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Changan CS75: Comfortable and compact crossover

By Ghaith Madadha - Jan 11,2021 - Last updated at Jan 11,2021

Photo courtesy of Changan

Produced by Chinese state-owned automaker Changan since 2014 and face-lifted in 2018, the CS75 is a convincingly well-rounded value alternative in an ever-increasingly popular compact crossover segment.

Sitting at the larger end of a well-populated segment, the Changan CS75 is a thoroughly practical, unpretentious and quite affordable family vehicle with good equipment levels, generous cabin and cargo space, and competent handling and driving dynamics. However, its best attributes are its smooth comfort and commendable levels of ride refinement.

 

Understatedly assertive

 

Discrete and somewhat conservative in design, the Changan CS75 is a handsomely modern crossover that stands out just enough, but can easily blend in the crowd, without drawing unwanted attention. Avoiding the somewhat excessive stylisation and fashionably sharp creases and impractically low rooflines favoured by some in its class, the Changan CS75 instead has a sense of honest utility about it. With a fairly sized glasshouse, good visibility, manageable dimensions and neatly proportioned body, it is also easy to manoeuvre in town.

Featuring a broad and dominant multi-slat chrome grille, faux lower skid plate, and big, deep and sculpted side foglight housings, the Changan CS75 certainly projects an assertively rugged demeanour, but does in an understated manner without being excessive or promising more than it can deliver, as is often the case with some road-oriented family crossovers. Clean cut at the flanks with a prominent side crease and defined sills, the Changan CS75 features a gently rising waistline, subtly descending roofline and high-set rear lights for a discretely sporting sense of momentum.

 

Quiet confidence

 

Driving the front wheels and positioned transversely under its ridged and discretely vented clamshell bonnet, the Changan CS75 is powered turbocharged 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine, producing 174BHP at 5,000-5,500rpm and 181lb/ft torque throughout a usefully broad and easily accessible 2,000-4,500rpm band. Channelling power through a smooth and timely shifting 6-speed automatic gearbox, the 2WD version tested can carry its 1,665kg weight through the 0-100km/h acceleration benchmark mark in an estimated 11.5-seconds, achieve a top speed of around 180km/h and return estimated 8.8l/100km combined cycle fuel efficiency.

Confidently capable if not outright quick, the Changan CS75 may not be a sports crossover, but delivers good real world performance for easy overtaking, effortless cruising and responsive in town stop-start driving. With little by way of lag often associated with turbo engines, the CS75 spools up in a timely manner and rides a generous mid-range torque band. Meanwhile, power progressively accumulates, and when accelerating on a brisk incline, one obviously needs to downshift, whether through kickdown or the gear lever in manual mode.

 

Smooth and sensible

 

A smooth, well insulated and relatively quiet engine with healthy output, the CS75’s turbo surge, however, doesn’t easily overpower its driven front wheels, with the torque-steer sometimes associated with powerful front-drivers kept to an almost imperceptible minimum, as experienced during a recent if brief test drive. Depending on market availability, the CS75 is also built with optional front-biased four-wheel-drive. However, the lighter and more efficient front drive version provided plenty of traction and reassuring grip, even on some lower traction asphalt.

A decidedly comfort-oriented crossover, the Changan CS75 nevertheless seems to handle itself well in terms of dynamic ability. Turning into corners responsively and quite tidily, under-steer was not apparent during the short test drive, while body lean through corners wasn’t particularly pronounced, but well kept in check. Manoeuvrable, easy to park and with enough agility for most situations, the Changan CS75’s light and well-damped steering is set-up for a relaxed experience, yet proved accurate if not especially sporty in nuance, road feel and textural feedback.

 

Relaxing ride

 

A relaxing and smooth drive, the CS75’s best attributes are its ride comfort and refinement from noise, harshness and vibration. Absorbing most lumps and bumps in its stride, it felt reassuringly stable yet forgivingly supple. Quiet and well insulated inside, it is a natural daily commuter and long distance cruiser. At first impression, the CS75 felt settled enough in vertical movements and brakes seemed responsive and reassuring, but a more demanding drive would have provided a more thorough impression of its dynamic limits and handling characteristics.

Refined, quiet and comfortable, the CS75 is well spaced inside — front and rear — including rear headroom and rear step-in access, and a good driving position. Luggage room is similarly spacious, expanding from 520-litres minimum to 1,490-litres with rear seats folded down. Well-equipped with climate control, leather seats, tablet style infotainment screen, climate control and front airbags, the CS75 also conveniently features a reversing camera. Design is contemporary and pleasant, while surfaces are mostly of good texture and quality, with hard plastics used less prominently.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine: 1.8-litre, transverse, turbocharged 4-cylinders

Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC

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

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 174 (177) [130] @5,000-5,500rpm

Specific power: 97BHP/litre

Power-to-weight: 104.7BHP/tonne

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 181 (245) @2,000-4,500rpm

Specific torque: 136.2Nm/litre

Torque-to-weight: 147Nm/tonne

0-100km/h: 11.5-seconds (estimate)

Top speed: 180km/h (estimate)

Fuel consumption, combined: 8.8-litres/100km (estimate)

Fuel capacity: 58-litres

Length: 4,650mm

Width: 1,850mm

Height: 1,705mm

Wheelbase: 2,700mm

Luggage volume, min/max: 520-/1,490-litres (estimate)

Kerb weight: 1,665kg (estimate)

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

Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion

Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs/discs

Tyres: 225/65R17

Price, on-the-road, with comprehensive insurance: JD24,000

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