GAC Trumpchi GS8 Review – Appearance, Interior and Driving Experience


Trumpchi GS8 is a large 7-seat SUV launched by GAC, a self-owned brand of Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC). It was developed by Zhang Fan, the deputy dean of GAC Research Institute and chief designer. Trumpchi GS8 pioneered the design concept of “Iron fist in a velvet glove”, which showed a tough visual impact. GS8 uses the world’s first matrix LED headlights, matching the family bar-style grille; the bodywork is full of muscles, the straight waist line is strong and powerful, the 8-like tail lights have a higher brand recognizability.

On July 3, 2017, China Automotive Technology and Research Center released the second batch of C-NCAP crash safety performance test results. Trumpchi GS8 received a five-star rating and scored 57.7 points.

On September 28, 2017, J.D. Power, the world’s leading market research organization, released the 2017 China New Car Quality Research (IQS) report, which was ranked No.1 in the Chinese brand for five consecutive years.

Trumpchi GS8 is also very hot 7-seat Chinese-brand model in China market, GAC also plans to export Trumpchi GS8 to Russia, US market…

The price of Trumpchi GS8 starts at 163,800 end at 259,800 yuan (~US$23,781 – US$37,719) in China market. Today, let’s take a look how exact Trumpchi GS8’s performance in all aspects.

Appearance: Looks very tough, but it actually very suitable for family car

Regarding the appearance design of GAC Trumpchi GS8, it is still the benevolent sees the wise and sees wisdom, so we will not talk more. However, generally speaking, Trumpchi GS8’s design is very tough, it is more in line with the current Chinese aesthetic, because there are still many consumers who are buying the car for its good-looking appearance.

In terms of body size, it measures 4810x1910x1770mm and the wheelbase is 2800mm. The overall size is close to Toyota Highlander. Many people think that GS8 is occupying the market share of Highlander, but we don’t think so, we will talk it later why…

Trumpchi GS8 is equipped with 6 cameras, so it has 360 panoramic image function, there are also two cameras installed on each rear-view mirror. The lower camera is responsible for 360 panoramic images, the camera on the left of the rear-view mirror is responsible for lane change assist.

It looks very good, but have you ever thought that if your rearview mirror is defective, then the two cameras may be damaged, and if you choose to repair it, then they must be replaced…

Interior: Quality of conscience

To be honest, Trumpchi GS8’s interior is quite good, although it is not outstanding, it is quite texture. At least the vast majority of the places you can touch are soft materials. In terms of texture, China independent brands will never lose joint venture brands.

The GS8 is also equipped with very comprehensive electronic security system, ESP, ABS, ASR, uphill assist, automatic parking… a lot of them, and they are standard config! However, the panoramic sunroof, electric tailgate, and 220V power supply are only available on high trim level models.

The most surprising thing is that this car is equipped with independent three-zone air conditioning! Driving, co-pilot and rear passengers can control the temperature independently, this is very rare in some imported cars, or joint venture brands, GS8 is really honest and kind!

Room: Front seat backrest is weak point

We have mentioned the body size of Trumpchi GS8. After entering the car, it still feels the same, It is just word – Large! Of course, compared with Honda AVANCIER (A mid-to-large China-only SUV model, similar to Honda Pilot), the interior space is still smaller, but the interior space is quite large in the China-brand produced models.

Trumpchi GS8’s storage space is also quite rich, no matter where you can find the place to put things, the main reason is because of the spacious room! However, since this GS8 is a 7-seat version, the second-row room is not as spacious as Honda AVANCIER, but the second row seat of GS8 can be adjusted back and forth to coordinate the space of the third row. Overall, the second row of GS8 is still sufficient.

As for the third row room, in general, it should be enough if it is for emergency use, your legs will feel tired if you sit for a long time, because no matter how you adjust the second row seats, the passengers in third row will be in a squatting sitting position.

