After The Hype: Is The Changan CS55 Plus ACTUALLY Good?

After The Hype: Is The Changan CS55 Plus ACTUALLY Good?

A little less than half a year ago, we had the privilege of taking the all-new Changan CS55 Plus up the windy hills of Baguio for intensive testing. We vividly recall being quite impressed with the vehicle, but time tells all. Will we experience the same joy driving this vehicle months later or was it all an illusion?

The moment the Changan CS55 Plus arrived on our doorstep, we were instantly reminded of how much of a looker this car was. The unit we drove in Baguio was in a shimmering “Black Pearl,” but this “White Knight” colorway really allows the bronze accents to stand out. It screams modern elegance from hood to tailgate. That grille and the full LED headlamps also give off a sophisticated vibe. You would not be ashamed of being dropped off in front of a five-star hotel lobby in this.

We haven’t gotten to the best part yet. Our personal favorite angle of the Changan CS55 Plus is from the back, since the taillights are exceptionally unique. The brand has refrained from equipping it with a rear light bar like they’ve done with the smaller CS35 Plus, but the elegant design reminds us of design cues from Lexus and BMW. Sure, the exhaust vents at the bottom are nonfunctional, but they also add character to the vehicle’s design.

In addition to that, the “wing” is somehow shaped like a manta ray’s fascia. It’s oozing with personality and it still hasn’t gotten old in our opinion.

Meanwhile, things are as premium as ever on the inside (Baguio slipper aside). We’re still a little bit amused by the obvious Peugeot design inspiration, but the execution here is top-notch.

We’d have to admit that the flat-top and bottom steering wheel takes some getting used to, but this cabin is a nice place to be. You feel like you’re nestled in it rather than just a driver or a passenger. The 10.25-inch digital display still stands as one of the best in its segment, while the 12.3-inch screen at the center is as bright, responsive, and HD as ever. This isn’t some shady display technology they picked up on the side of the road. The Qi wireless charging pad also continues to function as expected.

None of the buttons for the FOREST AIR A/C system also felt any different from when they were brand new. Even after this car has been tested by other reviewers, it’s still an easy press. Jamming along to the onboard Pioneer sound system will always be a blast here.

The two-tone leather seats are composed of just one piece. They’re shaped in a semi-sporty arrangement that doesn’t allow for many adjustments, which is why we had people of various body types try them out for comfort. Surprisingly, we heard zero complaints about these seats. Everyone found the plush accommodation to be supportive and not restricting.

We could go on and on about our opinions on the interior, but it would simply be regurgitating what we expressed in our First Impressions piece.

Powering the Changan CS55 Plus is the 1.5-liter BlueCore Turbocharged engine outputting 188PS and 300Nm of torque, mated to a 7-speed wet DCT. The engine was as peppy as ever with lots of power and torque to spare. Overtaking is a breeze with the CS55 Plus and you will never feel as if you’re lacking grunt. As such, overtakes on provincial roads don’t feel dangerous in the least.

At this point, we can confirm our observation during the Baguio drive that the suspension is geared towards comfort more than anything else. This wasn’t as confident at the CS35 Plus moving through mountain twisties, but in the city, the comfort is admirable. There’s a certain level of refinement that this vehicle achieves which is impressive.

Resolving A Prime Weakness

The Achilles heel during our drive half a year ago was the transmission. The DCT took time to respond, quite noticeably at times. It would get a bit dangerous since the car would fall back on steep inclines – nearly hitting the car behind before deciding to tread forward. The Hill Hold Control was also a little iffy at the time, even if everyone in the vehicle had verified that it should be working.

We’re glad to report that this issue has been addressed with the Changan CS55 Plus. We performed identical tests on empty parking ramps to keep things safe. Thankfully, the DCT was quicker to respond and the delays were no longer as apparent. We’re not sure what the brand did here, but it’s a commendable effort to resolve an issue that was present less than a year ago.

So.. is the Changan CS55 Plus ACTUALLY Good?

The answer that we’ve come to is a resounding YES. It was already impressive when we tested it a few months ago, but it’s gotten even better now that its weaknesses have been looked into and solved. Sure, it isn’t perfect, but you get immense value with the car and it’s an extremely strong competitor within the segment.

We would NOT hesitate to recommend this vehicle to family and friends.

Changan CS55 Plus Price Philippines

This top-range Luxe model comes in at PHP 1.373M. The base Lite and middle Hype variants are priced at PHP 1.179M and PHP 1.283M respectively. It’s available in four colors: Black Pearl, Fantasy Gray, White Knight, and SuperNova Red. All units will be covered with the comprehensive Changan 5-year or 150,000 km warranty.









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