Geely entered the local scene in 2011, when Chinese cars were mocked for its build quality, copycat styling and questionable reliability. Fast forward to the present and Geely, one of China’s biggest automakers, is making a huge comeback, armed with more money and technical knowhow, thanks in part to its purchase of European brands, such as Volvo in 2010 and Lotus in 2017.
Geely also purchased in 2017 a 49.9 percent controlling stake of Malaysian car maker Proton, and turned around the ailing Malaysian brand into profitability as it recorded double digit growth in 2018-2019. 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.
In the domestic market, Geely’s major partner is industry veteran Sojitz Corporation, which has been dealing with anything automotive since the 1960s. Geely, through the distribution expertise of Sojtiz G Auto PH, is bringing back the Chinese brand 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 and 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 fog lamps, 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 seven-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.
Backed by a group of talented global engineers and designers, the Geely Coolray’s powertrain is not only innovative and powerful, but was also tested to be durable for the long term. Co-developed together with Volvo, the Geely Coolray uses a 1.5-liter inline-3 turbocharged petrol engine resides under the hood, 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. Keeping the engine at its meaty powerband is a seven-speed dual clutch transmission with a wet clutch, which means this transmission should withstand the traffic that Manila has to offer.
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.
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.