In fact, many people complained that GS8 GS8’s seat is uncomfortable, but it is unable to find out the reason, so we also deliberately studied it. In terms of the material of the seat itself, the seat padding is comfortable and soft, anyway the driver’s seat waist curvature is large, so it allows the driver’s buttocks to be in the middle of the seat, which causes the seat to lack support for the legs, and the wrapping is poor. After a long-time drive, the driver will feel the backache and leg pain.

In addition, unlike the normal driver’s seat, the height of the seat back is somewhat too low! The height of the driver’s shoulder has exceeded the height of the seat back, the headrest needs to be stretched a lot to get the head. It will of course feel uncomfortable sitting on such a seat!

Power: Multi Port Injection turbocharge, not common!

Trumpchi GS8 is powered by a 2.0-Liter turbocharged engine independently developed by GAC. It is the same model on Trumpchi GA8, but there are some differences in tuning. The maximum power is 201ps and maximum torque is 320 Nm, it is quite satisfactory from the book data.

A lot of people said that the GS8 engine is originated from the 2.0T engine of GAC-Fiat, which is the same as the 2.0T of Jeep Cherokee. But it is not the same case, the GS8’s 2.0T is a MPI turbocharged engine, while Jeep Cherokee is powered by a direct injection turbocharged engine. According to GAC’s own statement, the direct injection technology is still not mature, GAC has not introduced direct injection engines into various production lines. Therefore, the “traditional” MPI oil supply method is still used.

In terms of transmission, Trumpchi GS8 matches with Aisin 6AT automatic transmission. This gearbox technology is relatively mature, many Chinese models are also in use, smoothness, response speed, fuel-saving effect, comprehensive indicators are OK, no shortcomings, no highlights. However, the high trim level models are equipped with a multi-plate clutch timely four-wheel drive system.

Driving experience: The adjustment of Chinese car is still a weak point

The suspension adjustment of the vehicle is moderate, quite good in anti-bouncing, easy to pass through some small bumps. Overall, it is comfort-oriented, of course, the GS8 is still a little “firm” by comparing with Honda AVANCIER

As for the handling experience, some media think that the handling of Trumpchi GS8 does not lose the joint venture brand, but we think, handling is not strong point on a SUV, the GS8 is a moderate style, it’s neither stupid, nor flexible.

We feel not good on power performance. The car is a bit aggressive when gas pedal is slightly stepped on, the throttle response is very good, it is a bit “rush”. However, we can neither feel the “pushed into the seat” feeling after turbocharged, nor the positive response of the gearbox when we pedal to the medal, this is very strange feeling!

In fact, this is due to the adjustment. The tuning of sensitive throttle is no problem, even the tachometer has never been lower than 2000 rpm, it does not explain anything, it is such a style. However, the GS8 adds a function, that’s the power transmission of the gearbox and the engine will be directly disconnected if the accelerator is not stepped on during driving, the engine rev will fall back to the idle state, which achieves the purpose of fuel saving. This is not fresh design, Porsche 911 has such a similar functional design.

However, the tuning of GS8’s gearbox and engine are not as sensitive as Porsche, because it needs time to increase the rev when you stop on the throttle again, that is, the engine and gearbox need a “buffer” time when you floored the gas pedal, this undoubtedly increases the acceleration time, so that you feel that power output is incoherent.

Summary: the seat is a weak point, it is very affordable for family!

Overall, in terms of design and texture, Trumpchi GS8 has exceeded our knowledge of Chinese cars, but this is only limited to static analysis. It looks very good whether its room or Practicality,.

However, from the dynamic aspect, there is still room for further improvement in the overall adjustment. Of course, this is also a common problem of China independent brands, especially the matching problem between the engine and the gearbox, further improvement is needed.

So is this car worth buying? Personally say, As I am not interested in the 7-seat SUV, I will consider if there is 5-seat versions, but at least I need to change a better front seat. Trumpchi GS8 is still a pretty good choice if you want to buy a 7-seat SUV for family and don’t want to spend much money.

Note 1: The Trumpchi GS8 we tested is the current 2017 GS8 in China market.