SGMW, a not-at-all awkward acronym of Chinese joint venture SAIC-General Motors-Wuling, just released a series of photos of the cutest little forthcoming off-roader called the Baojun Yep Plus. Maybe the grass is greener on the other side of the world, but wow, it is very unfortunate that we’re yet again missing out on a cute, usable, fashionable, and reasonably priced EV.

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China's EV market expands at a crazy rate

China remains the biggest EV market in the world with new models launching almost around the clock. While domestic growth slowed last year, exports are up, but stiff U.S. tariffs on Chinese cars keep them out for now. 

For years, people criticized GM for using names like Blazer and Trailblazer without the retro-SUV looks to back things up. Weirdly, the Baojun Yep Plus goes there in ways GM's American SUVs still haven't. 

As a whole, the Yep Plus is sharp looking, even if it looks like a Ford Bronco Sport crossed with a Land Rover Defender. However, unlike the Defender and Bronco Sport, the Yep Plus is a petite vehicle; at a total length of about 158 inches (3996 mm), the Yep Plus is three inches or so shorter than the pretty tiny Ford Ecosport. Or, for those familiar with other cars around the world, it is nearly identical in length to the newly-launched Suzuki Jimny 5-door. Think, Geo Tracker, but brand new, and fully electric. 

Baojun Yep 1

We’ve already covered the Baojun Yep before, several times in fact. Styled like a high-tech mixture of the Suzuki Jimny and a Power Wheels toy, the Yep is an SUV-styled city car meant for Chinese hyper-urban environments. It’s cute, but the standard Yep’s 67 horsepower rating, and limited 60 mph top speed means the car isn’t really usable outside of city streets.

The Yep Plus fixes that by not only adding length and an extra set of doors, but also extra power. The Yep Plus’s rear-mounted 101 horsepower motor can propel the five-door SUV to 93 MPH, (150 KPH), firmly placing the Yep Plus in the real car category. SGMW hasn’t revealed how big of a battery the Yep Plus has, but it did say on Chinese social media that it aims to achieve 249 miles (401 km) of range on the CLTC cycle.

Likewise, pricing hasn’t been revealed, but it will likely be priced against cars like the BYD Yuan Up, BYD Dolphin, or any of the other dozens of reasonably-priced EVs in China. We’d wager prices will be around $16,000 to $21,000 USD when converted from Chinese yuan.

Gallery: 2023 Baojun Yep

Out of all the forbidden-fruit Chinese market EVs, this might be one of the most compelling to make its rounds on social media in recent memory. Basic, cute, reasonably priced, and SUV-shaped, this is exactly what Americans are looking for in a cheap EV.

Given that this is partially GM-supported and developed, I can’t help but wonder how hard it would be to get this made, sold, or straight-up imported to the U.S., though we know how much America is down on Chinese-made EVs these days. Hopefully, someone at GM hears our cries and delivers something like this to the U.S. very soon. 

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