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2021 GAC GN8 2.0L A/T GT Luxury: Flying First-Class on the Highways and City Streets

When Legado Motors, Inc. came up with an online media event to announce an exciting new outlook from GAC Motor – redefining the G-A-C acronym to mean “Go And Change” – the company itself was an agent of change as well. GAC now has an exciting line up of vehicles in the Philippines from compact cars (GA4 sedan) to crossovers and SUVS (GS3 subcompact crossover, GS4 compact SUV, and GS8 mid-size SUV) and multipurpose vehicles and minivans (GN6 MPV and GN8 minivan) that will actually make you “go and change” your perception of the brand.

One of the brand’s flagship vehicles is the 2021 GAC GN8 2.0L A/T GT Luxury minivan, which we were privileged enough to have for a weekend test drive. When we collected the minivan from the flagship GAC dealership along Ortigas Avenue in Pasig City, we were immediately attracted to its stately Pearl White exterior finish, massive yet elegant front grille, large windows and luxurious interior. With its powerful yet economical 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine, we knew that we must take “our” GN8 for a long cruise somewhere. Anywhere.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

My wife Shawie and I planned two trips with our GN8 – a long drive north to La Union to conclude a business transaction in Agoo; and a leisurely cruise around the city, giving Shawie’s visiting relatives a tour of the new developments in Metro Manila. Like a luxury private jet, the power sliding doors of our GAC minivan opens by itself with a light tug on the door handle, or with a push of a button on the remote key fob. The smooth motorized movement of the sliding door plus the sunroof over the front row seat and the double-pane panoramic roof over the back solicited double takes and off-the-cuff comments from passers-by such as, “Ang mahal siguro niyan… (That vehicle must be quite expensive)” and “Wow! Pang sosyal talaga! (It’s really for the social elite)”.

Our GN8’s Pearl White finish, massive grille, large windows, long wheelbase and diamond-finish two-tone wheels combine to leave an impression of elegance…

… while its power sliding doors provide a air of sophistication and class.

The power sliding doors can be actuated with a light tug on the door handles or a button on the remote key fob…

… or by pressing a button on the overhead console near the driver’s seat.

For the driver’s convenience, the power sliding doors can also be opened or closed by pressing a button on the overhead console. The rear tailgate is also power-actuated with similar controls on the key fob, overhead console and on the tailgate handle. Just these power features alone elevate the GN8 to a different level of pampering and even spoiling its occupants. However, the two second-row passengers are the most pampered and spoiled occupants with a comfortable pair of leather captain’s chairs that reclines with footrests, has adjustable lumbar support, and features individual heating in case the air-conditioning gets too cold for comfort. Think of it as a La-Z-Boy with a moving scenery or a first-class seat on a commercial airliner, and you’ve got it made!

Occupants of these two captain’s chairs in the middle row are in for a treat…

… because these seats recline to a very comfortable position that will pamper and spoil its occupant.

All the controls are right within reach, hidden under the padded leather armrests.

We gave a friend a ride and he felt so comfortable in the second row that he wanted it to be his mobile office for the day. Talk about work from home, err.. the road. Uh, where to, boss?

Capable Highway Flyer

On our long, long drive to Agoo, La Union, the GN8’s 3-meter long wheelbase, front MacPherson struts and rear multi link independent suspension, and 10-spoke 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels shod in 225/55R18 Michelin Primacy 3ST tires all conspired to provide a surprisingly smooth and stable ride on the tollways and on city streets. The interior was quiet and comfortable that we didn’t notice the time and the distance to our destination, which we reached in less than two hours. Traveling in the GN8 really felt like taking a first-class flight on a private jet!

Meaty 225/55R18 Michelin Primacy 3ST tires wrapped around stylish 10-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels provided miles of safe rolling comfort…

… and worked with the 3-meter long wheelbase and independent suspension for a smooth and safe ride.

At one point, we inadvertently went over the speed limit and found a new mid-engine Corvette on our tail. The Corvette driver might be thinking, “Does that minivan driver think he’s driving a sports car?”

Admittedly, we weren’t that mindful of our velocity on the toll ways because of the serenity inside the GN8. We just zoomed through the scenery propelled by 199 horses from the 2.0-liter turbo-4 that’s equipped with double overhead camshafts (DOHC), computer-controlled electronic fuel injection (EFI), and four valves per cylinder (16V). The six-speed automatic transmission multiplies the power so seamlessly and so efficiently that we were lulled into thinking that we were going slower than we actually were.

Turbo-4 320T-series engine was a quiet yet torquey accomplice in achieving and exceeding highway speeds quickly.

