The killer app: 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited

The killer app: 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited

I was excited when my turn came around to give the Geely Coolray a test drive. Everyone has been raving about this proudly Chinese-made turbocharged crossover and I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. It’s a car that sold quite well in the Philippine market, well enough for everyone to finally shed their prejudices against brands made from across the West Philippine Sea. As far as Chinese cars go, this is the "killer app."

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How is the Geely Coolray Sport Limited different from the Geely Coolray Sport?

    The Sport Limited has turbine-inspired wheels, ventilated seats, and power tailgate.
  • How many Geely Coolray Sport Limited examples will be sold here?

    Initially, Geely Philippines said that only 1,000 units would be sold. Owing to robust sales, that number has grown to 1,500 units.
  • A killer app, loosely defined, is that one product that lets you buy into that particular system or ecosystem. For years, Chinese car companies in the Philippines have been looking for that one winner to bring more people to sit in their leather wrapped seats, and the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited, based on empirical sales numbers alone, just might be that white knight.

    Exterior

    In the past, one of the biggest complaints against Chinese cars was the derivative nature of their designs. Oftentimes, they would take inspiration from more successful car models and run away with it. This time around, the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited sheds this philosophy and almost makes other companies want to copy them instead.

    Geely Coolray Limited Rear diffuser

    On the outside, the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited looks to be the perfect crossover for those who want to steer clear of crossovers. It has black plastic cladding all around the bodywork, a prerequisite it seems of almost every small crossover, but with dimensions of 4330mm long, 1796m wide and 1609mm tall, it’s certainly more compact than most of its competitors, Couple that with a boxy countenance, dynamic body lines that run across the side profile as well as a pronounced stance, and even the most die-hard sedan fans would take a second look.

    Geely Coolray Limited Cockpit grill

    Full LED headlamps with DRLs adorn the front and flank pentagonal grill with a red accent, and features the Geely logo. Much has already been said about the upper grill but there’s something about the modern retro inspired lower grill with its horizontal lines with the same design housing the LED fog lamps to create continuity. To top it all off, the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited gets a front lip spoiler with faux carbon fiber pattern — making this one of the sportiest looking crossovers in the market.

    Geely Coolray Limited wing

    The two-tone look doesn’t really float my boat and, to be honest, is getting overused in the crossover segment, but another modern retro callback are those sporty 18-inch turbine inspired, blacked out alloy wheels. It’s not just for show because they’re shod in fancy and grippy 215/55/R18 Continental tires. It’s difficult to give any car’s side profile something to write home about but you can detect Geely’s sense of effort with interesting character lines and even more of that sweet faux carbon fiber coating.

    Geely Coolray Limited wheels

    The rear picks up from where the front end leaves off. With a WRC-inspired spoiler up top and a fairly aggressive-looking rear diffuser that houses “real” quad tip spoilers, it looks as if the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited is more fitting of a race track instead of a supermarket parking lot. The LED Tail lamps and rear fog lamp are just cherries on top of the awesome cake which is the Coolray. 

    Geely Coolray Limited Rear quarter

    Interior

    After the exercise in car design, which is the exterior of the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited, I never expected much from the interior. After all, at this price point, compromises must be made and very little has come from the outside. To my surprise, this was not the case at all.

    Geely Coolray Limited Cockpit quarter better

    I review a lot of cars, but I’ve never known and felt how old my personal driver is until I stepped inside the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited. The entire interior is bathed in supple leather and soft-touch materials. Even the surfaces that are hard to the touch are lovingly crafted with a nice brushed aluminum look. If I were to describe the entire interior, I’d call it aviatic. I can imagine being on the set of Top Gun 2 and playing “Danger Zone.” If you don’t believe me, check out the front AC vents on each side of the door. Don’t they remind you of Macross Mecha boosters?

    Geely Coolray Limited door handle

    The small details like the Z-shaped door handles are certainly a nice touch, and the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited has every imaginable convenience feature I want in a car. From well-positioned USB ports including a solitary one in the rear, fully adjustable steering wheel, automatic climate control, Power-adjustable driver seat, panoramic sunroof, rear seats that split 60-40 and well-placed cup and bottle holders, Geely didn’t hold back with the feature list.

