BAIC X55. The compact SUV from China.

On the drive to Schwallungen, Indimo's import warehouse, I wasn't sure what to expect. Now it stands in front of me, the BAIC X55. And I'm disappointed - at least a little, because the SUV doesn't look like China at all. 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 fabric seats with colored seams, a 6-speed gearshift and an entertainment system. In addition, automatic air conditioning, a reversing camera, Android and Iphone connection and all the other comfort features that you need. The interior appears to have been processed with routine, the materials used are no surprise. The brain classifies the ambience as European. If you sit down in a BAIC X55 with your eyes closed, you think you are 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 connections are on board. The graphics on the monitor are not necessarily the latest, but are good average. The rear 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. The SUV lacks modern assistance systems. But that's criticism at a high level. Because the SUV from China is roughly at the good standard of a 2010 model year if you take European brands as a benchmark.

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 on "BAIC X55. The compact SUV from China."

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    A good report, you can only learn about it. Another question is whether you would buy the car. thank you
    Regards
    UG Breske

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    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

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    That was a slightly different test. I thought it was good and completely ok, even if the vehicle didn't suit my taste. We SAAB fans are different from others. That's why a BAIC is tested here and not an Opel, BMW or Mercedes. I'm looking forward to the other two. For the very reason that they don't come around the corner with a socket.
    Conclusion: Tom great report on a not so great car. Thank you for testing it.

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    The view over the edge of the plate is already ok, the development that Saab was smashed and the remains develop a lively life of their own is exciting. Reminds me of the Dessau Bauhaus which was closed by the National Socialists, the expelled Bauhaus members then spread the ideas of modernism all over the world. So if SAAB is hidden in cars all over the world in 10 years ... it would be great. Especially if there are some from Sweden again! 😉 ... and nowhere has the Bauhaus guiding principle "Design follows function" been implemented as consistently as at SAAB

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    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!!

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    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

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    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.

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    Perhaps the comment from the French Saab blog reader should be translated at this point: “Hello, I've owned a Chinese Keeway scooter for 12 months, it is now 20 tkm and it always works very well. I also have a 9-3 flex-fuel that I love. Next time I will not hesitate to buy a Chinese product, because Europe and France neither have the technology nor the intelligence to make excellent things. "

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

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    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.

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      Agree, it's about observing what has become of Saab remnants such as the engines and the products of this company BAIC, you can make such 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.

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    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?

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      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

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

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    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 who knows the original SAAB gearbox will probably even be happy about it.

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

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    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.

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      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 from time to time.

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    Hi
    Je 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 et l'intelligence de savoir faire de leurs mains des choses merveilleuses.

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    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!

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    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

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

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      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.

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

        Volvo makes sense to me personally because of the shared origins and the fluctuation of engineers and developers within both brands, but at Jaguar it becomes arbitrary ...

        One Saab driver looks at the Englishman, the next at the other Swede and the third looks at Italy at the youngest Alfa. A fourth wants a Tesla and a fifth says goodbye to automotive individualism and would like to see a driving report about a Skoda Oktavia here. And so on ...

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    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.

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      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.

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    Thanks for these impressions!
    "Exciting" looks different. But maybe not supposed to ... 😉
    I'm curious what happens to the 2.0 and 2.3 liter SAAB engines ...

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    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.

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    Dear Tom, with all due respect. Why are you even writing about this china crap. a shame about the pages of this blog. it doesn't matter if the materials are ok, if the steering is from Opel. or whether the grill is reminiscent of saab (almost amusing, how one clings convulsively to what it is from the past ...) it is what it is: a completely styleless copy of a vehicle type that was already styleless in the original. and the constant messing around with the night panel: my cadillac eldorado from 1992 already had exactly one “night panel”. it just said simply: display on / off. at saab it was then hyped up as a great achievement. some time later, please correct me, 92 ′ there has not yet been anything like this at saab 🙂

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      Why? Because it is no longer “china crap”. And because every now and then the look beyond our Saab plate does us very good. And because BAIC plays the Saab card in China. I think there are reasons enough for that.

      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.

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