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June 19, 2023

Review: 2023 GAC GN6 270T GE

There’s something amiss that you sense the moment you enter the GAC GN6. Mind you, it has nothing to do with ergonomics or any of that. It has to do with the smell. At first, you pin the blame on the plastics; it is, after all, a common complaint among Chinese vehicles. But then it occurs to you: it doesn’t smell like plastics or adhesives or a dead rat. It smells like rubber—like someone put a bunch of tires in the cabin and had it bake there for some time. A minute later, you find the culprit: the t-type spare is located between the first two rows of seats, covered by a rather flimsy cloth-lined particle board cover.

Normally, any car review won’t start with the location of the spare tire, but in the case of the GAC GN6, it aptly summarizes the entire car. It’s equal parts ingenious, but also equal parts haphazardly engineered.

Pundits often compare the GN6 to the Toyota Innova—the benchmark and best-selling mid-sized MPV in the Philippines, and they’re not wrong. Dimensionally, the GN6 is every bit an “Innova fighter.” Unsaddled by the limitations of a body-on-frame construction, it sits lower to the ground. Even with a lower overall height, the GN6 has more headroom and a lower step-in height than its main competition. It also happens to look the part too. Admittedly, there’s only so much you can do with MPV design, but at least it looks neat, well-proportioned, and as an added bonus, there’s a strong familial look to the GN8—GAC Motor’s full-sized MPV.

Things, however, aren’t prefect as the GN6 does look severely “under tired.” They may be 215/60R16s at each corner, but the wheel wells themselves look tiny. 17s, or even 18s would have been more appropriate here. There’s also no way to overlook the dull halogen headlights—in today’s feature-packed Chinese vehicle offerings, this is a criminal offense. Finally, here’s hoping you’re a fan of either white or black as those are the only two colors available for this 7-seater MPV.

The same issue can be said about the GN6’s interior. At passing glance, it looks great. The dark brown and cream color combination do their part in uplifting the cabin, while also making it a standout in a segment filled with monotonous black colored offerings. But those seats aren’t covered in leather; they’re swathed in heat-soaking leatherette. And that steering wheel? It’s in urethane. But at least they can outrightly claim to have better plastics and build quality than most Toyotas in this price range.

And speaking about the price? It’s at P 1.35 million. That puts it lower than the Innova E (P 1.375 million) and even the Maxus G50 (P 1.388 million). In fact, it’s in the same bracket as top-of-the-line small MPVs like the Xpander Cross (P 1.328 million) and Honda BR-V (P 1.39 million). That is a lot of money for the metal and this somewhat explains the lack of features you commonly associate with other Chinese cars. Something had to give to attain that price, and in this case, it’s the removal of some luxury accoutrements. But hey, it still has a sunroof so that accounts for something, right?

Lack of toys aside, it’s time to circle back to that odd spare tire placement and the GN6’s hit-and-miss packaging. If the people it’s carrying around is light on baggage, it’s fine. If they’re carrying luggage, for that, matter, it’s still fine. But if they carry little knick-knacks like mobile phones, keys, or even chug down drinks while on the go? You’re in a bit of trouble. See, there are almost no bins. The center console that typically doubles as an arm rest? Here, it’s an oddly-shaped, unlined tray that can only rest a smartphone. The cup holders? They’re these vestigial holes that can’t even fit a tall-sized Starbucks drink. What if you’ve got stuff? They’d either have to go in the glove box or on this tray beneath the shifter that’s always in trouble of slipping out. These GAC Motor peeps didn’t think details, did they?

On the other hand, the GN6 does manage to impress with its highly flexible cargo space. The third row is awesome sauce. With the third-row up, there’s a deep bin where the spare tire would normally be. It also folds down in a 50-50 split, or collapses into the floor in American MPV style. However, it’s worth nothing that there’s no locking mechanism when it does collapse into the floor, so hit a bump hard enough and eventually the third-row will come peeking out. Also, when being put up, it almost always snags against the seat belts.

Ergonomically, it’s hard to fault the GN6. Despite the lack of any telescopic adjustment to the steering wheel, finding the ideal driving position is easy enough. All the controls, except for the touchscreen, are within easy reach and they’re located where you’d expect them. The touchscreen on the other hand, requires a stretch, but despite the smallish size, navigating through the icons is easy enough. Apple CarPlay also comes as standard fare. The climate control may have physical buttons, but the AC’s status is communicated via an on-screen pop-up. Also, while the screen shows the temperature and all, there’s no “Auto” mode here. Everything is all manual.

Thanks to a large glass area, visibility is quite good except for the three-quarters front. The oddly-placed A-pillar results in this odd huge blind spot especially when concerning on-coming pedestrians or cyclists from the sides.

Like the EMPOW and GS4, the GN6 doesn’t have your typical smart keyless entry. By default, it requires you to lock or unlock it using the key fob. Going through the on-board menu, it can be programmed to lock and/or unlock automatically when the fob’s detected within a certain radius of the vehicle. But this feature isn’t 100 percent perfect, and could be tempting fate when parking it in questionable places.

Onto the drive, the GN6 offers the same formula found in other Chinese offerings: a turbocharged 1.5-liter mated to an automatic transmission. However, it does manage to overdeliver in a couple of ways. For one, it’s high in smoothness and refinement. The engine itself is free from lag with power coming in steadily and building up nicely. It’s mighty hushed too with almost no audible drone. Meanwhile, the 6-speed automatic itself gives quick, shudder-free shifts. It tends to go through gears quickly as opposed to having them linger, but this helps keep the engine singing happy and the fuel economy at an impressive 9.34 km/L at 19 km/h.

