Aiways is a Chinese startup EV brand that specializes in making cheap mass-production EVs that don’t fall into the luxury EV category. This is because Aiways focuses on selling as many Aiways models as possible, and that’s not something you can do with a really expensive car.
Given the fact that most EVs already cost a lot more than a comparable ICE car, it is difficult to sell a luxury EV product if it’s not proven to a certain degree. Aiways does not enjoy almost any brand appeal at the moment because they are still unknown to most markets around the world.
Luxury EVs ooze style, technology, exclusivity, performance, and desirability, yet the U5 only excels when it comes to price, space and usability. The U5 actually costs less than some Japanese economy-level EVs do which means that even those Japanese economy brands tend to offer more desirable and “luxurious” cars.
That’s not to say that the U5 is a bad product because it’s not. The U5 offers great value for money and hardly any EV out there can match what the U5 can offer within its price category.
What makes a car a luxury car?
A luxury car tends to offer lots of high-end options and features that go well beyond what an average car offers. This includes state-of-the-art technology, innovations, plush interiors with features such as heated, cooled, massaged seats, lots of sound insulation, and the latest and greatest safety technologies.
A luxury car usually offers high-end materials such as leather, aluminum, full-grain wood, or even carbon fiber. An interior of a luxury car should feel like a special place to spend time in both for people who enjoy technology and for those who enjoy design and high-end build quality.
Furthermore, a luxury car tends to offer a refined powertrain that offers superior capabilities both in performance, range, and charging technology. Batteries found in high-end luxury EVs tend to be a lot bigger than those found in cheap EVs like the U5.
Luxury cars are separated from regular cars because they are the ones that get the newest and best technologies first which later trickle down to the rest of the car industry.
Aiways U5 – Why the U5 is not a luxury car
Now when we know what makes a luxury car, we can try and assess the U5 from a luxury car standpoint. Firstly, the U5 does offer quite a bit of state-of-the-art options, but it also lacks some high-end options such as bespoke leather, higher levels of individualization, and state-of-the-art infotainment system technology.
The materials found inside the U5’s cabin are soft and good-looking, but they are nowhere near a luxury car level. The interior design is nice, but only because the U5 costs as much as it does. The multiple infotainment screen setup also looks nice, but when you compare it with what luxury EVs offer, it seems a few years behind.
The U5 offers a 63 kWh battery that only offers 150Kw (201hp) of power which is 3 or 4 times less than what some luxury EVs offer. The U5 also lacks when it comes to safety, even for the economy level segment.
The U5 does not offer a luxurious driving experience either because it lacks sound insulation and the suspension setup simply isn’t as refined as it is in some more expensive EVs.
Mercedes Benz EQS – The most luxurious EV on the market
The Mercedes Benz EQS is by far the most luxurious EV money can buy right now because it offers futuristic features at a $100,000+ price. Whether it be the Hyperscreen, the ambient lighting, the build materials, or the stately design, no one is going to mistake the EQS for a regular EV.
The Mercedes Benz EQS offers a 120kWh battery with a maximum usable capacity of almost 108kWh which is leagues above the U5. The EQS also holds the record for the most miles traveled on a single charge because the EQS managed to do more than 420 miles on a single charge.
The EQS also excels when it comes to safety and innovation as it offers more than 350 different sensors that monitor almost every aspect of the drive. The moment you set foot inside the EQS you will be wowed with amazing attention to detail and incredible high-quality materials.
Performance-wise, the EQS AMG offers 516hp which is certainly enough for every occasion imaginable.
Can Aiways become a luxury brand?
It takes quite a bit of work to become a relevant addition to the current luxury car market. Even though Aiways could potentially become a luxury brand, this is not going to happen according to what Aiways aims to achieve.
They are not interested in making luxury vehicles because they want to encompass the lower echelon of the EV market. There are simply too many amazing luxury EV options at the moment, but there are only a few decent EVs in the lower price category which means that there is more work that can be done there.
Are luxury cars pointless?
The answer to this question is highly subjective as luxury is something you experience, not something you need. If you view cars as A-to-B transportation devices you are likely going to believe that the U5 is a great car and that there is no need for anyone to buy and own a Mercedes EQS.
However, if you are a car enthusiast, you love the nicer things in life or you spend a lot of time on the road, you are likely going to appreciate cars such as the EQS more. All in all, we can’t say that they are pointless because they are the very best at what they do.
What are the best luxury EV brands?
Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, BMW, Tesla, Jaguar, Rivian, Lucid, and Polestar are what we tend to refer to as luxury EV brands. Kia, Hyundai, Toyota, Honda also make EVs, but they are usually classed as Japanese economy level cars.
Porsche, Audi, and Tesla make the best luxury sports EVs, while Mercedes and Lucid make the most comfortable EVs on the market.