In this review...
- Tech & Safety
- Initial Verdict
2022 GAC GS4 First Impressions Review: A more serious challenger
The crossover segment has been gaining popularity in the Philippines, a trend that could somehow be attributed to the influx of Chinese car brands. Why so? Well, the segment offers models that are priced competitively against smaller sedans in the local market. Several car buyers opt to get a crossover that offers more cabin and cargo space, a higher ground clearance, and a reasonable price tag.
2022 GAC GS4
As such, several car brands in the Philippines have jumped into the crossover trend by offering their respective challengers. Ford Philippines and Geely Philippines have been capitalizing on the current trend through the Territory, and the Coolray as both crossovers have and still are selling like hotcakes.
In that regard, GAC Motor Philippines want to have a slice of the crossover pie by introducing the all-new 2022 GS4. The five-seater compact crossover GAC GS4 has been in the local market for quite some time now but it has yet to reach its full market potential. With that, can the all-new GS4 put GAC Motor PH into new heights? Can it go up against segment rivals such as the likes of Ford Territory, MG RX5, and Chery Tiggo 7 Pro?
GAC Motor PH invited us to take the all-new GS4 for a drive up north to Subic to see what this five-seater compact crossover can offer. Here’s our first impressions review of the 2022 GAC GS4.
2022 GAC GS4 First Impressions Review: Exterior
The all-new GAC GS4 comes with a more refined look that’s way better than the outgoing model. It also has a more athletic demeanor, making it on par with its segment rivals.
The all-new GAC GS4 comes with a more assertive look
I like that the GS4 now has a more assertive stance especially when you view it from the front. It is highlighted by dual LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, a new grille, and a revamped bumper. One of the things I like most in the all-new GS4 is the design of its bumper as it gives a muscular appeal to the front end. But, I do wish that GAC Motor PH opted to integrate the 2022 GS4 with fog lamps so that the black space within the front bumper will not look too plain.
The two-tone alloy wheels add to the crossover's style point
Turning at the side, the GS4 has crisp character lines that complement the two-tone 17-inch alloy wheels. Speaking of which, the wheels come with a striking design, which not only adds style points to the all-new GS4 but it also creates an illusion that the vehicle is moving even on standstill. The GS4 also has roof rails for added functionality.
The 2022 GAC GS4 comes with distinctive LED taillights
The rear also gets a much-needed design update as it now comes with sharper, and more distinctive LED taillights that sort of give a Japanese car-kind-of-vibe. But, don’t get me wrong, the taillight design is a nice touch, setting the tone for the overall rear design. It also has a spoiler, a shark-fin antenna, and a chrome bar accent. The silver skid garnish gives added texture to the rear but it comes with a faux dual exhaust design.
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2022 GAC GS4 First Impressions Review: Interior
The exterior refinement is just the tip of the iceberg as the all-new GS4’s interior is what makes this five-seater crossover a notch better compared to the old model. I also find the interior as one of the best selling points of the all-new GS4.
The GS4 has a two-tone interior layout
The new interior has a straightforward and clutter-free layout that I find pleasing. When you’re seated inside the all-new GS4, you’ll notice that the dashboard is not too busy as it is only integrated with essential buttons within the driver’s reach. The two-tone interior is also a nice touch as it gives the cabin a premium-like appeal but, I’m not much a fan of the color scheme and prefer to have a darker shade of brown.
It has rear AC vents
The leather seats are also in a two-tone color scheme and the front seats come with manual adjustment. The rear seats can be folded flat in case you need additional cargo space. In terms of leg- and head-room, the rear seats can comfortably accommodate up to three average-sized Filipino adults. And oh, the all-new GAC GS4 has a panoramic sunroof, a feature that’s sort of becoming a standard among crossovers in the local market.
2022 GAC GS4 First Impressions Review: Tech & Safety
The all-new GS4 has the usual tech and safety features found in modern cars. Placed right at the center of the dashboard is an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen that comes with Apple CarPlay only (sorry, Android users). But, it does come with Bluetooth audio.
The icons on the touchscreen look nice and add a modern feel to the whole cabin. It also transforms into a view monitor of the rear camera when you put the gear in reverse. The resolution of the rearview camera is okay but I believe that it could still be improved. However, that’s already acceptable considering the GS4’s price point.
The steering wheel is integrated with several controls
The analog instrument cluster has a digital display in between, which is sort of out of place since the interface has a bit of an outdated look. You’ll understand what I’m saying when you compare the all-new GS4’s instrument cluster to its segment rivals such as the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro, which already comes with a fully digital display.
In terms of safety, the 2022 GAC GS4 gets dual front airbags as well as front side airbags along with an anti-lock braking system, electronic brakeforce distribution, electronic stability program, brake assist, hill descent control, among others. To add, it also has an electronic parking brake with auto hold.
2022 GAC GS4 First Impressions Review: Driving
The all-new GAC GS4 is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 gasoline engine that puts out 166 hp and 265 Nm of torque. The engine is connected to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, sending power to the front wheels.
Powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine
During the duration of our drive to and from Pasig City to Subic, the GS4’s engine delivers adequate power. The throttle response is good even when the Eco drive mode is selected. The same is true when it comes to its acceleration as it can reach highway speeds without a problem, which also gives you the confidence to overtake slower vehicles.
The GS4 is stable and planted when driven on the open highway, which makes the drive a pleasant one. The light steering feel gets firm as you start to gain speed, giving you better control of the vehicle. The noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) is notable especially when you’re cruising at speeds of 80 km/h. But wind noise starts to creep in into the cabin when you reach 100 km/h, which is perfectly normal.
The 2022 GAC GS4 comes with a panoramic sunroof
One of the things I like in the GS4 is the driver’s seat as it has a good lower back support that keeps you comfortable especially during long drives. The suspension leans a bit on the firm side but it does not compromise the overall ride. It absorbs road impacts well and generates tolerable body roll.
The all-new GAC GS4 comes with cruise control but I wasn’t able to maximize it during the drive. The reason is that it’s quite difficult to know if the cruise control is already engaged since there’s no icon appearing on the instrument cluster. It also doesn’t show what speed the cruise control is set for, which sort of put me out of my comfort zone, so I decided to not use it in the meantime. Expect a follow-up on this once we have the all-new GAC GS4 for a full review.
It has decent cargo space
During the drive from Subic going back to NLEX, the all-new GS4 registered a fuel economy of 13 km/l. Again, expect a follow-up on this once we have the GS4 for a longer lend out period.
2022 GAC GS4 First Impressions Review: Initial Verdict
The all-new GAC GS4 comes with several features that could make it more competitive in the five-seater compact crossover segment. It has the exterior looks and the interior refinement to challenge its segment rivals. Yes, there are some features that the GS4 lacks compared to other vehicles in its class but that will all make sense when you take into consideration its price tag.
The all-new GAC GS4 is out to make a statement
Priced at Php 1,098,000, the 2022 GAC GS4 undercuts its segment rivals such as the Ford Territory, MG RX5, and the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro. The GS4’s price is Php 179,000 lower than the Territory, Php 100,000 than the Tiggo 7 Pro, and Php 130,888 lower than the RX5. With that in mind, the features that the all-new GS4 have could be more than enough to sway car buyers who are searching for a five-seater compact crossover. Indeed, the all-new 2022 GAC GS4 is out to make a statement.
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