“Don’t event attempt to inhale the aroma of the Captain’s Chair”, remarked Mr. Anton Ibarle, Marketing Manager of Legado Motors, the exclusive distributor of GAC Motor vehicles. “I know what you’re thinking, but Ms. Universe did not use the GM8 Van,  she rode in the GS8 SUV!” he added.

Well, anyone would have thought that the most beautiful woman of the universe would ride in the GAC Motor’s 2019 GAC GM8 2.0L 320T AT, after all, it’s just fitting. This van is oozing with luxury!

Guangzhou Automobile Group Motor Co., Ltd (GAC) is reportedly China’s fastest growing automobile manufacturer. This is actually believable, as the design and quality of their cars are overwhelmingly at par with European models. Luxurious is an understatement here. The 2019 GAC GM8 2.0L 320T AT van is a fine example of their craftsmanship.

Exterior

First thing you notice is the body design. It’s no frills, with conservative lines and straight shape; no flares or rounded roof design. It’s actually similar to a leading brand’s luxury van; albeit a little longer wheelbase. The Chrome grille sits prominently at the front, making a profound statement to the onlooker. The Projector headlamps blend with the shape of the grille to make a prominent fascia; almost to a shape of an eagle.

Interior

Upon entering, the initial thing that will strike you is the smell…rather the leathery scent of the interior. It reminds you european luxury, far from the usual plasticky smell of most China-based cars. The off-white interior is elegantly accented with dark wood trims and shiny black plastic panels. The gauges and controls are tastefully done with no gaudiness evident.

The Captain’s Chair is the main attraction of the GM8. It very comfortable to say the least. It’s has its own remote-control panel for climate control, ottoman adjust and back support. Leg room is very abundant. Ms. Universe would have been happy sitting there. 

The third row bench set is also plush and comfortable, albeit with smaller legroom, as the space is allotted for the Captain’s chair. Nevertheless, it’s still bigger than its counterparts.


Powertrain

Engine: 1991cc  E-Turbo / GCCS / DCVVT gasoline engine (Euro 5 rated)

Transmission: 6-Speed, Automatic, with Manual shifting option

Power:  Max. Power: 148 kW (199 HP) / 5,200 rpm


The GM8 has 4 driving modes: Normal, Sport, Eco and Winter. We just used the ECO mode because of heavy EDSA traffic, and NORMAL for highway use. You don’t want to go fast in the GM8; just cruise at 90kph and feel the comfortable and quiet ride. Even climbing steep roads posed no problem. The power is there with no hesitation whatsoever. The engine power is more than enough for the behemoth. Estimated fuel consumption is 8km/Liter for city and about 16km/Liter for highway.

The Drive mode button is dangerously close to the Start/Stop engine button. We mistakenly pressed the wrong button twice while driving!

The GM8 has a few features that set it apart from its counterparts, such as the dual moonroof, twin projector headlights, power sliding door and tailgate (which can be controlled thru the upper console, key fob and door buttons) and air purifier/ionizer.

Massive 225/55/18 tires look at home inside the fenders
The only problem we encountered here is the access to the third row sets. The Captain’s chair only goes so far, leaving a small wriggling space for ingress and egress for the back passengers.

Although this is touted as a minivan, its far from it. It’s closer to a full size van in terms of interior space and wheelbase. The features are also comparable to other luxury cars or vans. The only disadvantage here is that this requires a chauffeur. It’s a chore to drive around the city because of its sheer size. Otherwise it’s a keeper.

GAC Motors has a gem in its hands. If the GM8 is just a taste of their automobiles, the future is bright for the whole lineup.

The GM8 has a royal pedigree

For more information please contact

LEGADO MOTORS

1800 Ortigas Ave, Pasig, 1604 Metro Manila

 (02) 241 7387

or visit; www.legadomotors.com

 

Images/Text by Earl Manalansan

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