The platform itself is also nothing to write home about—it’s the usual variety seen in other MPVs with a front MacPherson Strut and a rear Torsion Beam Axle. What’s good here is how it manages to smoothen out the worst of Manila roads. Drive it through cracks, dips, and potholes, and the GN6 simply dissipates them all in a relaxed, hushed manner. Of course, the decision to go all soft does equate to copious amounts of understeer, body roll, and brake dive. Couple that with feather-light steering (even in its heaviest Sport setting), and there are times when it feels like you’re going to lose it mid-corner. Now, some will argue that MPVs aren’t meant to corner like it’s on rails, and they’re absolutely right. But, let’s just say that canyon carving this 7-seater doesn’t really inspire any level of driver confidence.

After all’s said and done, the GAC GN6 performs remarkably well in big ticket item terms. The powertrain and suspension (for an MPV) are well-tuned, and the interior itself, for the most part, is flexible. It’s also well-designed. However, once you start poking around, and carrying about the little things, it don’t bode well. It may impress during a short drive around the block, or perhaps a test drive that lasts a day or two, but little misses here can and will add up. Eventually, these may become nuisances in the long run, and these can effectively ruin a long-term ownership experience.

2023 GAC GN6 270T GE

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Bottom Line
Pros Smooth powertrain, supple ride, great cargo flexibility.
Cons Questionable packaging, doesn't like corners, lack of features for a Chinese vehicle.
TL;DR Remembers the big stuff, but didn't bother with the small details.
Year Introduced 2021
Warranty 5 years / 150,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type Entry-Level MPV
Seating 7
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.5
Aspiration Turbocharged
Fuel Delivery Direct Injection
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
Maximum Output (PS @ rpm) 169 @ 5,000
Maximum Torque (Nm @ rpm) 265 @ 1,700-4,000
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / ~93
Transmission 6 AT
Cruise Control Yes
Fuel Economy (km/L) @ Ave. Speed (km/h) 9.34 km/L @ 19 km/h
Fuel Tank Size (L) 52
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,780
Width (mm) 1,860
Height (mm) 1,730
Wheelbase (mm) 2,810
Curb Weight (kg) 1,615
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Parking Brake Electronic, w/ Auto Hold
Tires Maxxis Waltz MS1 215/60R16V (f & r)
Recommended Tire Pressure (PSI) 35 (front), 38 (rear)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 4
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Rear
Parking Camera Yes, Rear
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR w/ pre-tensioners x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 2 (2nd row),
3-pt ELR x 3 (3rd row)
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features Hill Start Assist
Hill Descent Control
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Yes, Front & Rear
Light Operation Manual
Wiper Operation Variable Intermittent
Tailgate Manual
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Urethane
Seating Adjustment (driver) Manual, 6-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Manual, 4-way
Seating Surface Leatherette
2nd Row 50/50 Split Sliding, Reclining, w/ Arm Rest
3rd Row 60/40 Split Reclining, Folding, Tumbling
Sunroof Yes
Multi-Information Display / Size Yes, 7-inch
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes
Rear View Mirror Day/Night
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Dual (Manual), w/ Rear Vents
Audio System Stereo
USB Type A
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay
# of Speakers 6
Steering Controls Yes


  1. GAC GN6 might be based from Honda Odyssey chassis since both have spare tire located under the front seats. GAC is one of Honda's JV partner in China and also manufacture Odyssey model in China.

    1. That might be a possibility. With the Honda though, the placement of the spare tire compartment flushed to the floor and covered properly. Dimensionally though the North American Odyssey and GN6 aren't the same. They might have learned the packaging with the Odyssey and tried implementing it on the GN6.

    2. not the North American Odyssey, but the JDM Odyssey sold here and in other international markets including China. The third row seats reminds me of the third row of Odyssey sold locally

    3. Ah...yeah that is possible. Could explain some aspects of the GN6.

  2. Some information that needs to be corrected:

    1) Yes cupholders can handle 500ml water bottles and small fastfood cups... for medium and large cups you can use the beverage holders at the doors

    2) There is a securing latch when you fold down the third row seat. And there is also a securing mechanism for the seatbelts in the third row so that it doesn't mix up with the folding process of the third row seats

    3) The 16 inch wheels are designed for comfort, you can slap 17 inch wheels on it but might result to an uncomfortable ride

    4) Most owners did not experience that rubber smell. It was more the smell of the leatherette seats. So most likely the floor is not affixed properly.

    5) Even if the radio is off, and pop-up AC access is off, the AC blower and cooling temp can be seen at the title bar portion of the infotainment screen.

    1. 1. Yes there is but it's too small and way out of reach. I understand that there are water bottles at the sides, but you can't use it for larger cup. They're alright for bottles.

      2. If there's a securing latch for the third row, it doesn't work. Yes, there's lever and it locks when going up. It doesn't lock in the opposite direction. And even if you put the seatbelts in their holding place they still hit the third row bench when being folded down. They don't hit it going the other way.

      3. Maybe...but it still looks under tired.

      4. That may be the case, but I can only comment on this experience. But the rubber smell is very strong here. It's the type that'll stick to your clothes. Might be the leatherette, but never had that experience with the Empow or GS4.

      5. Agreed on that one. But they could have included a separate display...but that's a matter of personal taste.

    2. The GAC M6 Pro I believe is the mid-life cycle refresh that addresses all those quirks. Unfortunately, its not yet available in the GAC Motors international page and might be introduced maybe 1-2 years from now.

    3. Looks that way. Seems GAC learned real quick. Based on the photos, the M6 Pro looks like a winner.

  3. The GN6 is what I call the traditional East Asian MPV, if this was brought to Japan it's main competitors size wise would be the toyota voxy/noah. they're more refined than your typical AUV(and that includes b segment AUVs) and have lower ground clearance.

  4. Hi. Would you.happen to know if thr gn6 uses a timing belt or chain or gear?


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