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Sunday, July 24, 2022

Review: 2022 Weltmeister W5


The automotive industry is facing a once-in-a-lifetime transformation. With the focus now shifting towards electrification, some upstarts are looking at this as an opportunity to upend the status quo. One such brand that wants to capitalize on this opportunity is Weltmeister.

Despite the Teutonic sounding name (it’s German for “World Champion”), its origins are far humbler. It’s a Chinese brand owned by WM Motor Technology which itself was only founded in 2015. Today, it operates out of Zhejiang Province, and they have an annual capacity of just 100,000 units—a small operation compared to other auto giants. The 2022 Weltmeister, or WM, if you prefer an easier to swallow acronym, W5 is their first-ever vehicle and is China’s best-selling EV SUV.



Starting with the looks, it veers towards the conservative, but there’s not a line out of place either. Simply put, it’s as if designers had a checklist of what buyers expect in a modern car, and worked their best to tick every single one of those boxes. Teardrop-shaped LED headlights? Check. Faux brake vents? Check. Tesla-style flush door handles? Check. Full-width LED taillights? Check. There are some playful elements here like the animated front logo that doubles as a charge indicator (WM calls it, “Living Logo), but overall, it’s strictly a middle-of-the-road compact SUV design-wise.

Understated as the W5 is on the outside, it does push some degree of tech inside. Front and center is a 15.6-inch floating-style, portrait-oriented touchscreen. The driver also gets full digital instrumentation. At the center console, in place of the traditional shifter, is a rotary dial which also serves as the on/off switch, and some haptic shortcut buttons. Now, as techie as some aspects of the W5’s interior is, being a small volume car manufacturer, it can’t escape having to share its parts bin with someone else. Here, it’s apparent that the switchgear like the steering wheel buttons, stalks, and windows switches are all taken straight from Geely—a possibility given WM Motor’s Chairman, Freeman Shen, used to work for them.



Reliance on the parts bin aside, the W5’s in-cabin tech could also use some improvement. For example, the all-digital gauges aren’t really maximized since the layout isn’t changeable. In addition, the 15.6-inch infotainment screen itself may be running on Android (8.0 or Oreo) with a custom skin that can trigger trypophobia fears, but it doesn’t maximize the available resolution (some icons look jagged). Plus, there’s no support for common apps like Waze, Google Maps, or Spotify. This could have been rectified by some sort of smartphone mirroring, but it’s not supported here either. There is also some unused hardware like a driver-facing camera. When WM Philippines was quizzed about it, activating them only requires a software update. Here’s hoping they can include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the future too.

Approaching the W5 will automatically unlock it (there’s no way to turn this feature off), and getting in is quite easy once you clear the thick door sills. The front one-piece sports seats look great in photos, but in real life, you’re almost never comfortable in them. You feel like you’re perched on top of them, rather than sitting on them. Thankfully, the thick seat housing doesn’t rob the rear passengers of any room. Couple that with a flat rear floor and you have a generously spacious five-seater crossover. It’s worth noting that the seat material isn’t leather, but PVC. This makes it great for long-term upkeep since it’s water- and stain-proof, but when parked outdoors, it can get hot quickly. Also, they emit this rather strong chemical smell.



As a driving machine, the W5 is largely competent. With a 52-kwh battery placed underneath, it is portly—curb weight is pegged at 1,809 kilograms. Yet, trust the 217 horsepower, 315 Nm of torque electric motor to provide sufficient pull. Gun the accelerator, and it makes short work of all that weight. Now, being essentially a “computer with four wheels,” the driver can select one of two drive modes and one of two regen levels too. However, it’s confusing to use. The same knurled knob below the rotary shifter does both functions. Drive mode is selected by pushing it down, while the regen level is selected by scrolling. More than once, you’ll find yourself wanting to switch from Eco to Sport, only to accidentally increase the level of brake regeneration.

Oh, and on the subject of charging, the W5 can be charged using a conventional 220-volt outlet (Level 1) or can be optioned with an exclusive WM home charger (Level 2) which WM Motor Philippines can install in your home. It can also accommodate a DC fast charger using the GB/T standard. A full charge using Level 1 takes 14 to 16 hours, while Level 2 takes 8 and a half hours. So far, those are your only options as there’s no DC charger that can support the GB/T standard locally. Given that the W5 was charged nightly for the duration of this test drive, there is no absolute way to determine if the 400-kilometer range is attainable. However, the worst figure seen, using the trip computer, is between 220 to 250 kilometers in range.



Effortless as the W5 is in a straight line, it still can’t escape the laws of physics. Trudging through stop-and-go traffic is enough to remind you of all the mass you’re sitting on top of. Still, it is largely comfortable, absorbing most of Manila’s worst with aplomb. Push it through a corner though, and it feels almost like steering a pendulum. It can momentarily break traction when pushed, and with its softly-sprung suspension, it’s not strong through quick changes in direction. Thankfully, it never once felt nervous. For as long as it’s driven sensibly, it’s stable and secure.

