2024 Neta X first impressions in Malaysia - Spacious, comfortable and a better buy than a BYD?

2024 Neta X first impressions in Malaysia - Spacious, comfortable and a better buy than a BYD?

KUALA LUMPUR:  Although Intro Synergy's Neta V struggled to gain traction in Malaysia, it’s clear that the model might not have been the right fit for the Malaysian market. However, Hozon Auto’s sub-brand, Neta, is not giving up just yet.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • When will they launch the Neta X?

    25th of July 2024
  • How much power does it have?

    161 hp and 210Nm of torque
  • How much range does it have?

    Depending on variant, from 410KM
  • What are the tentative prices?

    RM120k - RM140k
  • They embody the spirit of Nezha, a powerful deity from Chinese mythology known for his rebellious spirit, youthful energy, and formidable strength. This makes Nezha an apt symbol for Neta, as the brand aims to once again attempt to disrupt the Malaysian automotive EV industry with its innovative and dynamic new vehicle, the Neta X.

    Neta X

    Picture this: the Neta X EV, a car that captures the essence of Nezha, rolling into the Malaysian market with confidence. With modern technology, good performance, and a design that speaks to modern sensibilities, the Neta X EV can potentially make waves in the local EV market.

    This new model offers more than just a drive; it provides an experience that echoes Nezha’s spirit- bold, forward-thinking, and unafraid to challenge conventions. Intro Synergy invited us to sample the Neta X recently and from our short but insightful experience, the Neta X does really aim to offer Malaysians an EV that provides great value without much compromise.

    Neta X 400 comfort

    On paper, the Neta X measures 4,619 mm in length, 1,860 mm in width, and 1,628 mm in height, with a 2,770 mm wheelbase, making it larger than BYD's Atto 3. Although not mentioned out loud by Intro Synergy, this positions it as a fierce competitor in the same segment.

    The Neta X is due for an official launch on the 25th of July, with preliminary prices ranging from RM119,900 to RM139,900. Initially, four variants were planned, but it seems there will now be three: the 400 Comfort, 500 Comfort, and 500 Luxury, with the 400 Luxury possibly being dropped.

    Neta X 500 luxury

    The main difference between the variants lies in the battery size and range. The 400 models feature a 52.49 kWh battery offering a range of 410 km (WLTP), while the 500 model has a 64.14 kWh battery with a range of over 480 km.

    All variants are equipped with a single front-mounted motor producing 163 PS and 210 Nm of torque, propelling the Neta X from 0-100 km/h in under 9.5 seconds, with a top speed of over 150 km/h. While these specs may not seem impressive on paper, the Neta X offers a surprisingly likable drive.

    Neta X 400 comfort

    Design-wise, the Neta X is a handsome looking EV with a combination of sharp and curvaceous lines reminiscent of Lexus vehicles. Inside, although we wouldn’t really call it premium, the Neta X feels “atas” with soft-touch surfaces and solid build quality. The is 8.9-inch digital instrument cluster an an example is not the largest in the world, but the screen with a silver metallic looking bezel around it does give off "atas" vibes.

    Neta X 400 comfort

    The infotainment system includes a 15.6-inch central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, real-time navigation, OTA software updates, voice control, online music playback, Bluetooth connectivity, and an eight-speaker system.

    Neta X

    That’s right, there’s no Android Auto connectivity, but there is a mirroring feature for Android users. Like most EVs these days everything including the climate control is pretty much controlled from the infotainment system and the buttons at the steering wheel, which we’re not a fan of, but hey, what can you do? most EVs have button free experience. 

    Neta X review

    During our test drive, we spent most of our time with the 400 Comfort variant, which we believe offers the best value. All variants look the same on the surface, with five exterior colours and two interior colors available at no extra cost - that’s right, you’re pretty much getting a mini customisation experience at no added cost, so choose what you want!

    Neta X 400 comfort

    The main differences between the Comfort and Luxury variants of the Neta X EV lie in their range and additional features. The Comfort variant comes equipped with essential driving assistance features such as six airbags, traction control, ABS, regular cruise control, and a reverse camera. These are the basics you need for a safe and smooth drive in our opinion.

    On the other hand, the Luxury variant, true to its name, includes premium features such as ADAS 2.0, a wireless charger, and a powered tailgate. While some might find these additional features indispensable, others might consider them optional luxuries. Personally, I could do without them. Charging my phone with a 60W USB cable, manually lifting the tailgate, and driving carefully are sufficient for me. My priorities are interior space, exterior design, and performance, and in these areas, the Neta X excels.

    Neta X review

    The Neta X offers excellent interior space, especially in the back, where it outshines the BYD Atto 3. The flat floor, ample legroom, and general spacious feel make it a comfortable choice for families. 

    Neta X Malaysia

    All the seats in the Neta X are soft and comfortable, with the front seats featuring a sporty design and powered adjustments for both the driver and passenger. The Neta X offers a comfortable driving experience, thanks to its soft suspension that effortlessly absorbs the rough roads around Glenmarie and Setia Alam, including big potholes and uneven surfaces.

    Despite its softness, the car handles well, allowing you to confidently take corners, though it doesn't quite reach hot hatch levels. The handling and ride quality are reminiscent of a 90s Mercedes, with a bit more tightness around corners, however, like those classic Mercs, it can feel a bit floaty on the highway. The steering is light yet nicely weighted, making it easy to maneuver through tight city spots.

    Neta X review

    The chassis features MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link layout at the rear, complemented by 18-inch alloy wheels. This combination seems to provide a good balance in ride and handling.  

    Now, addressing the elephant in the room: is 163 PS and 210 Nm enough for a large and heavy EV? While it's not going to win any drag races, the Neta X is quite peppy and feels fast enough for most drivers.

    This is largely due to the instant torque provided by the electric motor. Many EVs may not seem impressive on paper, but the real-world driving experience tells a different story. The Neta X feels sprightly, especially in sports mode. However, in Eco mode, the car can feel a bit sluggish, but it’s there anyway if you want to conserve driving range.

    Neta X 400 comfort

    Charging details will be fully revealed at the launch, but currently, Neta told us that DC fast charging from 30-80% is said to take 30 minutes, while AC charging takes around 11 hours. The vehicle also supports V2L reverse charging, turning it into a large power bank.

    In summary, just like Air Asia aims to get everyone flying, Neta is on a mission to get everyone into an EV. The Neta X is quite a compelling package, especially if the Comfort 400 comes in at RM119k or even lower with early bird pricing.

    If the prices drop even further, it could potentially disrupt the EV market, challenging models like the BYD Dolphin Standard. While the Dolphin Standard might match its driving range, the Neta X arguably stands out with its sleeker design and more spacious interior.

    We'll need to see what other incentives, such as wallbox chargers and charging credits, are offered during the launch to make a final judgment. However, based on the core product alone, the Neta X 400 Comfort is definitely worth considering. It has the potential to disrupt certain EV segments in Malaysia, making it a compelling choice above others.

    Adam Aubrey

    Adam Aubrey

    Adam Aubrey is an experienced writer and presenter with over a decade in the automotive industry, known for his passion for rebuilding older cars from the golden era of automotive design. His work also delves into the future of vehicles, highlighting the exciting potential of electric propulsion.

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