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Changan CS95: China’s confident, capable crossover

By Ghaith Madadha - Jan 25,2021 - Last updated at Jan 25,2021

Photo courtesy of Changan

The largest and most luxurious offering from China’s state-owned automotive Changan, the CS95 makes a clear and bold statement about the brand’s intentions and capabilities. Quite the impressively well-equipped, spacious and comfortable flagship effort, the CS95 is a competitively priced mid-size 7-seat crossover SUV with an up-market style and interior ambiance. Recently face-lifted since 2019, the Changan CS95 gains an even grander and more imposing presence that seems to exaggerate its perceived size, and meanwhile delivers cosseting refinement, confident performance and a comfortably reassuring ride quality.

 

Imposing presence

 

First launched in the Chinese market back in 2017 after being unveiled at the previous year’s Beijing auto Show, the Changan CS95 was quick to receive a face-lift, which includes significant front design and interior revisions, not to mention a lighter rear refresh, which includes a mildly re-styled bumper and the introduction of a full width light assembly across its tailgate. Significantly overhauled in its front aesthetic, the Changan CS95 ditches its previous Land Rover-like slotted grille design and oversized lettering for a nearly full height grille.

Heavy on the chrome, the Changan CS95’s enormous new grille is an imposing sight with its large wide-spaced horizontal slats extending far down to integrate with its lower and side intakes as a single dominating feature. Set within this new powerful floating effect grille is Changan’s emblem. Tall and upright with level waistline and roofline, the CS95 has plenty of road presence, and an air of solidity and conservatism. Meanwhile, its jutting rear tailgate spoiler, floating roofline and forward angled C-pillar lend it a sense of sporting momentum.

 

Refined delivery

 

Under its high rise bonnet, the Changan CS95 is meanwhile powered by a prodigious turbocharged direct injection 2-litre four-cylinder engine, transversely-mounted, and driving front, or all four wheels, as tested in latter specification on Amman roads. Primarily sending power frontwards and allocating power to the rear wheels when necessary for additional traction, grip and stability, the CS95 channels its output through a smooth shifting 6-speed automatic gearbox with three Eco, Snow and Sport driving profile settings, in addition to selectable 2WD, 4WD and auto driving modes.

Producing 230BHP at a 5,000-5,500rpm plateau and 266lb/ft torque throughout a wide 1,750-3,500rpm band the Changan CS95’s turbocharger spools up quickly with little by way of lag from idling engine speed. Responsive off the line, the CS95 carries its not insubstantial estimated 2,117kg mass through the 0-100km/h benchmark in an estimated 11-seconds, and on a top speed of around 190km/h. Smooth, quiet and willing through to its rev limit, the CS95 is, however, at its best riding its broad and versatile torque rich mid-range sweet spot.

 

Reassuring ride

 

Though brief, the test drive opportunity did highlight the CS95’s stable, planted and comfortable ride quality, well refined for most vibrations, harshness and noise. A natural highway cruiser that sits on the road with a reassuringly ‘heavy’ feel, the CS95 is certainly a comfortable crossover that well absorbs imperfections, yet seems slightly firmer than its smaller CS75 sister model, which rode with a more forgivingly pliant quality over sudden and jagged road imperfections. Meanwhile vertical control seemed good on initial judgment during this brief driving opportunity.

Turning tidily and with decent body lean control for a vehicle of this weight, height and size, a longer test drive would, however, yield a more nuanced impression. That said, the CS95 nonetheless proved to be confidently capable if not outright quick, and flexible and eager when accelerating ups fast inclines. Its light steering is easy and accurate for the most part, but is set up for comfort rather quick wrist flick reflexes or sportily textured feel and feedback. Meanwhile, the CS95 returns comparatively moderate estimated 9.4l/100km combined cycle efficiency.

 

Classy cabin

 

A large and upright crossover, the Changan CS95 is comparatively wieldy and manoeuvrable for its size with its commanding driving position, light steering and reversing camera and sensors, and also benefits from generous ground clearance for mounting kerbs and other obstacles. Spacious in all directions inside, the CS95 delivers generous passenger space in the front two rows and useable third row seats, while wide doors and swing angles allow easy access. Boot space is similarly functional with all seats deployed, but increases incrementally with folding the rear rows.

Significantly revised inside since 2019, the CS95 adopts a classier, more premium look and feel, with stylish new horizontally-oriented design, integrated, partitioned and driver-oriented centre console, huge infotainment screen, ambient lighting and new gear lever design. Leathers, inlays and textures and plastics are of mostly good quality, with the few hard plastic surfaces mostly well concealed.

Well equipped with numerous infotainment, convenience and electronic gadgets including vented massaging front seats for the latest 2021 model year, the CS95 also comes with a generous list of standard and optional safety and driver assistance features, including multiple airbags.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine: 2-litre, transverse, turbocharged 4-cylinders

Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, direct injection

Gearbox: 6-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 230 (233) [171.3] @5,000-5,500rpm

Specific power: 115BHP/litre (approximately)

Power-to-weight: 108.6BHP/tonne

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 266 (360) @1,750-3,500rpm

Specific torque: 180Nm/litre (approximately)

Torque-to-weight: 170Nm/tonne

0-100km/h: 11-seconds (estimate)

Top speed: 190km/h (estimate)

Fuel consumption, combined: 9.4-litres/100km (estimate)

Fuel capacity: 74-litres

Length: 4,949mm

Width: 1,930mm

Height: 1,790mm

Wheelbase: 2,810mm

Kerb weight: 2,117kg (estimate)

Suspension, F/R: MacPherson struts/multi-link

Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion

Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs/discs

Tyres: 245/55R19

Price, on-the-road, with comprehensive insurance: JD38,500

 

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