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NIO ES6 Hand-on Experience

As a Tesla and a Zeeker car owner, I switched to NIO ES6 (2023) in June, 2023, and I wanted to drive it for a while longer so that I could express the pros and cons clearly. So after 150 days and 9,000 kilometers of driving experience, I finally thought it was time to share my experience with the ES6.

What configurations were chosen? Classic white paint, default wheels, pearl shell interior, ventilated seats, N-box, 75 degree power buyout.

I had a clear vision for this car – a comfortable family car. As a complementary model to the other cars in the family, there weren’t too many personalization options. Compared to the competition, the NIO has a lot of options and a much higher price. I’ve summarized some of the recommended and non-recommended items for reference, so click on the pictures if you’re interested, or just skip them if you’re not.

What about the ES6?


The most obvious feeling is that the NIO ES6 is really much better than other competitors in all aspects of texture.

Nowadays, new energy vehicles are all about configuration. There are many configurations available, but “available” and “good” are two different things.

Material, details, aesthetics can be taken into account, there is no rival in this price range. Let’s say, for example, Zeeker, Xiaopeng, and NIO all have massaging and ventilating seats. But NIO’s seats, whether it’s the strength of the massage or ventilation, are much better than the competition, including the comfort level of the seats, which are “a butt” gap.

Another example is that both the Extreme Zeeker 001 and the NIO ES6 have three screens and HUDs, and even the Extreme Krypton 001 has a bigger screen. But when I put on polarized sunglasses, Krypton’s central control screen will appear colorful lines (indeed, the screen material is really not good), the HUD will be directly filtered out by the sunglasses, the NIO does not have such a situation; the driver’s side of the instrument panel, Krypton is only a dark mode, and no matter whether it’s the resolution or the content, the perception of the bad, and the NIO’s dashboard screen is Mini-LED, the night does not sting the eyes, during the day, high brightness, display content is also rich. It’s bright and has a much richer display.

There’s also a welcome mode, which uses the car’s sensors to recognize the user’s distance from the car and gradually turns on the lights and unlocks the car. Other cars do this, but with UWB, the NIO is much better at shaping the ambience, judging distance, and accuracy. In addition, there are ADB matrix headlights that really recognize other cars and provide excellent illumination, non-obtrusive reflective interior ambient lighting, infinitely adjustable interior reading lamps that light up at the touch of a button, matte metal trim that matches the color of the interior, huge vanity mirrors, and brighter filler lamps!

These things are all there when you look at the parameter list and report the configuration, consumers will feel the same, however, the actual experience is very different, and these differences can not be fully reflected in the test drive. It’s the “a little bit better” in each place that makes up the texture of the NIO ES6.


The ES6 is clearly positioned as a comfortable family car. Based on this positioning, there are a few things that I particularly like.

First of all, the seats, the new self-developed seats are really great, much more comfortable than the Zeeker and Tesla. It’s soft but won’t get tired after driving for a long time, and the front headrests also support 4-way adjustment. In today’s world of one-piece seats, the adjustable headrests have saved my neck, and they’re much more comfortable than all kinds of three-way headrest accessories. Since there is no armrest box, the passenger legroom is also much more plentiful than in other cars. Next, the rear seats are also spacious and comfortable enough, with cushions of sufficient length and height to allow your feet to fit under the front seats, so although it doesn’t have a huge wheelbase, you don’t get the Extreme Kryptonite type of sitting in the back with your feet in the wrong place any way you want.

Secondly, the ES6 doesn’t opt for a slinky back shape in order to be deliberately sporty, which brings the benefit of plenty of headroom and storage space. 180 in height won’t be blocked from view in the front, and the head won’t be on top of the head in the back. Not only that, but the ES6 has a huge glass sunroof while the sunroof can be opened and a power canopy comes standard! Yes, it’s 2023 and the openable sunroof and power canopy are surprisingly big selling points. Who gets it? In Shenzhen, the highest outdoor parking temperature can reach 70 degrees, not to mention the EC variable sunroof, the electric sunroof is the optimal solution for aesthetics and practicality. However, how many pure electric cars nowadays can offer such a configuration? Not to mention these two points, compared to its own ET5, ET7 and EC6, it is simply an era ahead of its time.

At the same time, the tuning of this car is more domestic. No matter how you step on the gas pedal, it doesn’t feel like a Tesla, and the acceleration output is very linear, and with the Comfort Brake function, this is a car that I just don’t drive blindly, and my family’s feedback is very good.

