body is noticeable. This comes as a surprise, because we would not have expected. The chassis, the importer gets vehicles to US specification, feels surprisingly tight and comfortable. Bumps are swallowed, manhole cover filtered away. Even on the highway, the X55 drives unspectacular and very European, the test on the highway is still pending. We bravely test the ABS and ESP, let the X55 drive in a circle beyond public traffic. Everything makes a good-natured, sure impression. The vote fits, but would tolerate some fine tuning.

Oh yes, a nightpanel

The SUV from China is pleasingly easy to drive. The servo is playful to use, the clutch smooth, the shift travel but too long. In the coordination in the interaction of engine and transmission is still missing some fine work. The supercharged engine, with its 136 PS, bravely fights unsuccessfully against around 1.4 tons of curb weight. The X55 has no sporting ambitions and is a brave representative of its kind. From the turbo is not felt, but we had not expected.

The entertainment is just as easy to use. Bluetooth, Car Link, Iphone and Android connectivity are on board. The graphics of the monitor are not necessarily the last, but good average. The rear view camera draws nice lines and works as expected.

As a special feature, there is a Nightpanel, but the operating unit hides unfavorable in the vicinity of the light switch. BAIC did not quite understand the background. In addition, one finds in the car a manual, the layout of Saab drivers will happen immediately known.

BAIC X55 conclusion

The BAIC X55 is a single unit in the popular 4.40 Meter class. He drives soberly and matter-of-factly like a Mitsubishi, Opel, Kia. What is BAIC / Senova as a great compliment, but should be a serious warning to all Europeans, Japanese and Koreans. The closed eyes thing was so serious. It shows how damn close Chinese carmakers came to the rest of the world, and how frustratingly little character transport modern vehicles of other brands.

The X55 will never win a comparison test in Germany. Modern assistance systems are missing the SUV. But that is criticism at a high level. Because the SUV from China moves on about the good standard of an 2010er model year, if one takes European brands as a yardstick.

The technique is clear, not exotic, and probably very reliable. The body made us a disturbingly stiff impression, the workmanship is routine with minor negligence. The BAIC X55 has slight weaknesses in the tuning of engine and transmission. However, we wonder if customers in this price segment even rate that. Because with 18.450 € from the importer's warehouse, the X55 delivers a lot of cars in a price-sensitive segment.

The import from China is still in its infancy. The BAIC rider is still greeting Chinese characters at the start, and there are still a few signs on the car that are Chinese. That could easily and quickly change, and probably the X55 will be even more Europeanized in a few months. His design is already there and he also has potential in his market segment.

The X55 and the Saab theme

Would the question be a conclusion. Is the X55 somehow a Saab? If it is not, even the slightly tired Mitsubishi engine prevents any Saab feeling. The bigger brother of the X55, the BAIC Senova X65 has a 2.0 liter Saab Turbo under the bonnet. It should be available in Germany in February or March and we will test it. Before we drive another SUV. The BJ40 with 2.3 liter Saab Turbo.

32 thoughts too "BAIC X55. The compact SUV from China."

  • Dear Tom, with all due respect. Why are you even writing about this china-crap? pity about the pages of this blog. It does not matter if the materials are ok, if the steering of Opel is. or whether the grill reminds of saab (almost amusing, as one clings to something convulsive there ...) it is what it is: a completely styleless copy of a already in the original style vehicle genus. and the eternal tinkering with the nightpanel: my cadillac eldorado from 1992 already had exactly a "nightpanel". only it was said simply: display on / off. At saab it was then hyped as a great achievement. some time later then, please correct me, 92 'has not existed at saab yet 🙂

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    • Why? Because it is just not a "china-crap" (anymore). And because from time to time the view over our Saab bowl is doing us very well. And because BAIC plays the Saab card in China. I think that's reason enough.

      The desired correction: GM has copied from Saab. The Night or Blackpanel was ready for the 901 successor even before the entry of the Americans.

