EXCEPT in 2021 when the COVID-19 virus started to spread like a wildfire, our family always spent a new year or on the first week of January going to the beach and sometimes renting a private house somewhere along the scenic Batangas area, particularly in Laiya, San Juan, for my niece birthday celebration-cum-vacation.
With a much better situation, this year is on the go, except that when planning has already been working out, my ever-trusting Ertiga needs to stay at the auto shop for some maintenance check-up. So immediately, I call a friend, and luckily an acquaintance Mavelle Durian who worked at Legado Motors, Inc. – the sole and official distributor of Chinese-made vehicle GAC Motor – offered me to test drive the GN6, one of the models of the company’s new line of multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) in the country.
The 7-seater GN6 was initially released in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and officially introduced in the country in February last year.
There’s so much excitement the moment I got the full view of the GN6. Comparison with the much-established model brand is a no-no. GN6 has its own aura fitting for your personality – stylish, innovative, simple yet extravagant.
The all-new GN6 boasts a sharp and elegant exterior, contributed by the all-new flying dynamics frontend design, which also highlights the GAC Motor emblem. The design is accentuated by the wing-shaped daytime running lamps that are not only function as the vehicle’s safety feature but also give the GN6 a more appealing look.
At the back, a pair of LED taillights is complemented by an LED braking light strip, which is similar to the GN8 minivan. To give the GN6 a better stance and ride, it is equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels.
“Wow, this is the first time I saw this brand. Beautiful and spacious. The all-leather seat is remarkable,” said Capt. Andrew ‘Andy’ Malpass, a car enthusiast, as he checks the GN6 as I park beside his SUV.
Boarding time. Just as we packed our things going to Batangas, some friends in the Camella neighborhood come by and started to give a glance at this MPV which they compared the interior setting like in a chartered airplane.
“The all-leather seat is amazing. Ang ganda, yung porma ng loob parang sa eroplano,” said Pareng Mark, a close neighbor.
So much space between the second-row captain’s seat creates an aisle that makes my two-year-old apo Keira easily walk from the back seat down to the front seat as she happily plays with his Lola Senyang.
There’s no need to put bags, either, inside the cabin since there’s a huge space in the compartment.
With dimensions of 4,780mm long, 1,860mm wide, and 1730mm tall, the GN6 provides a comfortable and spacious ride for seven adult passengers. The 190mm ultra-wide second-row corridor lets the passengers enter and exit the vehicle with ease, allowing easier access to third-row seats.
For a more comfortable ride, the second-row has captain seats, in which the armrests can be lifted or lowered. This also makes it more convenient to place the child booster seat. The seats can be adjusted frontwards or backward so that the passengers may maximize the leg space of the GN6.
To complete the cozy and relaxed driving and riding experience, the GN6 also features a 360-degree Quiet Car technology that cancels the ambient noise in your environment. The GN6 also has a 324-liter trunk space, that can be expanded to 1,100 liters by folding down the third-row seats — a space that is enough to fit in fourteen 20-inch luggage.
Apart from a spacious and comfortable cabin, the GN6 also comes with a 7-inch instrument and 8-inch LCD infotainment display that is housed in a single panel for a clean and elegant look. It is also equipped with Bluetooth connectivity and a 6-speaker system, so you can listen to your favorite playlist while on the road. Plus, its center console is equipped with cockpit controls for ease of access and undistracted driving.
From Bacoor, as Captain of the GN6 flight, we passed Daang Hari going to the MCX loop before entering the South Luzon Highway. It’s was a smooth-sailing drive under the maximum speed limit. The accelerator and breaks are soft like touching the screen of your mobile. GN6 is so powerful just put the gears to drive mode. Under the silent wave of soft music and a cold blast of aircon, everyone falls asleep with my apo safely and comfortably strapped on her child seat. Of course, I and my Senyang just enjoyed the drive and the scenery Batangas can offer. Even on rough roads entering the Star tollways, the drive is smooth in motion and remained relaxing for my passengers.
Adding beauty and joy to the trip was the sliding overhead window which my apo Keira had a great time playing in during our stop in the gas station to fill up and comfort ourselves.
When it comes to safety, the GN6 is equipped with front dual airbags, front side airbags, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD),
traction control system (TCS), hill-ascend and descend controls, a rearview camera, parking sensors, electronic parking brake, three-point seatbelts with alarm, ISOFIX child seat anchors, brake hold assist, and engine immobilizer with anti-theft alarm.
It also comes with a remote keyless system that performs the functions of a standard key without physical contact with the car. It includes a remote keyless ignition system, remote window, and sunroof controller. Its sensor lock feature activates when the driver or key holder is at least 3 meters away from the car, while the unlock sensor activates when the driver is at least 1-meter away from the vehicle.
The GN6 is built on a high-strength steel-safe chassis that does a great job in emitting the vehicle vibration and does its job in protecting the occupants of the vehicle from an intense collision impact. For better stability at high speeds, the GN6 is equipped with Bosch’s latest ESP 9.3 that corrects oversteering at sudden cornering and sudden lane change. It also has a 14-in-1 active safety system that provides uphill and downhill assistance.
It is equipped with an L-type Mcpherson front suspension that effectively suppresses high-frequency vibration, resulting in better handling, a more stable ride, and better driving comfort.
Powering the all-new GN6 is a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four Euro 5-compliant engine that is capable of producing an output of 170 horsepower and 265 Nm of torque. The engine was produced by Aisin Seiki, the largest producer of automatic transmission engines in the world.
The engine is also equipped with a Bosch 200bar in-cylinder fuel injection technology, making the GN6 a powerful, yet fuel-efficient MPV. It registers a fuel consumption of 14km/L and has a tank capacity of 52 liters. Despite its large size, the GN6 will save you tons of time refueling your gas tank.
Going back home after three days, two nights staycation in Sabangan, all well that ends well as they say it as we boarded GN6 with much ease and enthusiasm. Never in my life, I felt some semblance of royalty since riding in a limousine during a trip to South Korea to cover the Asian Poker Tour a decade ago. The GN6 is a combination of luxury and affordability. My Ertiga is already six years old and if the stars shine bright on me this year, who knows, this GN6 might find a way in our garage.
Noted: The all-new GAC GN6 is available at an SRP of P1,480,000. It also comes with a 5-year warranty or 150,000 km, whichever comes first. It comes in three colors: Pearl White, Elegant Black, and Peacock Blue. Visit your nearest GAC Motor PH dealership to know more about the all-new GN6, or visit https://gacmotorph.com to get the full information about this MPV, and to check for new updates.