Suspension is front struts and a rear twist beam for front-drive variants and a multi-link rear for all-wheel drive – the latter built around BorgWarner components to shift drive rearwards via an in-line driveshaft.
Steering is electrically assisted and a suite of electronic safety aids is either standard or on the options list. Automatic emergency braking, for example, is available as part of the intelligent cruise control package on the top-spec model being tested here – an indication that Chinese own-brand cars are catching up with the West.
At 4.9 metres long and sitting on a 2.8m wheelbase, the CS95 is sized just about halfway between the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Discovery, but its price range is resolutely more affordable.
In the home market, it starts from £20,780 – that’s Nissan Qashqai money – and the top-spec all-wheel-drive CS95 extends to just £28k, although UK pricing is a long way from being finalised.
Pleasing Chinese interior design
Chinese brands are also making progress in interior design quality in leaps and bounds. There are hard plastics and a few inelegant design details, but the overall ambience inside the CS95 is attractive.
Highlights include a polished chrome trim, robust switchgear and a crystal-clear infotainment system, which can be displayed in English.
It fits the bill as a comfy family hauler, with a well-planted cruise, good cabin refinement and a fair balance of body control and ride quality.
At its best, the CS95 is a motorway hauler that moves its occupants in comfort and keeps noise levels supressed, bar wind noise from the side mirrors.
A pair of hefty front and rear subframes no doubt help isolate noise paths from the front and rear suspension and, in China’s choking city traffic, the CS95 rides quietly.
Unleashing the Changan CS95 on the road
Changan’s engineers say they have tried hard to ensure braking and transmission refinement in stop/start traffic, and they have succeeded – the CS95 has easily modulated brakes, making smooth stops in traffic easy to achieve.
On Changan’s own smoothly surfaced handling test track, the CS95 is also surprisingly agile and can be hustled through corners with reasonable speed, albeit accompanied by a fair degree of body roll, despite front and rear anti-roll bars.
Changan’s British chassis engineers accept that cornering could be better-controlled by thicker anti-roll bars, but the deterioration in ride wouldn’t fit the CS95’s role as a comfortable family cruiser. China’s roads are very mixed in surface quality and frequently vary between undulations and potholes that demand rugged and compliant suspension.
The British-designed 2.0-litre turbo delivers a smooth and cultured accelerative push, but the choice of gear ratios in the Aisin Warner six-speeder doesn’t match the engine as well as it could.
We had no chance to measure fuel economy and official figures were not provided, but we were told a combined figure of 30mpg was typical.
Acceleration off the line is strangely muted, the calibration seemingly holding back the power delivery until the speed moves through the 30mph mark. And the CS95 is a hefty lump to get up to speed, loading the scales to a two-tonne kerb weight.