The success of the Geely Coolray SUV in the Philippine market has prompted the Chinese carmaker to bring in more vehicle models into the country, among which is the crossover Geely Hao Yue that was launched in China earlier this year. It is however being referred to as the Geely Okavango in the Philippines. Described in a recent teaser as a "wonderfully distinct" vehicle, the seven-seater crossover is arriving soon, with presale booking having already started on October 17. Aside from a whopping PHP 90,000 price savings for Filipino customers who will avail of the pre-launch offer, a three-year periodic maintenance package that includes oil change, parts replacement and labor will also be thrown in for a worry-free ownership.
The product expansion is not a surprise, as the plan to "further complement [Geely's] product line up this year" was already mentioned months ago by Mikihisa Takayama, CEO and president of Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP), official distributor and aftersales service arm of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd., better known as Geely. A quick visit to Geely Philippines' official website will also show three silhouetted vehicles marked as "Coming Soon" and they appear to be a crossover, a sedan and an MPV.
The crossover is obviously the Geely Okavango, which dons a muscular and aggressive-looking front fascia, a creased hood and the brand's signature expanding cosmos grille flanked at the sides by a pair of L-shaped LED daytime running lights (DRLs), LED headlights and fog lights.
The Facebook page of one of the dealers, Geely Quezon Avenue, hinted that there will be two Okavango variants: Urban and Comfort.
Unlike the crossover's China Hao Yue counterpart that is powered by a 1.8L 4-cylinder turbocharged powertrain that fires up 181hp output and 300Nm of torque, the three-row Okavango reportedly gets a 1.5L turbocharged gasoline engine with Dual Variable-Valve Timing (DVVT) technology that Geely co-engineered with Volvo. This 190hp- and 300Nm-capable engine is complemented by a 48V mild-hybrid EMS, similar to the range-topping Luxury trim of the Geely Azkarra, and paired with a 7-speed wet dual-clutch transmission.
The Okavango has better advantage in terms of hauling cargo than its five-seater siblings Coolray and Azkarra, with its 2050L storage capacity and its non-convex second-row flooring enabling both second- and third-row seats to fold completely flat. Aside from this, the ever-practical crossover allows up to 19 seat configurations possible and has 42 storage spaces in all, plus a double-layer console. The Urban trim comes with 50kg roofrail-carrying capacity and a power tailgate.
The Geely Okavango doesn't fall short of driver-aid and safety technologies, with a three-zone climate control with independent controls in the driver, front-passenger and rear-passenger seats; a 360-degree panoramic camera with best-in-class guidance system; Eco, Normal and Sport drive modes; six SRS airbags; Electronic Stability Control (ESC); hill-start assist; hill-descent control; overspeeding warning; and central locking with speed-sensing auto-lock function.
SGAP CEO Takayama talks of the Geely Okavango as "well thought off in terms of design, space, and technology" and serves to be "a game changer for both the SUV and MPV segments."
Wondering about the name "Okavango"? It is based on one of the seven natural wonders of Africa ― the Okavango Delta ― a vast wetland in the region which is also among UNESCO's World Heritage List. The Okavango inland delta is home to a large biodiversity, including elephants, cheetahs, lions and hundreds of bird species. Time and sales will tell whether its namesake, the Geely Okavango crossover, will also be among the wonders of the Philippine crossover segment.
- Images from global.geely.com