NIO ET5 Touring driving report: On the road in the eMove360° Award winner

Successful design, smart cargo space details, good everyday and long-distance suitability and, above all, FINALLY A COMBI. For the current issue of eMove360° magazine in german language, we took the NIO ET5 Touring on the road to South Tyrol – By Sabine Metzger

Over more than 250,000 kilometers, our old diesel station wagon has never let us down, whether on winter snowboarding trips or SUP or hiking tours in summer. But the diesel had to go. In the search for an electric estate car, things are looking rather bleak, with e-SUVs everywhere you look. The Chinese e-car manufacturer NIO stands out with its well-designed NIO ET5 Touring electric lifestyle estate. Designed in Munich (where the NIO design forge is based) for an active lifestyle with lots of smart gadgets in the rear, it is the ideal vehicle for anyone who likes to be on the move.

Convincing. This also convinced the eMove360° Award jury. They unanimously selected the ET5 Touring as the 2023 winner. Above all, the designers among the jury, such as Christian Labonte, Manager Design Experience AUDI AG, and Prof. Peter Naumann, Munich University of Applied Sciences Industrial Design Department, honoured its perfect proportions, while the hatchback design emphasizes its dynamic body contours. Like the sedan version, it is just under 4.80 meters long, 2.18 meters wide and 1.50 meters high. A roof railing with a load capacity of up to 75 kilograms and a modified rear end with an estate end have been added.

Smart. The ET5 Touring is our travel companion for a weekend trip to South Tyrol. On Friday, we stow the hiking rucksacks, mountain boots and suitcases in the trunk. Its volume is 450 liters, another 42 liters are added under the double loading floor, and with the rear seat backrests fully folded down (three-part, 40:20:40) it adds up to 1300 liters. Cool. The rear section of the variable floor can be fixed upright as a load compartment divider. Pull-out flaps with magnetic locking and roll-up function are helpful when stowing cargo. There are even fold-out hooks for clothes hangers in the electric tailgate. Water sports enthusiasts can dry their wetsuits here, for example, while hikers can air out their functional clothing. Also cool. The flashlight in the cargo area, which can be taken outside with a click.

Feel good: But now behind the wheel of the NIO ET5 Touring. We have a little difficulty extending the recessed door handles and opening the doors with the frameless windows. In the interior, we are greeted by a feel-good ambience in warm earth tones. The cockpit looks clear and uncluttered and is tastefully furnished with high-quality, environmentally friendly materials. Nothing wobbles or looks cheap. The 12-inch touch display in the center of the dashboard responds quickly and has a very good resolution.

Digital. A new generation of software was launched with the market launch of the Touring in September. Equipped with Banyan, the smart digital system, the second-generation digital equipment offers more AI computing power as well as faster graphics and multimedia processing. It took us a while to adjust some of the functions, such as the exterior mirrors. But there’s also NOMI, the friendly voice assistant and artificial intelligence, which is either enthroned on the dashboard or recessed into it (optional according to “user”, i.e. customer request). NOMI almost always understands our every word, so it soon warms up to a cozy 23 degrees and massages the lower back…

“Hey NOMI, let’s go to Sand in Taufers!”

Powerful drive. NOMI suggests two options, including charging facilities. South Tyrol, here we come. There is no start button, simply push the small automatic selector lever forward, step on the gas pedal and the ET5 Touring glides smoothly and silently over the asphalt. If you fancy a bit of that airplane-at-take-off feeling, you can experience that too. Two electric motors with a total of 360 kW/490 hp and 700 Nm of torque distributed over four wheels provide plenty of thrust, propelling the 2.2 tons to 100 km/h in 4.0 seconds. The top speed is 200 km/h – that is definitely a statement in the electric car segment.

Relaxed. We reach 200 on a fine straight stretch of the A80 between Irschenberg and Rosenheim. The NIO ET5 masters the speedy drive calmly and serenely. NOMI then charmingly reminds us of the speed limit at the Inntal triangle and as soon as we don’t keep exactly to the lane, a warning “Stay focused” comes from the dashboard. At the Wörgl service station, NOMI suggests a charging stop at the IONITY hypercharger. Of the maximum 300 kW, 150 kW are used. In the meantime, we have a coffee, browse through magazines and get the AFINAG app for the burner. The journey continues.

Rich in views. Snow-covered mountain giants stretch out into the deep blue sky, snow lies at an altitude of 1800 meters and above, the colourful autumn leaves glow below and the meadows are still green. The all-glass panoramic roof (with intelligent dimming) opens up wonderful views. The view to the rear is less good. The rear window is a little narrow, which causes me some difficulty when reversing. Yes, the camera view on the front display shows the way, but I also like to have a view of the traffic behind me when driving forwards. In Brixen we leave the A1 in the direction of Kronplatz. It’s slowly getting dark. After a good three and a half hours’ drive, we reach our destination relaxed. The brand new, circular, energy self-sufficient Aparthotel OLM in Sand in Taufers. Here we and the NIO ET5 can charge our batteries. You can read more about this in the eMove360° travel tip.

Buy, rent, subscribe. The Nio ET5 Touring starts at 47,500 euros. The battery is not included and can be rented for 169 euros per month (75 kWh, 100 kWh for 289 euros per month). If you decide to buy the battery, you will pay 12,000 euros for the smaller version and 21,000 euros for the 100 kWh battery. Those who rent the battery can use an NIO Power Swap Station (PSS). In just a few minutes, an empty battery can be swapped for one that is 80 percent full. The parking and swapping process is fully automated. There are currently seven PSS in Germany and 28 across Europe. Nio has already secured a further 50 locations. The NIO ET5 Touring is also available as a subscription model. You pay 1119 or 1249 euros per month and can also use the PSS.

Conclusion: We are sure that the Nio ET5 Touring will quickly gather a large fan base thanks to its successful design, its smart details and its charming NOMI, and it is also a lot of fun to drive.


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10.01.2024   |  

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