But this also means that although the ES6 has 4-second acceleration, you can’t expect it to be able to go anywhere like a Tesla or a Lotus, or split corners at high speeds, and it doesn’t have the kind of greased road insulation that the Extreme Kryptonite 001 air suspension has. It’s a decent SUV to drive, with confident lane changes, no boatiness, plenty of power, no throttle rush, and linear brakes. The mechanical suspension with CDC filters fine road vibrations well, much better than the old ES6 with air suspension, and can provide 80% of the experience of the 001 air suspension, with a lot less of the problems of air suspension. Except for the experience of crossing speed bumps, I am satisfied with the other aspects.


The ES6 screen is not big, but the intelligent experience is very good, stable and hassle-free.

The vertical screen of the NIO NT2.0 has been criticized by too many people, but it is only after actually using it that I realized that the content and intelligence of the car behind this vertical screen are actually quite well done.

First of all, the basic functions of the car machine are perfect. Sentry mode, car wash mode, voice control of the whole car, quick scene commands, share hotspot in the car, remote view of the real situation outside the car, wirelessly send the full-angle car recorder video to the phone, Apple Watch car control, parking photos and so on, not only are all of these functions, but also good to use.

Secondly, the mainstream applications also have everything. The car navigation map is very reliable, support for cell phone push navigation location, but also support a key navigation to the power station automatically order. It also comes with its own app store to expand the software, singing, games, videos, paying parking fees in the car and so on. And Azera also has its own content platform. For example, the object and I will often listen to the NIO Radio and NIO immersive sound, can really give some differentiated experience, such as the car can directly contact customer service after-sales, a key to report feedback, you can use the Nomi set alarms, and cell phones and location linkage, etc., can be a small screen behind the carrier is its rich content.

So although many cars have a large screen, but the whole intelligent experience in all aspects of good, there are only a few. Tesla now navigation are still three years ago, that kind of virtue, also does not support wireless send car recorder video, even does not support with the flow of OTA. extreme krypton car recorder even export the whole car camera can not, all kinds of glitches over and over again. Not to mention that many cars do not even perfect the basic functions of the light show.

The most important thing is that in the past six months of experience, never experienced lag or black screen, and encountered very few bugs. This kind of stability gives people a feeling of peace of mind, think than the previous two cars, the performance is much better.

Assisted driving

The ES6’s assisted driving isn’t first tier, but it’s all there and it works well.

The ES6’s assisted driving is the industry’s top tier in terms of hardware, but at this stage, there’s still a significant gap between the actual capabilities and the kind of 0-takeover solutions and commuting modes that are already available to users like Xiaopeng and Huawei. Anyway, NIO’s pie is always drawing, and we car owners are only concerned about when we can actually use it, not to say more than the former, but only hope to catch up as soon as possible. After all, the hardware are two more than others, R&D investment is more than others, the cost of purchasing a car is also higher than others, but the performance is not as good as others, it is not good. The CEO also said you can’t always mention long-termism right?

In addition to the slow progress in urban areas and the switching of high-precision maps leading to misjudgment, the performance of other aspects of the NIO is still very good. High-speed assisted driving is relatively stable, LCC does not draw a dragon, follow the car experience is still OK, lane change is also quite active, the success rate of automatic parking is high, summoning and remote parking is very stable and good, collision warning has never been triggered inadvertently, and active safety has twice successfully helped me brake.

Don’t look at all these things as if they are standardized and not difficult to do, excluding the two mentioned above, there is basically no better assisted driving than NIO.


The energy consumption is a surprise, but the range is really not long.

The average energy consumption of the Model 3 is 13-15, the average energy consumption of the ES6 is 15-17, and the average energy consumption of the 001 is 19-21 when I drive in the city. The ES6 and 001 are also dual-motor, 2.4-ton vehicles, but the energy consumption can be so much less, which is really surprising. Even at highway speeds, the average energy consumption is basically within 20. With Silicon Carbide SIC and good optimization, ES6 can indeed get rid of the hat of high energy consumption (ES6 energy consumption performance is even better than ET5).

However, energy consumption does not mean battery life. In the same price range of competitors’ batteries are often 90 degrees 100 degrees, standard 75 degrees of battery ES6 is indeed not excellent endurance, can only be said to be barely enough. After running for half a year, basically one battery can actually run 320 kilometers. This is indeed the shortest range of any tram I’ve ever bought, and compared to the 100-degree Krypton 001, it’s about 100 kilometers less. However, with the battery swap, there’s basically nothing to worry about. I can only say that the NIO really doesn’t offer much ‘value for money’.

