Chinese automakers are making their presence felt in the country in a big way. One of them is GAC, and they've been making all sorts of buzz recently. After landing in the Philippines with five models, they added another small crossover to the range in the form of the GS3.
They're not done yet either as GAC Philippines has confirmed two new models coming to the Philippines. One of them is setting their sights on the established compact crossovers in the land, namely the CR-V and Forester. They call it the GS5. The other is a minivan in the form of the GM6.
The GS5 is one of the newest models to come out of GAC, making its debut in late 2018. Looking at the dimensions, the GS5 sits right in the compact crossover class, which includes the aforementioned CR-V and Forester, along with other models such as the RAV4, and X-Trail. It measures in at 4,695 mm long, and 1,885 mm wide. It also has a lengthy wheelbase of 2,710 mm.
The GS5 follows the new design direction of the brand. There's the wide grill, which extends all the way to the middle of the bumper, with GAC logo boldly sitting at the center. It's then flanked by upswept headlights while the clamshell hood adds a bit more presence.
Glass area is tall and upright at the front, which then sweeps back towards the rear. Instead of defined lines, the flanks feature more gentle and subtle curves. Like most GAC crossovers, the GS5 has a black strip on the rear pillars to give it a 'floating roof' look at the back. And speaking of the rear, the tailgate's windshield is rakish to give it a sleeker appearance. Of interest are the taillights, employing a one-piece look
Inside, the cabin is trimmed in leather with wing-tipped trimmings to complement the GAC logo. GAC calls the dash an exercise in minimalism, with the floating infotainment screen and climate controls being the center of attention. Slim air-conditioning vents further highlights the whole minimalist theme. Also, the instrument cluster is fully digital, although it is yet to be known if that's reserved for the top-spec variant. Other noteworthy features include a panoramic sunroof, wireless smartphone charging, 10-way power seats, and, according to them, loads of rear legroom.
Two engine options are available in the GS5, both of which are 1.5-liter, gas-powered and turbocharged. The base engine makes 152 PS and 235 Nm of torque while the more powerful tune puts out 169 PS and 265 Nm of torque. Both shift with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode, although a manual is available in the 152 PS version.
Meanwhile, the GM6 is one of the newest models launched by GAC Motors. It was only revealed last January in China, and is essentially a smaller minivan complements the much larger GM8. For reference, the GM6 measures in at 4,780mm long, 1,837mm wide, and 1,730mm tall. This makes it similarly sized to the Toyota Alphard and the Honda Odyssey of its competitors.
Design-wise, the GM6 can easily be distinguished from the GM8 because of the lack of a sliding door and smaller size. Instead, it uses a conventional door in order to access the 2nd row of seats. There upswept LED headlights then flank the large grill, further enhancing the bold look. Meanwhile, the rear looks a bit similar to that of the GM8 with the full-width one-piece taillight. The ones fitted on the GM6, however, are slimmer units.
Inside, there’s a 2-2-3 seating arrangement, with captain's chairs in the middle. GAC claims there is also a total 1,100L of cargo space, though they didn’t mention whether it was with the 3rd row up or down. Depending on the variant, it is available with a dual-zone climate control system, ion air-purifier, and even a 360-degree around view camera. GAC's Qiyun Smart AI, and a pair of 12.3-inch digital displays are also available on higher-end variants.
Powering the GM6 is GAC’s 270T engine – a 1.5-liter turbo mill that produces 166 horsepower (132 kW) and 265 Nm of torque. Depending on the variant, it is available with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. No all-wheel-drive here as power is sent to the front wheels only.
For now, there is no launch date set just yet on both the GS5 and GM6, but expect them to come out sometime next year. Perhaps we might see it at the 2020 Manila International Auto Show, but then again, GAC might just surprise us by releasing them right at the start of the year.