GAC GS3 PROS and CONS
- Comprehensive list of safety features
- Sleek styling
- Versatile engine options
- Gas consumption could have been improved
- Engines churn out some noticeable hiccups
GAC is already slowly but steadily becoming a formidable automotive brand in the Philippines. Adding to this appeal over the years since its inception is the company's recent milestone, which sees the firm as one of the top brands among Chinese producers in the prestigious JD Power Quality Study.
In the country, GAC Motor is a new competitor in this segment– the GS3. Without going much into detail, the car's build is just as quality as its styling and features are topnotch. These are quite a significant improvement, considering that the brand has just gotten started.
The GS3 is the GAC's latest entrant compact SUV and is currently the most affordable vehicle in its lineup. With its proportions, there is no doubt that the firm is gearing it against some of its more established compatriots such as the Nissan Kicks, Hyundai Creta, and Renault Captur.
The GS3 is also the smallest crossover currently offered by GAC, slotting below the GS4. Its design primarily follows the language that is already set by its other compatriots, evidenced by its wide grille, slim headlights, and clamshell-like hood.
With the introduction of the GS3 in the Philippines, it is evident that GAC is aiming to take a slice in the competitive, albeit significant crowd of SUV in the country. With this entrant now in the GAC family locally, the Chinese carmaker already boasts six offerings.
There are two engine options for the GAC GS3 upon its launch in the country. There is the 150N which is powered by a 1.5-litre, non-turbo mill which produces 112 PS and 150 Nm of torque. There is also the 200T which receives a turbocharged 1.3-litre engine which the revs up 136 PS and 202 Nm of torque. Both shift through a 6-speed automatic transmission with no manual option available.
Despite these engines, there are still some noticeable hiccups that can be heard from the engines, alongside what feels like a confused transmission.
Don't let these bother you though, as the GS3 features a reliable power delivery. In terms of steering, on the other hand, the vehicle impresses upon a performance that is a bit too light for some. Now, while this can be adjusted through the big monitor on the center stack, some might still prefer to have less play down the line, with more oomph on the wheel. Ultimately, it is something that isn't too much of an inconvenience as it can be lived with in the process.
The bane of the GAC GS3 lies in how it manages its gas consumption. For instance, despite its engine's displacement alongside the size of its fuel tank, it still doesn't seem logical that it churns out 7.5km/L, all despite the conscious hypermiling. One might wonder if there's something amiss with all the tuning right in its ECU or even in its plumbing itself.
Right inside, the GAC GS3 features a geometric design, enmeshed with square-off elements across its cabin. This design language is most evident on its dashboard, with the instrument cluster and center stack also inspired by the theme.
Adding more life in its interior are the brown contrast trimmings, tinged with copper highlights – all of which can be experienced in the top-tier variant.
Meanwhile, the 200T GAC GS3 receives an automatic climate control, multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, four USB ports, wide-angle rear-view camera, plus an 8-inch touchscreen, among others.
In terms of safety features, the two variants under the GAC GS3 are brimming with them. Both models are equipped with stability and traction controls, impact-sensing door unlock system, besides hill-start assist, and hill descent control. Meanwhile, the 200T variant comes with tire pressure monitoring, side airbags, and brake hold.
The GAC GS3 also features saftey airbags, proprietary seat belts up front and at the back, plus child ISOFIX seats. There is also an electronic stability programme which deploys the latest Bosch system. Also included are ABS + EBD, high-performance chassis, hydraulic brake assist, parking sensors, rearview camera system, and GAC's high strength safe body. Also, GAC equips the GS3 with smart key plus button engine start and engine immobiliser.
If you're one of the ardent fans of GAC, you'll notice from the get-go that the GS3 doesn't deviate that much from its siblings in the company's portfolio in terms of design offerings.One of its most attention grabbing features is its noticeable headlamps, an offering that has already been seen on the GA4.
In addition, the two-tone grille with chrome a chrome brush finish adds to its more charisma to its over all look. Also, its bumper exudes a cleaner aspiration, one that isn't crammed with unnecessary design elements. As such, the design in this segment, flows seamlessly, ultimately integrating it to its fog lamp housing. Lastly, the GS3 also sports a strip of LED DRL headlights common with all modern cars.
The GAC GS3's side isn't as ostentatious as its compatriots in its class. Except for its crease in its C-pillar, there is no intricate decoration to be found in this section.
Finally, the rear of the GAC GS3 is one that needs to be familiarized with down the line. Right off the bat, however, such a design is something that isn't everyone's cup of tea. Still, the GS3 didn't fail to pay homage to older Ssangyongs with their unorthodox design offerings. This appreciation can be seen in its tail lamps.
Noticeably, the GS3 is designed with a rear reflectors appearing to over flow all the way to its bumper that features a sporty dual exhaust pipe. On paper, the GS3 measures 4,350 in length, 1,825 mm in width, and 1,655 mm in height. It also boasts a wheelbase of 2,560 mm.