So even if you just discuss the car itself, the ES6 is a very well rounded car. Even if you put aside other points, the car itself is very competitive. But only these are not enough to attract consumers to spend more money, the real attraction is the other three advantages of NIO.

NIO’s exclusive selling point

Power switching is NIO’s biggest selling point.

Power switching is undoubtedly the best solution to replenish energy other than charging at home. Located in Shenzhen, we don’t have a home charger. We have to go to a charging station at least one day a week after work, and it takes about 40 minutes to recharge the car if it’s fast, and about an hour in winter when it’s cooler or there’s a diversion for other cars. The power exchange station of NIO is often built next door to the charging station, and every time I see the NIO next to me, it only takes a few minutes to complete the power exchange, and during the charging time, the next door has already finished exchanging seven or eight cars, which is honestly very enviable indeed. That’s why the most appealing thing about power swapping is the owners who need to charge their cars next door, like me. From 0 to 93% of the charge, only five minutes, people do not have to get out of the car. Even if there is an occasional queue, it’s basically done in ten minutes. It’s not affected by the temperature or the car next door, and you don’t have to pick a stake.

Although the 75-degree battery life is said to be average, there is no anxiety because of the convenience of changing the battery. The six free power changes a month are also enough to cover daily commuting.

In high-speed scenarios, the advantage of power exchange will be more obvious. 700 high-speed power exchange stations are sufficient to cover the commonly used road sections, and the rate of increase is very fast. You don’t need to grab a charging space or a gas gun, you can go after five minutes, and as long as your kidneys are good, you can drive all the time. You can also rent a 100-degree battery for ¥50/day, which is good for more than 400 kilometers of highway running. At least for me is completely rid of the tram running highway anxiety, because it is clear that the service area along the way will be able to change the battery.

At the same time, I also hope that NIO can delegate the taxi authority to the power exchange station brother, otherwise if the power exchange failure to help the user taxi, but also the brother to contact the headquarters to implement this efficiency is there a way to improve again? I have encountered a stuck situation, waiting for forty minutes did not get a taxi, the two sides of the docking efficiency is very low.

But then again, NIO’s service is arguably the best in the industry in my opinion.

Many people think that service is all about fixing the car, as long as there are no problems with the car, it won’t be used, however, NIO’s service is much more than that. However, service is much more than that. It consists of three components: community activities, worry-free service, and after-sales experience.

Let’s start with the community. NIO has the most activity spaces of any car company. Owners can go to rest, work or participate in activities at any time, and sometimes it’s too boring in the work area, so they can take their laptops and go to the cow house to work, and the environment is comfortable with fewer people. The richness of the owner’s activities is also the best in the industry, sports, camping, board games, handicrafts, nothing and so on, every week is full, as long as you are willing to, every day there are activities to participate in.

Besides, service is safe. You will have 34 vouchers a year (with the purchase of the service package), which can be redeemed for chauffeured, chauffeured, door-to-door car wash, and even housekeeping services. For example, the car is washed at the door, the car is parked in the company, the car is cleaned when you get off work, and the price is almost the same as the store, and there is no need to queue up early on the weekend to wash the car, solving the problem of difficult car washing for workers. For example, to go to the airport on a business trip, you can drive your car to the airport, and then let the elder brother help drive the car back to the community at the airport.

Finally, the after-sales experience. Each owner has a dedicated 24-hour service group, as well as a service consultant (24K Fellow). Basically, any problem encountered by the car can be directly sought for help in the group, without going to the manual yourself. When the housekeeper is unresponsive or silent, the service consultant will also try to help you push for a solution. The car can also quickly feedback a variety of problems with one click, whether it is the app, the car or the problem of assisted driving, as long as the feedback, basically there will be real people to follow up and respond. It may not all be solved, but at least the attitude is here.

And most importantly, whether it is the cattle house, the service, the after-sales, and the power station staff mentioned above, all of them are very friendly and will do their best to solve your problems. This makes people very comfortable, compared with some traditional car companies that have poor after-sales service before, NIO has indeed given owners more confidence in this regard. It is also these attitudes and service capabilities that make the stickiness of NIO users high. Once you experience it, it’s hard to switch back to another car company.

