The outgoing GAC GS3 Power may be a rather forgettable model (when was the last time you actually saw one?), but WTC Automotif, the official distributor of GAC-badged vehicles in Malaysia wants to remedy that with the second-generation model.
Now redesigned from the ground-up as a completely new model, the second-generation GAC GS3 just went on sale in China in early March, with prices starting from CNY 85,800 (~RM 55k) and tops out at CNY 111,800 (~RM 72k).
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The second-generation GAC GS3 Power here improves upon the earlier-generation model in a number of ways, including the exterior design, cabin, and powertrain. It is now built on GAC’s latest GPMA (GAC Global Platform Modular Architecture) platform.
Starting with the exterior design, GAC has gone to town with the design of this all-new model, giving the B-segment SUV a very aggressive and sharp design. The front grille has sharp creases and filled with vertical slats, with the new sharp LED headlights flanked on the upper edges.
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Speaking of the headlights, the sharp, blocky design elements are also nestled within the new headlight assembly, a neat little touch by GAC.
Towards the rear, there’s no mistaking the GS3 Power for any other B-segment SUV with its dual centrally-mounted muffler tips, flanked by massive diffuser pieces with vertical slats. In case you’re wondering, those muffler tips are real; they’re not just decorative bits.
Whereas the cabin of the outgoing GAS GS3 Power was rather forgettable, GAC has remedied that on the new-generation model. There’s the customary dual digital screen array for any B-SUV worth its salt, as well as physical knobs for the air-conditioning system.
Other niceties in the cabin include colour-coded air-conditioning vents and dashboard trim, electric parking brake, shift-by-wire gear shifter, and a smattering of USB-A and USB-C ports.
The driver gets a decent-sized 7-inch digital instrument cluster, while the infotainment screen size varies from 10.25-inch to 12.3-inch.
Under the hood, power for the GAC GS3 comes from a turbocharged 1.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine that does 177 PS and 270 Nm, mated to a wet-type dual-clutch automatic transmission.
When the next-gen GAC GS3 goes on sale in Malaysia some time next year, it will square off against a number of rivals, such as the Chery Omoda 5, Honda HR-V, Proton X50, Toyota Corolla Cross, Subaru XV, and Haval Jolion.
Given how much of an upgrade the second-generation GAC GS3 is compared to its predecessor model, can it convince you over its rivals?