Oops… I swear I didn’t know that I was going THAT fast, honestly…

… we just wanted to ensure optimum fuel efficiency, see? 4.4 liters per 100 kms translates to 22.73 kms per liter!

Driving the GN8 felt more like piloting a private jet, especially with blue skies dominating our entire trip!

You Belong To The City

A day after our out-of-town trip, we met up with Shawie’s cousin, Anwar Sadat (yes, he was named after the former president of Egypt), his wife Shahnaz, and their kids, Zhaq and Zhareena. Sadat and his family hail from Zamboanga and they were in Manila for a brief visit. Shawie took the opportunity to bond with her relatives whom she haven’t seen for quite some time because of the pandemic. We drove them around Bonifacio Global City (BGC) and the McKinley commercial districts in the GN8 and they were pleased with the ride and the tour. They particularly like the first-class amenities afforded by the GAC minivan which seem to match the renewed ambivalence of BGC and its surrounds.

The GN8 elegant front design cuts an authoritative figure around the crowded metropolitan traffic.

Along with our son, Chevy, Shawie and I gave her Zamboanga-based cousin, Anwar Sadat, and his family – wife Shahnaz, son Zhaq, and daughter Zhareena – a quick tour of the city…

The big boys – cousins Zhaq (in printed shirt) and our son Chevy – enjoying the La-Z-Boy-like 2nd-row seats while Sadat enjoys being squeezed in between wife Shahnaz and daughter Zhareena.

Our drive became even more colorful in the evening with the bright lights of the city peeking through the double-pane panoramic roof.

What makes the GAC GN8 more endearing is its versatility. Beside seating seven occupants in utter comfort and soft leather luxury, the rear bench seat can be completely folded with a 60-40 split to accommodate any size of precious cargo or unusually-shaped valuables that you might want to transport in this minivan. Loading is enhanced with the large power-actuated rear tailgate and low loading height. The seats also have ISOFIX mounting points in case the precious cargo you may want to transport are toddlers and infants in child seats.

While the first- and second-row passengers get luxurious individual seats…

The 60-40 split rear seat can accommodate 3 people comfortably while contributing to the GN8’s versatility.

… by folding in several different ways to fit valuable items or luggage of any size or configuration.

GAC engineers were able to fit all that luxury and versatility in an attractive yet svelte package.

As a gear head who loves to drive, I find the GN8 as a capable and entertaining people mover that I’d love to drive whether around town or on long-distance provincial trips. I can spend hours in the driver’s seat and drive for 250 kilometers without stopping yet feel fresh and lively afterwards. With 320 Newton-meters of torque at my disposal, this GAC can accelerate quite briskly and be driven nimbly around, thanks to its svelte size and electric power steering. Unfortunately, with a price tag approaching Three Million Pesos, I cannot afford to keep this white 2021 GAC GN8 GT Luxury minivan but I’m thankful to be its happy, satisfied pilot, even for just a couple of days.

We averaged 10 kms per liter in mixed city and highway driving, which is good for a two-ton luxury people mover.

The driver’s seat is like a pilot’s cockpit – fully instrumented for a safe flight and comfortable for a long stint behind the wheel.

Driving backwards or parking is a cinch with the built-in 360º Panoramic Parking System.

I can drive this GN8 for long distances and try to “Go And Change” the world!


Vehicle Type: Front-engine, FWD, 5-door minivan

Price: P2,958,000.00

Engine: 2.0-liter inline-4 DOHC 16V turbocharged

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Power: 199hp@5200rpm

Torque: 320Nm@1750-4000rpm

Wheelbase: 3000 mm

Length: 5066 mm

Width: 1884 mm

Height: 1822 mm

Curb Weight: 2063 kg

Fuel Tank Capacity: 65 liters

Front Suspension: Independent, MacPherson type

Rear Suspension: Independent, Multi-link

Front Brakes: Ventilated discs

Rear Brakes: Solid discs

Steering System: Electric Power Steering

Emissions Standards: Euro 5

Best Fuel Mileage: 22.73 km/liter (as tested)

Ave. Fuel Mileage: 10.00 km/liter (recorded)


GAC GN8 2.0L A/T GT Luxury – P2,958,000

GAC GN8 2.0L A/T Master’s Edition – P2,958,000

Contact Details

Legado Motors, Inc.

1800 Ortigas Avenue, Barangay Ugong, Pasig City, Metro Manila

Tel. No.: (02) 8241-7387 / 8244-5012

Website: www.gacmotorph.com

Social Media: gacmotorph