We now live in a time where if you want to buy a car, you’re spoilt for choice. There are multiple brands now operating and selling in the country with no signs of slowing down. Because of this, some cars and brands fall between the cracks and are not top of mind, which is a shame because some are like “Diamonds in the rough”; such as the GAC GS4.
GAC GS4 Exterior
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The one thing I can say to describe the looks of the GS4 is “unassuming”, nothing about it is remarkably beautiful or striking and nothing about it is off-putting, it’s just nice, clean, and modern. Its design is very rounded and sculpted with no hint of aggression, I can imagine that the brand aimed to make the GS4 as palatable as possible to everyone. It does though come with LED headlights, taillights, and DRLs coupled with 17-inch alloy wheels though.
Its interior is where the GS4 tries to make an effort to add some style and “Pizzaz”. Well, the only design feature in the interior is the dashboard which has an “arrow” looking line running across it that opens up towards the infotainment screen. In an effort to remind the owner what car they bought, there are also numerous GS4 badges sprinkled on some interior panels.
Fortunately, though the seats come in nice soft leather (like) material and joy of joys almost no cheap piano black panels. Most of the panels are soft touch and there are barely any visible panel gaps, I was also quite happy with the build quality, the fit and finish felt very solid and at par with more expensive cars. Its ace though is the space, despite being a compact SUV the GS4 manages to have a lot of legroom and headroom for all passengers, it could comfortably sit 5 people in my opinion.
The infotainment comes with Apple Carplay but no Android Auto and the last highlight would be the enormous panoramic sunroof. Overall, it’s classy, straightforward, comfortable, and ergonomic.
The GAC GS4 is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that makes a very respectable 168 PS and 265 Nm of torque, which is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
This is where the GAC GS4 shines, my immediate first impression was how user-friendly and easy it is to operate. Also, the GS4 manages to be one of the most comfortable cars in its segment, the ride is very compliant over most surfaces found in the metro.
The GAC GS4 likes to put its driver at ease from the moment you start it, the NVH levels are really good at cocooning you from the outside world and the engine is barely noticeable, its content humming along the rev range and only starts to make noise around 4,000 rpm. That doesn’t mean though that it’s no slouch, the GS4 can gladly put the pace on and can easily breeze to highway cruising speeds of 100-120 kph.
In truth, the GS4 really feels solid and sorted, it isn’t masquerading as “sporty” The brand knew that they needed to make the GS4 primarily comfortable but capable, and they succeeded.
In terms of fuel economy, I think that the GAC GS4 is decent but could be better, in the city I was getting 9.5-10 km/l, and on the highway, I got a high of 15 km/l.
Points for improvement
My main point of criticism about the GS4 is the jerky transmission, I honestly thought at one point that it was a dual-clutch. I feel like more tuning could have gone into it because upshifts from 3rd gear are smooth, but downshifting isn’t as good. Next is the lack of Android Auto, I can’t stress enough that this is a sore point for buyers and should be addressed as soon as possible.
Verdict and Price
The GAC GS4 retails for Php 1,160,000 which is astonishingly good value for money with that you’re getting in return. It costs 139,000 pesos less than the top-of-the-line Coolray, and it offers more space, the drive is very comfortable, and it isn’t just solid for a “China Car” it feels solid compared to any car.
If you’re in the market for something of the GAC GS4’s size then by all means go, I don’t think it will disappoint or leave you wanting for more.