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Fancying a China

I’m amazed by this model

Ronald de los Reyes

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I must admit. The first time I laid my hands on a Geely model like the Coolray — I was star struck — head-over-heels even. No wonder why it topped its five-seater subcompact crossover segment these past few months.

And so, when it was its older brother Azkarra’s turn to stir the local market — I was ecstatic to jump right behind its wheel.

Now — with the Azkarra comparing it to its smaller sibling Coolray — the bigger sport-ute is more mature and elegantly looking. It’s like the Leonardo of that popular ninja pack — the leader — as to the younger and zippier Michelangelo which is the Coolray.

LED lights abound in the Azkarra like those in pricier brands. Its svelte body is to envy and its rear side — a total head-turner.

Inside, its nifty cabin highlighted by its premium Nappa leather and panoramic moonroof knock out other pricier contenders in its local competition. Plus, its 320-liter trunk space is an added manna.

At its centerpiece is its 12.3-inch touchscreen, a digital instrument cluster and its integrated 360-degree view camera — a tech-load of treat like that of the Coolray’s.

That’s again another China to fancy.

Though I’m amazed by this model, one hitch is its mild hybrid powertrain, a 1.5-liter turbocharged DOHC and a 48V electric motor synergy system that churns out 190hp at 5,500rpm and 300N-m at 1,500-4,000rpm. Yes, it’s great to hear — cool even to have one inside the car. But — sad to say — it wasn’t much help when I was pushing 60 or 100kph. It was likewise the same story in traffic situations.

Its svelte body is to envy and its rear side — a total head-turner.

Overall, I say this Azkarra is loaded with creature comforts only found on more premium models. And with only a P1.5 M price tag, it’s surely a bang for one’s buck — plus it’s a way to keep other more known established models in the local market on their toes.

By the way, another Geely model has just recently been unveiled in our local shores. Now, I never thought I’d say this — but that’s again another China to fancy.

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