This is the 2022 GAC GS8. Specifically, the 2.0 Turbo GL 4WD AT variant. I was actually able to review the pre-facelift model about a year back. This one’s the updated version that was launched back in October.
This is new? It sure looks the same as the old model.
The 2022 GAC GS8 doesn’t look completely the same as the previous one. The changes are subtle, but there are a few.
The updated model gets new LED headlamps that, if you look closely, look much more stylish than the old ones. The bumper has also received a slight redesign. The new GS8 now sports a larger black plastic trim where the honeycomb-like pattern is more noticeable. The horizontal chrome accents on the old model have also been reworked into T-shaped bumper accents.
The gray trim on the front skid plate has been reduced as well. As for the rear skid plate, it’s bigger and now spans the width of the vehicle. Underneath all these, you also get new-look wheels.
Fair enough. What about the interior?
The GS8 has always had one of the classier interiors in its segment, and for this update, that remains to be the case. The wood trim on the dash and door panels have all been replaced with gloss-black plastics, but the cabin hasn’t lost its premium vibe.
All the white surfaces, including the seats, have been blacked out. Brown leather and plastic bits on the dash, door panels, and center console now give the inside some nice contrast.
Let’s talk tech.
As with the interior, the GS8 already had a lot of extra tech to begin with. But for this update, GAC added something that many of you will like: Apple CarPlay connectivity.
The new infotainment system now supports CarPlay, and it gets paired with a sweet six-speaker Harman Kardon audio setup to boot. There’s a new wireless charger on the center console, as well as a USB port and a power outlet in the second row. During my time with the GS8, these were all features that I found myself and my passengers using often.
Speaking of nifty improvements, the GS8 now comes with a much bigger panoramic sunroof, a new memory function for the driver’s seat, and a power liftgate. The latter was what I liked most among the three, but I did encounter some malfunctions with the liftgate a few times over the course of a week.
One major gripe I had in this department? The absolute lack of safety features. If you’re going to give me a massive sunroof, heated/ventilated seats, and a luxurious interior, you could have at least added a few active safety features to the mix, no?
What’s under the hood?
If you’re familiar with the engine on the old model, then this one has the same powertrain. That’s a 2.0-liter turbocharged in-line-four gasoline powerplant capable of 199hp and 320Nm of torque mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Frankly, I was really disappointed with this setup when I was first able to try the GS8 out. But this new model felt much punchier and more responsive off the line. It also didn’t feel sluggish at highway speeds either. It’s night and day when compared with the pre-facelift GS8 that I drove a while back.
One mechanical difference between the previous model and this was the drivetrain. The first GS8 I drove had a FWD setup, while this new model was an AWD version. That’s a pretty significant difference, but it’s definitely not the reason why the 2022 model felt like it had a lot more oomph to it. Could it be the lower mileage on the new GS8 demo unit? I’m not really sure.
Anyway, all I know is that the only complaint I had about the powertrain was the fact that it runs on gasoline. All the other prominent midsize SUVs in the segment all run on diesel, so this could be a deal breaker for would-be GS8 buyers.
It’s not a gas-guzzling beast, though, because I did a proper fuel-economy test with it (see below) and I got 9.42km/L in mixed conditions. Not bad for a vehicle this size, but then again, the majority of the driving then was done on the expressway, so I could’ve easily gotten worse figures.
So, is it worth it?
If it’s a diesel you’re looking for, you’re definitely going to want to look away from this. But if you’re keen on getting a more environment-friendly (at least in terms of combustion) midsize SUV, then this could be worth looking into.
Besides, it’s not that bad in terms of fuel consumption, and it’s actually priced decently, too. This top-of-the-line GS8 that comes with all the bells and whistles stickers for P2,288,000. A hefty price tag, but when you look at all of its top-spec competitors, this will start to look like a pretty good deal.