Cars > Launch

An updated and tech-heavy Changan CS35 Plus makes its debut

It has a whole lot of new features but comes with affordable pricing

The updated CS35 Plus looks sporty and substantial. PHOTO BY ANDY LEUTERIO

It was only in 2020 that Changan first introduced the CS35 Plus as part of a five-model opening salvo into the Philippine market. With handsome styling, an efficient FWD configuration, and plenty of standard features, the vehicle quickly made a name for itself as a contender in an increasingly crowded market.

Now, an updated model brims with even more features for not a lot of money, while also boasting some improvements to its drivetrain and trim.

The most obvious change is the front fascia: It’s now sporting a huge, honeycomb-style grille with a slim, red bar running across the bottom edge and terminating into a split-arrow trim to emphasize the five-sided fog lamp housing. The headlamps feature a split design for its LED DRLs and LED automatic headlights. Color-keyed trim similarly runs along the lower edge of the door frame for a sporty touch, and it retains the little bulges at the topmost part of the wheel arches.

A close look at the body reveals tight panel gaps and quality paint. PHOTO BY ANDY LEUTERIO

The 1.4-liter turbocharged, direct-injected in-line-four initially came up with 156hp and 235Nm, but now has been retuned to net 158hp and a more useful 260Nm of torque between 1,500rpm and 4,000rpm. A seven-speed, wet-type, dual-clutch transmission is standard, but sadly, only front-wheel drive is available. Inside, dual-tone leather seats are standard, while the cockpit gets a major upgrade. The instrument cluster is now a bright, seven-inch LCD screen (three inches bigger than the previous model), and it’s augmented with a 10-inch touchscreen display.

The monocoque chassis uses a front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam setup, with disc brakes all around. The Luxe and Hype variants wear 45-series, 18-inch Chao Yang rubber, while the Lite gets 55-series 17-inchers. The electric power steering features three settings: Sport, Comfortable and Standard.

The interior is similarly sporty and looks decently roomy. PHOTO BY ANDY LEUTERIO

The carmaker has thrown the proverbial kitchen sink at this iteration, as it’s bursting with standard features. The Lite gets a power sunroof, four-speaker audio, cruise control, wireless charging, dual front and side airbags, traction control, brake assist, hill-hold and hill-descent control, reverse camera, right-side blind-spot view camera and monitor, reverse parking sensors, smart key with push-start button, immobilizer, tire pressure monitor, speed-sensing auto door locks, and 60:40 split-folding rear seat backs.

This is the 1.4-liter turbocharged, direct-injected in-line-four engine. PHOTO BY ANDY LEUTERIO

The Hype and the Luxe, on the other hand, get a panoramic moonroof and six-speaker audio. Both variants also benefit from the Safe-Tech System, which includes adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, front-collision warning, 360° camera and monitor, and a six-airbag system. The Luxe gets further upgrades with a power tailgate and a black roof.

The prices?

  • Lite – P898,000
  • Hype – P960,000
  • Luxe – P999,000

The automaker also has a Vital 5 Plus program to reassure buyers who would naturally be wary of trying out a relatively new brand. It offers five-year warranty (or 150,000km, whichever comes first), Changan Pacesetter roadside assistance and towing service, Fastlane 60-minute service guarantee with free PMS labor for the first year (or until 20,000km, whichever comes first), Veloservice so customers can book their service appointment online, and quick assistance from the automaker’s AI Chatbot.

Changan now has 35 dealerships throughout the country. Priced and specced competitively, we bet the CS35 Plus will be a hit with value-conscious buyers.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.