    Geely Coolray Limited Panoramic Sunroof

    My favorite parts has to be the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that powers six speakers with QD link that enables you to actually mirror your phone onto that screen and the ventilated seats that come exclusively with the Limited trim. Need not to fear those hot-summer days because you can keep your bum cool at all times.

    Geely Coolray Limited touchscreen

    Ergonomics are spot on, and it certainly doesn’t feel like driving a crossover SUV inside. The seats are spacious yet still supportive and are low-slung, the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited feels the most sedan-like in a sea of grocery-getters. 

    Geely Coolray Limited Seats

    Drive

    At this point of the review, I’m pretty much a believer in the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited, but if the looks gave me a good impression, it’s the drive that made me understand why critics and customers alike can’t stop raving over the crossover. 

    Geely Coolray Limited Engine Bay

    Under the hood, it features a 1.5 liter three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine that makes a healthy 177hp and 255Nm of torque with power going to the front wheels via a wet-type seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Those numbers make the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited one of the most powerful vehicles both in its segment and price point. Numbers say one thing but getting behind the wheel is another, so I took it for a spin and I’m glad to report that this has been mostly the case.

    Geely Coolray Limited rear wide

    Ignition felt oddly noisy and almost truck like; ditto with the idle but this was fairly normal — no thanks to the unbalanced nature of three-cylinder engines. It all evens out when you start rolling and the 2020 Geely Coolray Sport Limited starts to shine at this point. Power delivery is linear and you can get up to speed in quite a hurry. There are three drive modes Eco, Normal, and Sport. Eco nerfs the acceleration, promoting better fuel economy while Sport improves the throttle response and programs downshifts more aggressively to achieve the best engine speed for overtaking and highway pulls. Geely advertises a zero-to-100kph time of 7.9 seconds. I didn’t dare test this on my own, but those numbers seem easy to believe.

    Geely Coolray Limited Cockpit grill Headlamps profile left

    The suspension setup features Macpherson struts up front and a torsion rear suspension bar out back. While not the most ideal set up, with other crossovers featuring independent suspension all around, the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited never felt unexciting around the bends and thanks to the solid unibody construction of the Geely’s BMA chassis platform, speed bumps, rough roads and allow proper energy dispersion that feels neither cheap or tinny. This is one solid ride.

    Geely Coolray Limited Shifter

    Safety features include six airbags, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, traction and stability control, hill-start and descent control, proximity sensors, tire pressure monitoring system, cruise control, and blind spot monitoring. The star of the show is the 360-degree camera system and the automatic parking assistant that take the anxiety out of parking in tight and unfamiliar places.

    Geely Coolray Limited Adjustable Steering

    If I had to nitpick a few details about the drive it is the numb steering feel, but that is more of a personal preference of mine, as I believe Geely knows its audience wants light steering in slow traffic to ease fatigue. Another trend that the 2020 Geely Coolray Sport Limited subscribes to is the fly-by-wire shifter. I like the mechanical feel I get whenever I set the shifter to Drive and back to park, but the car applies a more soft-touch approach where all I had to do is tap the shifter to the desired drive mode. It’s a tad off-putting and might require some getting used to.

    Geely Coolray Limited Cockpit grill Headlamps profile

    Fuel economy is decent at 7kpl in heavy standstill traffic and 14kpl on the highway. Keep in mind that I like pushing the car and not adhering to any fuel saving techniques. If you keep your revs low you’d probably be getting better fuel efficiency ratings. 

    Pricing and Conclusion

    Pricing for the top-of-the-line 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited is  P1,218,000 which not only undercuts rivals in its segment but also more luxurious and sporty sedans as well. The compact crossover scene is starting to get crowded with cars such as the Changan CS35 Plus, Chery Tiggo 7 Pro, Maxus D60, MG ZS T and models from more established players such as the Chevrolet Tracker LT, Ford Territory Titanium, Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V, Subaru XV, Mazda CX-5, Suzuki Vitara AllGrip and Volkswagen T-Cross.

    Geely Coolray Limited Profile wide

    In a sea of crossovers and SUVs, the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited surprisingly stands out not because of its relatively affordable price, but because of the effort in both design and driving dynamics on which it is built upon. Even Japanese and Korean manufacturers had to deal with the prejudice from the market before they truly took off and this car, just might have opened the floodgates of customers. 

    Photos by Roy Robles

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