  • The price is one side. The security would interest me sometimes synonymous. And the longevity is probably not important anymore today. You also change cell phones every two years at the latest.
    Considering that an average new car in production needs as much energy as an 4 headed family in almost 10 years.
    Where is the sustainability?
    The question that arises to me is rather-
    When do we finally get things done with sustainability?
    Something holds and in everyday life by failure not annoying ???
    If you ever stop with children in the evening sometime and then freeze, the best LED turn signal uses nothing.
    I better get into my 97 Anny and he drives at least- and you remember him for years!
    And I do not need to wait until the software is loaded as a current update.

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    • Under the sheet stuck to a considerable extent Mercedes structure. I assume a good rating in the crash test, the larger X65 did very well. Of course, sustainability is a very different, very important topic. An 9k is sustainable.

  • Thanks for these impressions!
    "Exciting" looks different. But maybe not at all ... 😉
    Let's see what happens with the 2.0 and 2.3 liter SAAB engines ...

  • Externally slightly reminiscent of the Hyundai ix35, I think.
    For me, the BAIC X55 of what I see is a heavily cobbled vehicle. The Opel steering wheel alone is quite disturbing. I do not think that such a vehicle, where you can clearly see the bonds of other manufacturers, can prevail on the European market.
    The price argument alone may possibly motivate some interested parties to buy. To bring the vehicle in any connection with a Saab, I do not see in the least.
    Even though I can not quite understand the (exaggerated) comments of some previous speakers. For me, this article is always more interesting than many readers' contributions or vintage car contributions

    Btw: I think the grill with the emblem is pretty awful, it makes the Chinese origin very clear.

    • The Opel steering wheel that should be so disturbing in the Baic is exactly the same, which is installed in the 9-5 NG. Does it also interfere with the 9-5? Should one say the Baic X55 has nothing to do with Saab.

  • Already exciting how much the impressions are apart. I think the design is not better or worse than the mocha or ASX. It is also interesting how far the Chinese are with their cars.

    @ Tom: These reports are important and make the awesome cool blog mix. We love all our SAAB`s. but the world keeps turning. It is important to stand with one leg in the present

    • Thank you! We will continue to keep our mix as it was!

    • yes, the perfect right. Then please reports on brands that could be alternatives for a Saabiebhaber (Jaguar, Volvo). and not about this styleless suv-ulcer.

      • How does one Saab driver know what the other has to do with SAAB?

        Volvo lights me personally because of the shared origin and also the fluctuation of the engineers and developers within both brands so immediately, but at Jaguar it will be arbitrary ...

        The one Saab driver switched to the Englishman, the next to the other Sweden and the third switched to Italy on the youngest Alfa. A fourth wants a Tesla and a fifth says Ade about automotive individualism and would like to see a driving report about a Skoda Oktavia here. And so on ...

  • More exciting than this driving report are the other two. Let's see how the good old SAAB engines are doing in the foreign vehicles!

  • Hello
    The possède un scooter Keeway chinois depuis 12 ans il a 20000 km, il fonctionne toujours très bien, j'ai aussi une SAAB 9.3 flex fuel dont je suis enchanté. Je n'hésiterais pas à acheter un matériel chinois la prochaine fois car l'Europe et la France, n'ont pas gardé la technique and the intelligence de savoir faire de leurs mains des choses merveilleuses.

  • I also consider the contribution superfluous. Especially since a few days ago was communicated, in the future no longer want to deal with other brands. Except NEVS. But we quickly lost the thread. Much work and time that, in my opinion, would not have been necessary.

    • I have to quote myself: "What will not come, we have also thought about it, is the permanent presence of another brand on the blog."It will stay that way. There will always be a look at other brands at intervals.

  • Is not that a Borgward? Or the other way around?

