GAC Motor has updated its flagship SUV, the GS8 seven-seater for the 2022 model year, and this has gone on sale in the Philippines from 1,780,000 pesos (RM146,053).

The sole choice of engine is a 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 201 hp at 5,200 rpm and and 320 Nm of torque from 1,750 rpm to 4,000 rpm, mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox by Aisin.

Available in a choice of 4×2 or 4×4 driveline, three trim levels for for GS are offered, starting with the 4×2 GE at the aforementioned 1,780,000 pesos (RM146,053), followed by the 4×2 GE Sports at 2,088,000 pesos (RM171,325), and the top 4×4 GL variant at 2,288,000 pesos (RM187,735).

According to Autoindustriya, the 2022 model year GS8 gets Alcantara leather seats which gain heating and ventilation for the front occupants, along with adjustable lumbar support and memory function, while the rear seats also also outfitted with lumbar support adjustment.

In terms of device connectivity, Apple CarPlay offers iOS smartphone support, while Bluetooth and USB connections are also present. Front seat occupants also get access to a wireless charging pad, while those in the second row get a USB charging port and an external power supply for device charging.

Audio is provided by a Harman Kardon six-speaker sound system. Further conveniences include a heated, multi-function steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, LED ambient lighting, and 10 cupholders.

Safety kit on the 2022 GAC GS8 includes ABS with electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, traction control, a 360-degree camera setup, parking sensors, fingerprint sensor-equipped door lock tyre pressure monitoring system and 10 airbags.

Meanwhile on Malaysian tarmac, the GAC brand’s smaller sibling, the GS3 was sighted in camouflage in Perak in January this year, likely as a feasibility study. This is sold in China with a 1,493 cc turbocharged three-cylinder petrol, which is Euro 6-compliant and outputs 163 PS at 5,500 rpm and 235 Nm of torque from 1,500 rpm to 4,000 rpm.

As a B-segment SUV, the GS3 would then be a prime candidate for going toe-to-toe with the Proton X50, which produces 150 PS at 5,500 rpm and 226 Nm from 1,500 rpm to 4,000 rpm in 1.5 PFI guise, or 177 PS at 5,500 rpm and 255 Nm from 1,500 rpm to 4,000 rpm in more potent TGDi form.

As for the GS8 – how do you think it stacks up as a seven-seater?