FIRST-DRIVE REVIEW: Fun in the mud with the all-new 2024 GAC GS8 4WD
Joey Deriquito · Sep 6, 2023 10:40 PM
Disclosure: Astara Philippines, the official importer and distributor of GAC Motor in the Philippines, took us on a two-day media drive with the all-new 2024 GAC GS8 4WD. The company paid for all our meals and accommodation.
GAC Motor Philippines invited us to go on a media drive to test out the all-new 2024 GAC GS8 4WD in the mountains of Tanay.
The new variant of the sport-utility vehicle (SUV), which was launched on August 2023, delivers the same luxury and comfort as its front-wheel-drive counterpart, but with the addition of being more capable off the beaten path.
As a light off-roader SUV, we got to test how the vehicle handled both on and off the tarmac, along with trying out its new Mud driving mode. Our journey started at GAC Motor Pasig where we proceeded to go to Tanay for our overnight stay.
When we had the two-wheel drive (2WD) version of the GAC GS8 on lendout, we had a blast with the SUV.
However, we did notice that it had a bit of torque steer on full power and that it tended to noticeably squat when you pushed down hard on the accelerator.
But for the four-wheel drive (4WD) version of the SUV, this behavior has noticeably decreased thanks to all four wheels being able to put the power down. The SUV's improved handling can be attributed to its intuitive all-wheel drive system.
Yes, the GS8 is technically an all-wheel drive vehicle and not the typical hardcore off-roader that you would see on rough trails. We confirmed with GAC Motor Philippines' product planner that the SUV has a 50/50 split for its power output, which is why it has a more stable acceleration and feel.
As for its handling, it functions much like an all-wheel drive vehicle, which tends to initially understeer. But once you put the power down, the SUV just goes.
Power output is still the same as the 2WD model, with its 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine producing 251 PS and 400 Nm of torque.
Testing it out in the mud
The new GS8 4WD comes with three driving modes: Sand, Snow, and Mud.
While we weren’t able to test out the first two, we were able to have some fun with the Mud driving mode. We brought it to one of our secret shooting locations, which had a decent amount of mud to see how the all-wheel-drive system would cope.
We found a decent mud hole that was enough to let the wheels spin a bit, but not deep enough to get the SUV stuck.
All things considered, the GS8 4WD handled the tough stuff well and was able to have grip even in slippery conditions.
Decent fuel economy
Now, you may be wondering about the fuel economy of the GS8 4WD on the trip up to Tanay from our initial starting point of GAC Pasig.
While the SUV is a heavy vehicle, it had decent fuel economy figures, getting around 7.6 km/l even with our fast pace up the mountain roads.
Power was there when we needed it and the 8-speed automatic transmission was smooth shifting when left alone in Drive. However, we did notice a bit of a delay in manual mode when we were using the paddle shifters to get into a lower gear.
It's not a bad thing as the gearbox is designed to give you smooth shifts as it will “slip the clutch” before it gets into the gear you want. It doesn’t slam shift as with other vehicles, but still gives you the engine braking when you want it.
Worth the extra features
If you are in the market for a light off-roader, the GAC GS8 4WD is definitely an SUV that you should put on your shortlist.
Priced at ₱2,548,000, the SUV gives you a premium feel and is very comfortable, even on the pothole-ridden streets of Metro Manila. You can definitely feel the suspension system doing its job to absorb the bumps and road imperfections.
A full review will reveal more about GAC Motor Philippines' new flagship SUV.
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A car enthusiast at heart, nothing excites Joey more than an open road and a full tank of gas. Ready with the latest information about cars, he constantly studies and researches the latest happenings in the motoring world while caring for a car that's an extension of himself.