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Car Reviews / 07-08-19

2019 GAC Trumpchi GA4

Blending In


By Nicolas A. Calanoc Photos by Nicolas A. Calanoc

 

Sometimes I wonder why the phrase “there is nothing new” is always taken with such negativity. There was a time where the beverage giant Coca-Cola tried to make a New Coke and it was considered one of the biggest marketing blunders of all time. Sometimes when something has nothing new, it can be a good thing. So, when I say that the Trumpchi GA4 felt familiar, I say this as a good thing.

The GAC GA4 takes a subtler approach in styling, which blends in with its contemporaries in its class. The design is actually good, with the use of dynamic lines on the sides and curves at the intersections. Its chrome grill and logo implementation are even similar to its Japanese competitors, making it indistinguishable to the untrained eye. If there is one design I like about the GA4 that stands out, it’s the rear taillights.

The looks are only one aspect though, so it was a surprise that when I got inside the GAC GA4, the familiarity continued inside. The dashboard felt sturdy along with the plastics used and materials implemented. The seats cushioning felt great as well, with the leather not feeling cheap. The dials and gauges felt contemporarily well designed. For a Chinese car to feel so familiar to someone who has driven Japanese cars most of his life, that says a lot.

There are two twists, however, to this familiarity: its price and what you get with it. For less than a million pesos at this point of writing, you get so much from the GAC GA4. This ranges from the infotainment system, to its adjustable high beams, to its cornering lamps that light up when you turn the corner, and to a reverse parking camera with sensor. It’s nitpicking at this point, but I wish it had a more responsive infotainment system. Other than that, you really get a lot for what you pay for.

Usually with brands that are starting, there would be some issues on how it drives like steering that is too light or throttle response that doesn’t seem to be intuitive, but neither is the case for the GAC GA4. The way it drove was something that felt easily accustomed to. The steering was responsive and the power delivery was predictable, whether it was crawling in traffic, or cruising on the highway.

If there is one thing we can learn from the GAC Trumpchi GA4, it’s that sometimes blending in and staying familiar is a good thing, especially when you are the underdog that undercuts its competition with its excellent pricing. At this point, only time will tell how long GAC vehicles will last and how GAC Philippines services their vehicles. But if all goes well, I think GAC and their vehicles like the Trumpchi GA4 will offer the competition something to watch out for.

Specifications

Engine

Engine Inline-4
Displacement 1325 cc
Cylinder Head dohc 16V
Fuel Injector Multi-point intercooled turbo
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 136 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 149 lb-ft @ 1500-4200 rpm
Transmission 6-speed AT

Performance

Top Speed 170 km/h (106 mph)
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 12.7 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 12.2 km/L Combined

Ratings

Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 988,000.00
What's Great Pricing, familiar feeling inside and out, standard equipment that comes with it
What's Not So A tad bit of body sway, only time will tell how long it will last, halogen headlights, alloy wheel design
C! Editors Rating 8.5/10