Changan Alsvin Car of the Week

Have you ever heard of time capsules? Changan has one in its lineup, and it’s called the Alsvin. Not to belittle this subcompact sedan, but it is devoid of any flair and over-the-top features and aesthetics. So why are we featuring it this time around? 

Well, let’s just say that there is more than meets the eye with this car, and there are a few factoids and stories surrounding the Alsvin nameplate that we thought we’d tell. On top of that, the car is definitely not a great representation of how far the brand has come in recent years. You don’t have to look far to know that Changan knows how to make a car, and they know how to do things right. 

2023 Changan Alsvin

During our short trips to China to meet and greet executives and to learn more about brands and their vision of the future, one thing that we couldn’t help but notice was the cars that were used by the Chinese people for taxis and for daily life. Think about the Changan CS55 or even Changan UNI-T, these cars represent what the brand currently offers and stands for. They’re the current poster children and they are indicative of the brand’s capabilities in the consumer segment of the market. 

2023 Changan Alsvin Rear

However, the Alsvin is a generation (or two) behind its other stablemates and if you get to see one up close, you cannot deny that it makes Changan’s other offerings look so much better in comparison (kinda needless to say, really). During our travels to China, we managed to hire a number of taxis to get around, and a good portion of that number were Changan Alsvins. 

2023 Changan Alsvin Front Quarter

Some models had over 200,000 kilometers on the clock, others were over 300,000 kilometers which is something of note to us since mileage is a big indicator of whether or not a vehicle is reliable. 

2023 Changan Alsvin Rear

Really, there is nothing too interesting about the car. It’ll really fly under the radar. While it won’t blend in like a Toyota Vios, it’s such an unassuming design that doesn’t really catch anyone’s attention. For a lot of us, especially in the Philippines, wanting a car with a nice design is usually common, but we cannot deny that there are some more understated people out there who just want a simple car to complete the task at hand. 

2023 Changan Alsvin Steering Wheel

The design of the Alsvin is not super simple, nor is it something of an Art Deco piece. It’s not a minimalist design as well, so let’s just call it simple, especially in the white color that we got to review it in. 

2023 Changan Alsvin Front Seats

We don’t have too much to say about the Alsvin other than it is meant to be a workhorse and not a work of art. It’s a simple car, but you cannot say that about the rest of Changan Philippines’ lineup with its massive infotainment displays and its adaptive cruise control tech. It seems like the subcompact sedan is a far cry from what the brand has achieved, and while you can view it as a fleet car or as a car that is meant to serve as a workhorse, we can also view it as a stark contrast to the progress that the brand has made in recent years.

In that light, and with the perspective of an affordable driver for businesses or individuals who just need something to get to work, it’s more of a no-nonsense choice. Yes, there are better models out there, and there are more enjoyable cars for the price, but at least since Changan is selling yesteryear’s tech and chassis, it’s doing so at yesteryear’s price. 

2023 Changan Alsvin Rear Seats

There are small hatchbacks out there that are feature-rich and more than enough for daily driving duties, but the updated looks and features will definitely cost you a bit more at the dealer compared to the Alsvin. Again, it’s yesteryear’s technology for yesteryear’s price, so in terms of setting expectations, you’re getting your money’s worth. 

2023 Changan Alsvin Engine

Plus, it’s not bad either. While driving the Alsvin, you have either a 1.4 or 1.5-liter engine that is capable of about a hundred horses of power with a decent amount of torque, you get a (rather odd) five-speed dual-clutch transmission or a manual for the smaller engine option. On top of that, the gearing and the engine seem to agree with each other as the car tends to hold speed pretty well on the highway. As far as the top-of-the-line variant goes, the DCT in the vehicle was on the slushier side of the spectrum, returning only average response and performance. Although, it's more than enough for a daily commute, though you do have to get used to it, no doubt about it. 

2023 Changan Alsvin Side

We can’t help but remember a time when cars cost this much for their top-of-the-line variants. Starting at P654,000 for its base trim, and topping out at P743,000 at the time of publishing this article, for that price, you’re getting a decent car with a manual or automatic transmission and then you also get a sunroof for the top-of-the-line variant. 

You don't really get this car for the looks, for the tech, or for its engine. in some ways, it's the most unappealing Changan in the lineup, and that might be what makes it a bit of an interesting pick for some. While it is still one of the lesser-loved models in the lineup, it's kind of hard to argue with the fact that for as little as P654,000, you could be driving home a brand-new car. There are better cars out there, though we know that there are some people who actually would prefer to just lay low, have a simple car, lead a simple life on the road, and just putter along with Changan's (arguably) most reliable models in its lineup actually as seen in its home country. 

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