Human Horizons HiPhi X: quirky Tesla Model X rival driven

August 16, 2023 by

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The Human Horizon HiPhi X is a luxury SUV with cool styling and a comfy interior, but it doesn’t feel as refined as something from Mercedes, Audi or BMW

Pros:

  • Upmarket interior
  • Cool technology
  • Fun to drive

Cons:

  • A bit noisy at motorway speeds
  • Not very practical
  • Reclining seats poorly thought out

Is the Human Horizons HiPhi X a good car?

This is the Human Horizons HiPhi X, and if you’re looking for a luxury electric SUV that truly looks like nothing else on the road, it could be a good choice for you.

It’s a rival for the Tesla Model X and other big, posh electric SUVs, such as the BMW iX, Mercedes EQS and Audi Q8 e-tron.

While those are all manufacturers you’ve probably heard of, the HiPhi X is a new-to-Europe model hoping to grab your attention. It’s a bit like the New Century Global Centre, because it’s big, Chinese and has an imposing design.

Imposing is one word for it. Odd is another. Also fussy. Quirky… need we go on? We kind of like it, though. The full-width rear light bar isn’t too controversial, nor are the slim headlights up front. But then you also get these large LED panels that can display symbols, or project messages onto the road.

You open the doors by pressing a button on the outside and they glide open electronically. The rear doors have an intriguing movement, where the bottom half opens traditionally, but the top half folds upwards, a bit like a Model X.

Once inside, the material quality is excellent and the seats are comfortable. There’s a huge infotainment screen that controls pretty much everything. You can even open and close the doors using it. There’s another screen ahead of the passenger, but this has a film over it so you can only see the display if you’re sat in front of it, which stops the driver getting distracted.

In the back you have two seats that are more like arm chairs. They have a reclining function so that you can relax, but even if you push the seats in front forward there isn’t really anywhere for your feet to go. It doesn’t feel very well thought through, but if you keep them in the upright position there’s good legroom, so it’s not all bad.

Between the rear passengers is a chunky arm rest, which can be opened up for some storage as well as being home to fold out tables. Press a button and a fridge glides out from the back. Fancy.

The downside to this fridge is that it eats into boot space, so you have a large cube in the middle that you can’t use. There’s 587 litres available, which sounds fairly big, but it’s just not remotely usefully laid out.

On the road the HiPhi X drives really nicely. Around town it does rather crash into sharp edges such as potholes, but otherwise it’s quiet and comfortable. At higher motorway speeds there is more wind and tyre noise than you might want, too, but the soft suspension and comfy seats make it a pleasant place to eat up miles.

Perhaps most surprising, though, is the fact that it handles really well on a twisty road. This is a big, heavy SUV and you would expect that to show in corners. However, you can really have some fun and the tyres hold onto the road really well.

Fun is helped by the performance on offer. There are two motors making the HiPhi X all-wheel drive and totalling 598hp. Put the car into sport mode and the throttle response quickens and you get all of the power, which pins you back in your seat.

Drive more modestly and you’ll get a huge amount of range, if official figures are to be believed. The 97kWh battery can go up to 404 miles between charges, though we couldn’t find a trip computer to get efficiency figures during our test to see how realistic that might be.

The Human Horizons HiPhi X isn’t on sale in the UK yet, but European buyers can pick one up for the equivalent of about £95,000. If you’re in the market for a luxury SUV and fancy being a bit different, it’s definitely worth a look.

UK buyers will have to wait, or check out our guide to the best electric SUVs you can buy right now. You can also take a look through a huge stock of used cars from our network of trusted dealers, and when it’s time to sell your current car, carwow can help with that, too.