“CS15 is an urbane commute vehicle.”
“Could it be the hit of the town?” said Issam.
“The customization inside-out makes the CS15 really exclusive to every consumer.”
“In the Chinese language, ‘CHANG’ means lasting and ‘AN’ means safety. So the brand name means ‘Lasting Safety’.”
Do you recall the Korean revolution in the auto industry? Well I think most of us recall when the Koreans improved their complete awareness nearly ten years ago. It all started at that time when people in Lebanon used to buy Kia, Hyundai, Daewoo (nowadays bought by GM Korean to produce Chevy vehicles) and SsangYong. Imagine now the Koreans are competing with major players in the auto industry such as the European car manufacturers. The trend now seems to go towards the Chinese manufacturers.
A few months ago I tested the Changan CS55 and it truly improved my entire view of Chinese car manufacturers. Now, here I am in Beirut laying my hands on a very distinct version of the CS15, which formerly debuted on the 2015 Guangzhou Auto Show.
What makes Changan an exceptional Chinese car brand?
Changan is making constant investments in their R&D centers. The diversity of their R&D centers overseas made the Changan what it is now. Five percent of their annual sales revenue is invested in product R&D. R&D centers are located all over the world: In the U.S. and more specifically in Detroit, is for the chassis development; in Birmingham, UK the center is specialized in powertrain development; in Turin, Italy the center is specialized in body design; in Yokohama, Japan the center is specialized in interior development; in China their main R&D centers are located in Shanghai, Beijing and Chongqing. All of their vehicles are tested in various conditions: 50˚C extremely hot Middle East desert, -50˚C extremely cold Russian snowfield, and 5,200 meter-high Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and 120 mg/cm³ dusty Turpan desert.
Many of you asked me where the name Changan is derived from. I know when you first read it, you immediately say, “Chinese name!” Let me tell you that Changan has a real and authentic meaning. In the Chinese language, “CHANG” means lasting and “AN” means safety. So the whole brand name means “Lasting Safety”.
First of all, the Changan CS15 is a subcompact crossover positioned under the Changan CS35. CS15 is equipped with versatile safety features including the Bosch Electronic Stability Program (ESP) 9.0, daytime running lights; tire pressure monitor, rearview camera, and hill-start assist control to carefully keep you safe. Up to 39 storage spaces are there due to its flexible design. In addition, the foldable rear seats and panoramic sunroof gives you more comfort and flexibility.
How does it drive? It doesn’t just drive from A to B, but rather does it in a very exciting way. Steering wheel is precise and the gas pedal gave me the sense that I was driving a manual vehicle. Visibility is remarkable. It is pretty firm on the ground even on those tight corners around the Keserwan Mountains.
The CS15 is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine with an output of 107 horsepower and 145 Nm, mated to a five-speed DCT automatic.
If you look at the front of the CS15 you instantly notice the striking shiny grille and LED fog lights in the bumper. Wheels are a bit tiny, but in our test model they come with red brakes and sporty black alloys. Roof rack is vast and totally useful. This particular white car is one-tone, but two-tone color combinations (black and white) are available as well. In other words, the expert and creative Changan design team fashioned muscular exterior curves to bear flowing muscles.
Inheriting the CS Series’ elements of technology and style, the CS15’s interior accentuates uniqueness, energy and style. The quality of every detail is enhanced to endure many years. Steering wheel looks a bit obsolete. But, the touchscreen is big, the buttons are cool, the plastic that looks like aluminum is shiny, and the sporty seats with the red stripes makes them special.
It seems Changan is on an assignment to build vehicles that people want and need. It is the case in Lebanon when I can notice that the brand was granted the “fastest growing Chinese car brand” title in the Lebanese market. It is all about the style and affordability of their cars. The CS15 offers so many features that none of the rivals, and I’m speaking about the strong ones, offer for such value for money.
Pros: Stylish front end, interior cockpit design, handling, value for money, dealer’s reputation
Cons: Steering wheel obsolete, taillights can be better designed
Rivals: Renault/Dacia Duster, Hyundai Grand i10, Hyundai Creta, Ford Ecosport, Suzuki Swift, Nissan Micra
one word: urbane
3.5 / 5 stars
1.5L, 4-cylinders, 107 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 145 Nm @ 3,500-4,500 rpm
5-speed DCT automatic, FWD
0-100 km/h: 10.5-11.5 secs, top speed: 180 km/h, fuel consumption: 7 L/100 km
Weight: 1,210 kg