2022 Changan CS35 Plus First Impressions Review | Philkotse Philippines

Updated Apr 15, 2022

Other car brands better watch their backs.
2022 Changan CS35 Plus First Impressions Review | Philkotse Philippines

In this review...

  1. Introduction
  2. Exterior
  3. Interior
  4. Tech & Safety
  5. Driving & Handling
  6. Initial Verdict

2022 Changan CS35 Plus First Impressions Review: Out to hunt Geely Coolray blood

Don't you just adore how fierce the local market competition is? There were only a few contenders in the pickup truck sector a few years ago; now there are 14, including full-size behemoths from Ford and Ram. Previously, an American brand dominated the small crossover sector; currently, Chinese automaker Geely and its insanely popular Coolray top the charts, offering a great vehicle at a relatively low price point. wildly popular Coolray are at the top, giving a terrific vehicle at a reasonable price.

As a result, contenders in the subcompact crossover segment have stepped up their game. Even Toyota has jumped into the game with the Raize, a turbocharged crossover in a smaller package.

Another Chinese automaker wants to challenge Geely in its own arena. We’re talking about Changan and its newly launched, facelifted CS35 Plus.

The model isn’t exactly new as it’s part of Changan Motor Philippines, Inc. (CMPI)’s portfolio when the company launched in 2020. However, this is a refreshed model, offering insane pricing with loads of tech, wrapped on a handsome package. Sounds familiar? Wait, there’s more in this 2022 Changan CS35 Plus First Impressions Review.

2022 Changan CS35 Plus First Impressions Review: Exterior

But first, let’s talk about the exterior. At first glance, I know that the facelifted CS35 Plus is going to turn heads or even break necks. The LED light bars front and back are attention-getters, but beyond the lights, the small SUV exudes an aggressive appeal with its massive grille. 

A picture of the front of the CS35 Plus

The updated CS35 Plus from the front

The color combo works, as well, with the red accents going well with the available Wunderlust White, Timberwolf Gray, and Draco Red options. My favorite’s the gray one, as I love how the red accents liven up the supposed dead color.
Even better, the only differences between the three variants are that the top-spec Luxe comes with a black roof, while the base Lite comes with a smaller set of 17-inch wheels. As far as looks go, the entire CS35 Plus range is uniform and that’s a good thing.

A picture of the CS35 Plus from the rear

Check out the CS35 Plus' rear end


Changan CS15

Changan CS15

Model Price Philippines

₱ 799,000

Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback

Model Price Philippines

₱ 2,555,000 - ₱ 2,888,000

Ford Expedition

Ford Expedition

Model Price Philippines

₱ 4,479,000 - ₱ 4,612,000

2022 Changan CS35 Plus First Impressions Review: Interior

The new CS35 Plus inherits the plush cabin of its bigger brother, the CS75 Plus. The materials used feel great to the touch, plus the execution’s nice. I have my reservations about the red leather and the conjoined displays at the top of the dashboard but overall, the interior looks modern and way beyond the car’s actual price point.

A picture of the interior of the CS35 Plus

The Changan-made crossover's well-arranged cockpit

As a small crossover, don’t expect much in terms of space. But in its segment, the CS35 Plus is above par, plus there’s the benefit of rear air-conditioning vents and a panoramic sunroof for the higher Hype and Luxe trims. The peculiar adjusters of the driver’s seat are something you’ll have to get used to but despite that and the short steering wheel telescopic adjustment, I didn’t have a hard time finding a comfortable driving position – at least for my wide 5’6” frame.

A picture of the CS35 Plus' front seats.

It's two-tone colored front seats

2022 Changan CS35 Plus First Impressions Review: Tech & Safety

This is where my fascination escalates. Priced under a million pesos, Changan has equipped the CS35 Plus with features found on cars twice its price tag. Standard for the range is an electronic parking brake with brake hold, cruise control, al as well as a 10-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth and smartphone mirroring (no Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, sorry), a remote engine start, and wireless charging. 

CS35 Plus' touchscreen headunit

A closer look at the CS35 Plus' touchscreen headunit

On the safety front, it has dual airbags, ABS with EBD, stability control. brake assist, hill-hold control, reverse camera, right-side blind-spot camera, reverse parking sensors, immobilizer, tire pressure monitoring system, speed-sensing door locks, and seatbelt reminders.
Go for the higher Hype and Luxe variants and you’ll get more, which include power tailgate (for Luxe only), additional side and curtain airbags, a 360-degree view camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. 

A picture of the CS35 Plus' trunk

The trunk's pretty spacious too

Yes, adaptive cruise control for a car priced under a million pesos.

2022 Changan CS35 Plus First Impressions Review: Driving & Handling

The 2022 Changan CS35 Plus is powered by a 1.4-liter Turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injection (TGDI) that makes 158hp and 260Nm of torque. It’s mated to a 7-speed wet dual-clutch transmission to handle all that torque
I had a quick seat time on the new CS35 Plus after its launch and as early as now, the Coolray is facing a serious rival. Overall output is lower than the Coolray, but torque is higher with the CS35 Plus, which translated to a quite good pull during the tests. The power delivery’s linear, as well, with only a minute turbo lag felt under hard acceleration. 

A picture of the CS35 Plus' shifter and center console

The CS35 Plus' gear shift lever and center console

In terms of handling and riding comfort, I got to push the crossover hard within the confines of the facility we’re in. The CS35 Plus behaves well on tight cornering, though admittedly body roll was abundant given its sizable space from the ground. Brakes bite hard, too.
But that’s the thing with the CS35 Plus, it has a suspension tuned for comfort rather than sporty drive, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t provide the fun when you need one. 

2022 Changan CS35 Plus First Impressions Review: Initial Verdict

The 2022 Changan CS35 Plus has an introductory sticker price of Php 999,000 for its top-spec variant that’s filled to the brim with features. The starting price is Php 898,000 for the Lite variant that isn’t too shy with features either.

Another picture of the Changan CS35 Plus from the front

This updated model comes out swinging against the competition

On paper alone, Geely should watch its back. Changan is definitely out to hunt some Coolray blood with the new CS35 Plus. And, in as much as I hate using “game-changer” as a description, this subcompact crossover just changes the game even further, which should be good news for consumers.
We’re just waiting to get our hands on a unit for a full review. Let’s see if the CS35 Plus holds a candle against its popular Geely rival in terms of real-world usage and overall experience. And of course, its fuel efficiency that’s so important these days.

Jacob Oliva

Jacob Oliva


Jacob is a motoring journalist and the Content Manager of Philkotse.com. A recipient of the Henry Ford Awards in 2019, he currently has a column under Wheels, the motoring section of The Philippine Star. He's also an editor for Motor1.com, a leading global automotive website.

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