mPreview: Zeekr 009 – Comfy Tiger, Happy Dragon

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1720528006626 Mpreview Zeekr 009 Comfy Tiger Happy Dragon Featured

Zeekr will be fighting hard to make its mark on the Singapore market, and one of the segments they will contest is a Singaporean favourite, the towkay class.

The Zeekr 009 is a brand new fully-electric luxury MPV that will be firmly in the fight against the likes of the Alphard and Vellfire. Zeekr is hedging its bets on the 009 being a bona fide alternative to the incumbents and based on what I’ve seen so far, that may not be a bad bet. 

For starters, it looks rather imposing and very VIP-like. The front “grille” is made up of thin slats that are actually LEDs that light up the front end with shades of the Rolls Royce Cullinan in its appearance. Most trim pieces are able to be optioned either in body colour or chrome, with the latter adding to the show-offy nature of riding around in a 5-metre-plus luxo-limo. Although I’m sure the Douyin superstars will adore the frankly rather polarising looks.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1720528046936 804 A0651+CopyFlooring the 009 is less frantic rush and more firm shove, though the squat is hilarious.

I got to spend a little bit of time recently with the 009 as part of the Zeekr media trip to China. I also sampled the Zeekr X which you can read about here. Unfortunately, due to Chinese regulations, we were not able to take the cars out on the public roads so instead we only managed to get driving impressions on track at the Ningbo International Circuit.

So since we tested it on a racetrack, I’ll cover the dynamics first and interior later. On paper, the 009 beggars belief. Remember, this is a full-sized, 6-seater MPV that weighs nigh on three tonnes but it can do 0-100km/h in just 4.5 seconds and come to a dead stop from 100km/h in only 36.9 metres. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1720528211023 Img 5640

This is largely thanks to the two motors combined with a 114kWh battery to produce a maximum output of 536hp and 686Nm of torque. Range is also equally as impressive with a CLTC claimed maximum of 822km on a single charge and can recharge from 10-80% in just 30 minutes.

On the move, the 009 is a bastion against any and all external interference. The air suspension is part of their “magic chassis” setup and uses the cameras at the front to read the road ahead to actively adjust the air suspension to keep the car level and the ride as comfortable as possible. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1720528232830 804 A0813+CopyThe lean is not exaggerated.

This works remarkably well and even over the serrated rumble strips that line the Ningbo Circuit, the 009 never transmitted any of those judders into the cabin. This was easily the most serene experience I’ve ever had at a racetrack and I nearly fell asleep when I was sitting in the middle row on my passenger laps.

Even with the ample power propelling you down the road at high speed, the 009 remains remarkably quiet and composed. This is all to best allow you to simply chillax and enjoy the comfort and features of the 009, of which there are a great many. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1720528249237 Img 5644These are the best seats in the house.

The best feature, in my opinion and also the opinion of most Zeekr employees we spoke to, are the seats in the middle row. The 009 is a 6-seater with the seats arranged in a 2-2-2 layout and like all the other towkay-class cars, the middle seats are the place to be. 

As you might expect, they’re fully electric on top of being ventilated and heated and are supremely cushy. They have oodles of padding and can be adjusted every which way through the switches on the armrest. The headrest even wraps around your head and there are tray tables that can be folded out.

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Unfortunately, there is one downside of having the centre-row seats so plush, there’s no space between or beside them to squeeze through to get to the rear seats like you can do in the Kia Carnival or Hyundai Staria. Instead, you’ll just have to move the middle row forwards before someone can clamber into the third row. 

On the upside, thanks to the 009 measuring in at a substantial 5.2 metres, passengers in the third row are still treated to loads of legroom instead of the claustrophobic squeeze you might get in a lesser MPV. 

But this is no lesser MPV, the 009 is as modern and up-to-snuff as they come. There is no shortage of fancy tech like the digital clocks in the rear doorcards that double up as a touchscreen to adjust the aircon. There’s also the same AI voice assistant, Eva, that we saw in the Zeekr X. Like in the X, Eva is able to perform a much wider range of functions than most cars on the market today. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1720528290820 804 A0810+CopyI hope you like tapping a screen because that's the only option here, apart from Eva of course.

The 15.4-inch centre infotainment display up front houses the controls for all the car’s functions and works smoothly and without any lag. There will undoubtedly be an English translation for the UI when it comes to Singapore but for the moment the contents, as extensive as they are, are largely a mystery to this CLB-standard author.

Overall, the Zeekr 009 seems, at least at first glance, like a solid alternative to its far more established rivals. The 009 is expected to come to Singapore by Q1 2025 and pricing is also yet to be announced. It’s also uncertain what spec the 009 will arrive in and whether the ultra-luxe 4-seater variant will also be sold here. What is certain though, is that the Chinese are here to fight and the Zeekr 009 is leading the charge.

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1720528362119 804 A0793+CopyBlacked-out or chromed-out, it's your choice.

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