NIO’s brand derivative and mall are also far ahead.

As a design practitioner, I also like the brand building and operation of NIO very much. Compared with this is also a reason for many people to choose NIO, whether it is its usual operating materials, store design, derivative peripheral, mall selection, it can be said to lead the entire industry, the level is very high. Mall selection quality is also very good, no wonder it is one of the few profitable departments of NIO.

You can see that polar Krypton, smart and other brands are also learning from NIO, but so far the gap is still obvious.

Some of the problems with the NIO

The lack of an AC port is a drawback from a user perspective.

From a strategic perspective, it’s understandable that NIO cut the AC port in order to promote power exchange. But from the user’s point of view, having one less way to replenish energy and not supporting external discharging is just inconvenient, and there’s no way to wash your hands of this matter. Four thousand dollars of charging and discharging all-in-one machine is purely a remedial measure, the same model overseas obviously can also make the interface in, NT3.0 probability will also add back the AC/DC.

At the same time, NIO has some “inexplicable” obsessions and persistence.

For example, the window control buttons on the NIO II are contrary to many people’s operating habits. Too many users, KOLs and media outlets have already complained about this issue, and it’s definitely not the demand of 1% of the population, or even 30% of the users. The easiest solution is to give a switch to allow reverse control. Yet three years after ET7 was released, there is no solution. I’ve been using it for 6 months now and I still press it wrong all the time and haven’t gotten used to the button logic at all. Family or friends who drive the car always get the wrong buttons too, and from my fellow’s feedback there are a lot of people who test drove the car with the wrong buttons, and yet there is no solution to this problem, it’s disgusting.

Then there’s the NIO Phone’s Sky Window. It’s obviously a great feature that allows you to operate your phone from the center screen, but you have to add a setting that automatically retracts it if you don’t operate it for 7 seconds, which is called “for driving safety”. Come on, product managers, if I’m in P gear, why do I need to use the center screen to operate my phone? Wouldn’t it be better to just take the phone? We need this feature for better and safer operation of cell phone during driving. If you want to make a feature work, make it work well. It doesn’t make sense to do something half as screwed up as this, which makes it difficult for the user and makes it even more dangerous to repeatedly bring up the pop-up window. Give the user a switch to control the automatic retraction of this feature. Wouldn’t that be simple?

Besides that, there are also the problems of app split-screen, lyrics hovering display, long press to open the trunk, etc. In fact, all of them have very simple solutions, but due to the obsession of NIO’s product managers, they always hope that users will use it according to the logic of the conception, and use it according to the definition of the product, and that’s what led to the many problems that have not been solved. I really hope you can stand on the user experience point of view, open up some customization options for users, and really let all users can use it comfortably.

NIO has a very sticky user base, which leads to a really large and scary number of extreme followers in social platforms. If very little online from the wave, then this thing won’t have much of an impact. However, if you pay a little attention to the trolley industry, you’ll realize that some of NIO’s KOLs and users really do give NIO a bad name.

The most famous ones should talk about NIO properly, and not always talk about friends, ideals, or exaggerated words. It’s uncomfortable for car owners, not to mention potential customers. Ask others to see this content, will think that NIO is better than others, or will think that there is something wrong with NIO’s circle?


Overall, the overall experience of ES6 is very comfortable. Family members are satisfied with the car, it’s a good car to drive yourself, the assisted driving is comprehensive, the functions are perfect, there are no bugs, it’s easy and efficient to replenish the energy, the community activities are abundant, the quality of the surrounding area is very good, and the after-sales service is reassuring.

Buying an NIO is not just about buying a car, it’s about buying a lifestyle, and that’s something you can only understand after you’ve bought a car. Even if you have to pay extra for the service, and the car is more expensive, there are a lot of people who would be willing to pay for a better experience if they can provide it. But it’s just that people have different needs at different stages.

If you’re looking for a car at this price point that has a sense of quality, after-sales protection, and can expand your lifestyle, then the ES6 is indeed a great choice, and I even think it’s the best value for NIO’s money at this point in time.

The market is big, there are many choices, and people don’t buy just one car, so don’t be in a hurry to get on the bandwagon, try more and more, and hopefully everyone can pick the best car for their needs. If you are interested in the ES6, you are welcome to follow us on our little red book “Have a Plate Roasted Chicken Leg Burger”. We will also update some car experience & life about NIO, Tesla and mini from time to time.

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