2025 Nio EL6 electric car review

The Nio EL6 is an electric SUV that aims to reduce range anxiety with its clever battery swapping technology. Here's how it performed in our road test.....

2025 Nio EL6 front driving

On sale: Early 2025 (est) | Price from: £60,000 (est)

How often do you read about cars from brands that you’ve never heard of before? Well, these days it may be happening more than you might think, and the Nio EL6 is the latest car to join that list.

Indeed, the EL6 is an electric SUV that’s built by Chinese firm Nio – a premium electric car brand that has its sights firmly set on the European car market. It joins a flurry of brands with similar ambitions, including BYD, Fisker, Genesis, GWM Ora and Polestar – just to name a few. 

Even though you may not have heard of Nio before, it’s worth noting that it’s very well established in China (122,485 cars were sold there last year). And in countries such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, it already has a wide range of models on sale.

Its models include the ET5 executive car, the ET5 Touring estate car, the ET7 luxury saloon and the EL7 luxury SUV. Once Nio arrives in the UK (sales are expected to commence in 2025), we can expect a similar line-up of cars to arrive and be sold alongside the car we’ve driven: the EL6 family SUV.

2025 Nio EL6 rear driving

When it comes to specifications, things are very simple because you can only have an EL6 with two electric motors (that combine to produce a hefty 483bhp) and a choice of two batteries, either a 75kWh (total capacity) unit or a 100kWh (total capacity) unit.

With the 75kWh battery, it can officially travel up to 252 miles on a full charge, while the 100kWh version can cover up to 329 miles. Okay, those ranges are nothing to write home about (especially with the 75kWh version), but the 100kWh model is competitive with, say, the Genesis GV60 RWD (321 miles) and the Tesla Model Y Long Range (331 miles). 

And when it comes to charging, the 75kWh battery has a maximum charging rate of 140kW, while the 100kWh has a maximum rate of 180kW. Both can top up from 10-80% in around 30 minutes, which is similar to the Model Y, but slower than the 18 minutes the GV60 can manage (with a suitably powerful charging point).

So, other than a decent range and competitive charging, what else does the EL6 offer? Well, it has a clever party trick: Nio’s battery swapping technology.

You'll be able to exchange a depleted battery for a fully charged one at a dedicated Nio battery swapping station (the battery gets removed by an automated machine from beneath the car). How long does that take, you ask? Just three minutes, which is less than it takes to fill up your car with petrol.

The downsides? Well, there are currently no swapping stations in the UK – Nio says it aims to have several in place by the time it launches.

What’s the Nio EL6 like to drive?

No matter which battery you go for, performance is the same: 0-62mph officially takes just 4.5 seconds. Despite the brisk acceleration, the EL6 feels very much geared towards comfort rather than sporty driving.

As with many new electric cars, there are multiple driving modes to choose from, including Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Eco (plus several others for off-road driving and towing). Comfort is the default setting in the EL6, and it’s the one we’d stick to. The acceleration is very easy to manage, and it allows for a much more relaxed driving experience than the sharper Sport and Sport+ modes.

No matter which mode you’re in, the steering feels quite unnatural. At low speeds it’s very light, which makes the EL6 very easy to manoeuvre around town (good visibility also helps this). However, the lack of heft means it doesn’t feel that precise, especially at higher speeds, and it doesn’t give the driver a great sense of connection to the front wheels.

Nio EL6 interior with road tester George Hill driving

One way of improving it is by selecting Sport or Sport+ mode. They make the steering heavier, but it’s still difficult to sense how much grip there is from the front tyres. The BMW iX3 is much better in this regard, being tighter and more direct.

The brakes take the opposite approach to the steering and are overly sensitive. That's not helped by the fact the pedal has plenty of travel before anything happens, so it’s difficult to come to a smooth stop. Meanwhile, on twistier roads, there’s more body lean than in a Tesla Model Y, while a Kia EV6 and the Skoda Enyaq feel more composed, better balanced and inspire more confidence on a twisty road.

The ride is generally comfortable, which is helped by the EL6’s adaptive suspension. On faster roads, the suspension keeps the car level over undulations, but at low speeds it does have a tendency to thump over harsher imperfections. The Genesis GV60 has a much more supple ride. More positively, refinement is very good, with hardly any wind or road noise entering the interior during motorway driving.

What’s the Nio EL6 like inside?

2025 Nio EL6 interior dashboard

The EL6 has a very minimalist and tech-focused interior. All the functions are operated using the large 12.8in touchscreen infotainment system (including the steering wheel and mirror adjustments), so it's less user-friendly than cars with more physical controls.

The infotainment system itself is very impressive. It’s well laid out, easy to navigate and quick to respond to inputs. The software can also be updated remotely via over-the-air (OTA) updates. However, it doesn’t come with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay

The EL6 also has an AI-generated personal assistant – called Nomi – which sits on top of the dashboard.

In other Nio models, it’s housed within a small screen, but the EL6 doesn’t get that. To use it, you simply say "Hey Nomi" and ask it to complete tasks (such as turning on the heated seats). It’s similar to the Hey Mercedes voice command system in the Mercedes EQE SUV

2025 Nio EL6 interior

Material quality is fantastic, with soft-touch materials, faux-leather and suede covering nearly every surface. The buttons have a pleasant tactile feel, although we would prefer if there were more of them – especially for the climate controls – to help minimise the need to dig through the touchscreen menus while driving.

Bizarrely, the EL6 doesn’t have a glovebox. However, there are still plenty of storage areas, including a lockable central cubby, a wireless charging pad for your phone, and an open storage area beneath the centre console. 

It’s very easy to get comfortable in the EL6, and the seats offer plenty of lower back support and adjustability (all cars come with 22-way adjustable front seats). That said, some additional side bolstering would be welcome to keep you hugged in place when cornering.

2025 Nio EL6 interior back seats

It’s a similar story in the rear seats, where passengers will find plush seats, dual-zone climate control and acres of space. Three adults should be able to sit comfortably, with a huge amount of leg, shoulder and head room.

The boot is a good size at 668 litres (that’s more than you get in the GV60), and the back seats split in a 40/20/40 configuration, which makes them flexible for carrying longer items.


With a sea of new car brands flooding the market, it can be easy to overlook some of the newcomers. However, the EL6 proves that this shouldn’t be the case with Nio, especially when you consider how useful its battery swapping technology could be.

It's worth noting, though, that the EL6 could be an expensive option for private buyers, because Nio will charge you extra for the battery on top of the standard price of the car. And if you do choose to go down that route, you won't be able to battery swap – that's only available if you lease the battery or the car (and battery) from Nio.

What Car? rating 3 stars out of 5

Nio EL6 75kWh

Price £60,000 (est) including the battery Engine Two electric motors Power 483bhp Torque 516lb ft Gearbox 1-spd automatic, four-wheel drive Battery size 75kWh (total) 0-62mph 4.5sec Top speed 124mph Official range 252 miles (WLTP) CO2/tax 0g/km, 2%

Genesis GV60
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Read more: All the electric cars coming soon

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