Geely’s vehicles were once sold in our market before under AutoChina in 2011. Back then, Chinese cars were still often mocked for their iffy quality, copycat styling, and poor reliability. Now, though, as China’s largest privately-owned automotive company, Geely gained enough cash to become the full owner of Volvo and London Electric Vehicle Company. In 2017, Geely also purchased a majority stake at iconic British sports car company Lotus and a 49.9% stake at Malaysian car manufacturer Proton. Also, in 2018, Geely became the largest shareholder of Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, with a valuation of US$9 billion in shares. Suffice to say, China’s largest privately-owned automotive company has gained the global technical expertise and resources needed to create cars that defy what a Chinese car should be like, fully competing with the best that the global market has to offer.
Earlier this year, Sojitz Corporation has announced that the company was able to acquire the distributorship of Geely in the Philippines, eventually forming Sojiza G Auto Philippines as a fully owned subsidiary of Sojitz Corporation. Armed and ready to firmly make a mark in the Philippine automotive industry, Sojitz G Auto Philippines formally launches the Geely brand in the Philippines along with its initial offering, the Geely Coolray.
Available in three generously-equipped variants, the Geely Coolray is a subcompact (B-segment) crossover SUV that aims to rival the likes of the Hyundai Kona, Ford EcoSport, Honda HR-V, just to name a few. It’s a segment whose customer base is dominated by style-conscious and tech-savvy millennials, which is why Geely’s global design team focused on creating a crossover that reflects their needs. Up front, the Geely Coolray features the brand’s signature Expanding Cosmos grille, which is then flanked by slim projector headlights with LED daytime running lights. The side profile, meanwhile, is highlighted by a sharply rising window line as it approaches the D-pillars, creating a floating roof effect. This can be complemented by a black roof when opting for the Premium and Sport variant. Lastly, the rear fascia features a sporty roof spoiler and a satin silver trim piece that merges cleanly with the sharp LED taillights.
In terms of exterior features, all variants get passive entry with push button start, remote engine start, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Premium variants get 18-inch alloy wheels, two-tone exterior paint, as well as automatic headlights. Lastly, the top-of-the-line Sport gets full LED headlights, LED foglights, and various exterior elements in a carbon fiber pattern.
Underneath the Coolray’s stylish and sporty exterior design is a sophisticated BMA platform or the B-segment Modular Architecture. Geely’s BMA platform was developed together with Volvo and with the assistance of 100 modular architecture experts from over 20 countries in a period of four years. This platform was designed to exceed the criteria for a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, as well as being future proof for the eventual electrification of vehicles. Adopting the BMA platform also allows up to 70% commonality in parts and components among the entire Geely Group, shortening development lead time and allowing the company to stay on top of customer demands.
Inside the Geely Coolray is a premium and tech-savvy cabin, featuring various soft-touch materials, satin silver finishes, and high-tech design elements. Dominating the interior layout is a large 10.25-inch touch screen infotainment system with QD link Android connectivity function, making it easier to operate apps from your phone to the multimedia screen. In-line with the tech-savvy theme is a 7-inch digital instrument cluster with various display modes depending on the selected vehicle driving mode, as well as an electronic gear shifter and electronic parking brake. The interior of the base Comfort variant is finished in fabric, while the Premium variant gets a vinyl upholstery and a large panoramic sunroof. Lastly, the top-of-the-line Sport gets a two-tone black and red leather interior to complement the Sport variant’s likewise sporty exterior.
Underneath the hood of the Geely Coolray is a small but mighty 1.5-liter inline-3 turbocharged petrol engine co-developed with Volvo, producing an impressive 177 hp @ 5,500 rpm and a meaty torque figure of 255 Nm from a low as 1,500 rpm to 4,000 rpm. Power is sent through the front wheels via a 7-speed dual clutch transmission with a wet clutch, which means this transmission should withstand the traffic that Manila has to offer.
Geely quotes a 0 to 100 kph acceleration time of 7.9 seconds. Despite having plenty of performance, the 1.5-liter turbo petrol engine is quoted by Geely to achieve a mixed city and driving fuel economy figure of 15 km/l.
Safety was also a huge priority by Geely’s engineers when designing the all-new Coolray. Apart from its already sturdy and safe BMA platform, the Coolray comes as standard with six airbags, ABS with EBD, traction control, stability control, and hill descent control on all variants. Higher variants add an innovative G-Pilot system, which includes a fully-automated parking assistance feature, wherein the gearbox, throttle, brakes and steering are completely hands and feet free. G-Pilot also includes a 360-degree camera system as well as blind spot warning with rear cross traffic alert. Lastly, higher variants of the Coolray also get a tire pressure monitoring system to make it easier for drivers to check the air pressure of their tires in real-time.
The Geely Coolray is now officially on sale in the Philippines with the following prices: P978,000 (Comfort), P1,088,000 (Premium), P1,198,000 (Sport). All Geely Coolray vehicles come with a generous 5-year/150,000-kilometer warranty, whichever comes first. For now, Geely’s sole dealership is located at 1016 EDSA corner Corregidor Street, Ramon Magsaysay Bago Bantay, Quezon City, Philippines.