  • The one with the SAAB DNA is also such a thing: My 9-5 Aero SC from 2007 had a turbocharger from Mitsubishi, a gearbox from Aisin (Toyota / Borg Warner), a sat nav from Denso (also Toyota) and quite a few chassis parts from GM ,

    The B235R engine was still SAAB. (However, this too was refined constructively in Opel's last expansion stage and supplemented by an oil sensor for the elimination of the oil sludge).

    All in all, the product was ok, even if technically not quite up to date.

    The "pure SAAB construction" has not existed for a long time. Anyone familiar with original SAAB transmissions will probably even be glad about it.

  • Yes, what will become of the blog if there is nothing to write about Saab. Of course you have to look beyond the famous box, but is it worth a BAIC?

    • Maybe yes, maybe not. But it's worth keeping things on the radar. Moreover, it is not that we have no exciting Saab messages ready

    • It does not matter if it is worth BAIC. It is an exploration of the history of SAAB. That's all.

  • Well that's a nice discussion here. I think we all enjoy it, when the bloggers take a refreshing look beyond the SAAB world. On the one hand, the topics are always unconventionally well chosen, and on the other, BAIC has bought the rights to SAAB Property in the specific case.

    Perhaps not every commentator is mentally alert enough for such excursions, and feels disturbed in the healing world. That could also be.

    • Agree, it's about watching, what has become of Saab remnants like the engines and the products of this company BAIC, you can bring a contribution.

      China is in the spotlight anyway because of NEVS and it stays that way. I also found the info about the new Volvo brand Lynk worth reading.

      The development of e-mobility should continue to be monitored, not least to see how the NEVS environment will look.

  • Perhaps the comment should be translated by the French Saab blog reader at this point: "Good day, I own a Chinese Keeway scooter since 12 months, he now has 20 tkm and always works very well. I also have a 9-3 flex-fuel that excites me. Next time, I will not hesitate to buy a Chinese product, because Europe and France have neither the technology nor the intelligence to do great things. "

    • Everyone would have understood English. But that's the way they are, the French

  • Too bad. A boring car that is just as bad designed as the Japanese and especially Opel, etc. Can one forget confidently and say goodbye to SAAB. In any case, I give my now with 303 Tkm. Goodbye everyone.

  • I think it's great you've seen something in the direction: top:
    Nevs is also more interesting to me than baic.
    Tom, you absolutely do not have to justify yourself for what you write here! i

  • It is partly frightening what you read here. Then leave not only Saab but also the blog. Personally, I always find it good Tom if you make us real Saab fans familiar with all the things that have or have had any connection with Saab anywhere or at some point. I do not experience that in a car newspaper. That does not immediately mean that you have to be enthusiastic about the vehicle, it's simply about the information.
    Keep it up!!

  • the view over the plate is already ok, the development of the Saab was smashed and the remains to develop a lively life is exciting. Reminds me of the Dessau Bauhaus that was closed by the Nazis, the expelled Bauhausler then spread the ideas of modernity in the world. So if SAAB is hiding in the cars in 10 all over the world, .. it would be great. Especially if it is then again from Sweden! 😉 ... and in the car the guiding idea of ​​the Bauhaus "Design follows function" has never been implemented as consistently as at SAAB

  • That was a different kind of test. I found it good and completely ok, even if the vehicle does not meet my taste. We SAAB fans are just different than others. That's why a BAIC is tested here and no Opel, BMW or Mercedes. I'm looking forward to the other two. For the reason that they do not come with a socket around the corner.
    Conclusion: Tom great report on a not so great car. Thank you for testing it.

  • I also like to read this first review and find it interesting! And completely independent of any Saab influences. We should remember back to earlier times with the first Kia and Hyundai models and how mockingly these brands were partially covered in the media. There is no evidence of that today and the two brands have become active market players and competitors! Not just about the price, but because the Asians learned quickly! In a few years, it will be normal for Chinese manufacturers to play a major role in our car market as well.

    So thanks for the test and I also like to read Chinese with 2.0 or 2.3 liter Saab engines

  • A good report, you can only learn. Whether you would buy the car is another question. Thank you
    Regards
    UG Breske

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