Generally, outward visibility is alright, but for extra security, the W5 does come with blind spot indicators. The operation though is dodgy at best. For those who’re not so secure with their parking skills, it also comes with both front and rear clearance sensors and a 360-degree parking camera. The sensors do the job, but the images produced by the camera is distorted, limiting its usefulness.



As their first production car effort, EV or otherwise, expectations are understandably low for the Weltmeister W5. However, not only does it mange to exceed those expectations, but it does so with flying colors. Admittedly, it’s still rough around the edges and its P 2.548 million price tag may be a bitter pill to swallow given it’s a plucky upstart. However, there’s no denying that the foundations here are solid enough. Given enough time to simmer, it’ll surely improve to become a formidable EV choice.

In the here and now though, it still promises a low running cost of just P 1.88 per kilometer (PMS + charging) for five years. That’s not just lower than any gas- or diesel-powered car, but also more affordable than any other EV in the country. The economic savings alone could be enough to notice buyers to try this one out.



2022 Weltmeister W5

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Ownership 2022 Weltmeister W5
Year Introduced 2022
Vehicle Classification Electric Vehicle
Warranty 5 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type 5-door SUV
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) NA
Aspiration All-Electric
Fuel Delivery NA
Layout / # of Cylinders NA
BHP @ rpm 217
Nm @ rpm 315
Fuel / Min. Octane 52 kwh Lithium-Ion Battery
Transmission Single Speed
Cruise Control Yes
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 322 wh/kilometer @ 29 km/h,
455 wh/kilometer @ 35 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,585
Width (mm) 1,835
Height (mm) 1,672
Wheelbase (mm) 2,703
Curb Weight (kg) 1,809
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Parking Brake Electric, w/ Auto Hold
Tires Giti GitiComfort 225 V1 255/55 R 18 H (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear
Parking Camera Yes, 360-degree
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR w/ pre-tensioners x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Start Assist
Hill Descent Control
Lane Departure Warning
Blindspot Detection
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Exterior Features
Headlights LED
Fog Lamps Yes, Rear
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Tailgate Electric
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment (driver) 6-way, Electric
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) 4-way, Electric
Seating Surface PVC
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
Sunroof Yes
Trip Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Day/Night
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Dual Zone, w/ Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
USB
Bluetooth
Smartphone Connectivity None
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes

28 comments:

  1. What an utter piece of garbage.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The will price will cost you an arm and leg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just admit that you can only afford an NMax or Wigo 🤣

      Delete
    2. kuchi is the new RG. a certified crappy Chinese car lover

      Delete
    3. Dami ko pa ring fans even I dont comment 🫰

      Delete
    4. ^That’s cause you’re likely close to being banned luls

      Delete
    5. It would be sad if I won't be able to use the RG name for sure but largely I won't care. Regardless been a fan since the beginning and continue to promote this site as the best in the industry 😁

      Delete
  3. This statement summarizes it all:
    "it’s still rough around the edges and its P 2.548 million price tag may be a bitter pill to swallow given it’s a plucky upstart"

    While this statement did not take into account the total hardship (cost) of ownership:
    "The economic savings alone could be enough to notice buyers to try this one out"

    ReplyDelete
  4. What about Haval, will Haval come to our Philippine Market.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read somewhere that great wall eyes to entering the philippine market. So yes!

      Delete
  5. Kuchi is to me the richest person on planet earth, he or she can afford just about anything under the sun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dats kutchi, palaging wla sa punto ang komento. Hallmark of a person wd very very low IQ🙄🙄🙄

      Delete
    2. The one with low IQ here is the one hiding on anonymous user comments and types English words in broken 2000's text speak language 🤣

      Delete
  6. BYD Dolphin - competitively priced vs. Nissan Leaf, albeit without ADAS and other features.
    Weltmeister W5 - on almost the same price bracket as the Nissan Leaf (albeit W5 has more ground clearance) and even Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, yet no ADAS, lacking other features, no Android Auto/Carplay.

    Better get a BYD than this unproven WeakMeister.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ioniq 5 is better than recall toyota bz4x.
      toyota bz4x is recalled due to possibility that wheels could come loose.

      Delete
    2. BYD Dolphin is a smaller car than the W5..BYD Philippines overpriced its vehicles as they're just a low volume importer and seller.

      Delete
  7. No details on the actual range of the car? Why leave out the most important detail in electric car reviews?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We charge it every night, so there's no accurate way to gauge the efficiency. BUT, based on the trip computer, the range is about 220-250 kilometers.

      Delete
  8. what's PMS cost please, and every when ? thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Twice a year. Refer to the table here:

      https://www.carguide.ph/2022/06/thanks-to-our-high-fuel-prices-going.html

      Delete
    2. Thank you and that’s so low cost.

      Delete
    3. Priced high, low resale value, maybe even junk resale value

      Delete
    4. You're complaining as you can't afford it..No need to troll here

      Delete
  9. the touchscreen UI is absolutely butt ugly...also not a efficient use of screen space....

    that logo is also really Cisco....:P

    ReplyDelete

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