The Geely Azkarra, the company’s second crossover to grace Philippine shores with its elegance. Now, Geely jumped in the pool last time with the Coolray, and made a huge splash, now on its second model for the Philippine market, do we expect waves or maybe a ripple with the compact crossover?
Now, as the saying goes, “never judge a book by its cover,” or “beauty is only skin deep,” or whatever cliche you can think of. Let’s preface this review of the 2020 Geely Azkarra Luxury with this saying,
It doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you are going
So looking at this crossover is easy. It’s the sort of car that you can admire whether rolling down the road or standing still. It’s just the right mix of proportions, cuts, and creases that really make it an appealing ride. Geely’s designers – at least for us – have really hit the nail on the head with the exterior.
We do appreciate the very bright LED lights that Geely bundles with the Azkarra. It’s a fine array of diodes and it even has some nice DRLs that are also LEDs. The Expanding Cosmos makes another appearance, and we’re glad to see it again. The side is as you’d expect from a compact crossover. The two-tone 18-inch alloy wheels are quite good, a bit on the small side, but you still get an ample amount of ground clearance. We also appreciate the thin body cladding found on the wheel arches., and instead of just chrome on the door handles, we see a shiny outline that is different and works for the model.
Now, at the back, you’ve got some nice style as well. The satin finish on the rear garnish is a nice touch and a break from the industry standard chrome and gloss black trims. Like the front, it is also an all-LED affair, who doesn’t love a nice set of diodes over bulbs? Now, not everything is good looking. If you crouch low enough and take a look inside the exhaust finishers on either side of the bumper, the rather flat and rather diminutive exhaust tips can be seen. It’s a complaint as small as the tips themselves. We wished they would be integrated, but that’s just nitpicking. Overall, this thing’s a looker.
Now, we’ve had our fair share of premium luxury cars on the site, but the Azkarra is something else. Brown Nappa leather dominates the entirety of the luscious interior of the crossover. It’s a very warm and inviting place to be in, and we’re big fans of how Geely designs their interiors. There are many brushed metal finishes all around, and everything feels very robust. You can also find a lot of Geely’s ‘G’ around the cabin, which shows the attention to detail that this car has.
Space in the interior is also quite good. The front is definitely great and the driver, while the rear seats are spacious enough for you to stretch out and enjoy the ride. It is a 5-seater, so the rear is solely dedicated to cargo. You get 320-liters of space with the rear seats up and folded you get substantially more. The backrests have a 60-40 split as well. Gaining access to the trunk is also a cinch. The power tailgate is a great feature to have at this price point. Also, a bonus and a treat is the panoramic sunroof which bathes the interior with light from either the stars or a star (we’re referring to our sun).
It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, we would have preferred the Azkarra to come with less or no piano black plastics. It’s a bit forgivable but this material tends to show its age quickly over time, especially in high wear areas like the center console. Points off, sadly, but not enough to make that big of a difference. Overall, and just like the Coolray, color us impressed.
Even with the added weight of the mild-hybrid system, going over bumps and divots on EDSA wasn’t a chore for the Geely to do. Cabin intrusions because of bumps were not that harsh. The unibody chassis and the fully-independent suspension setup, which is composed of a strut up front and a multi-link system in the rear, make the ride all the more pleasant during our time with the crossover. It’s stiff enough to feel like it’s not flimsy. It feels dense, and that’s a good thing. If a bump is relatively deep, the thud isn’t that worrisome.
NVH insulation is also quite good. Tire noise can come in at higher speeds, but for trips around the city, you’re pretty much good to go. Background noise is acceptable, wind noise is quite a par for the course, and you can expect a drive that is comfortable for your senses.
The great thing about Geely is that they equip their cars to adapt to many or most situations. First up is that large infotainment screen that comes in at 12.3-inches diagonally. This unit also comes with an anti-glare screen, which is not glossy but matte in texture and finish. It is a touch screen and is nicely integrated into the dashboard. You also get a 360-degree camera that is clear as day, and a sound system that is equally as clear thanks to the 8-speaker setup that Geely provides.
The Azkarra also comes with an all-digital gauge cluster, which can change depending on the drive modes that you select. Cruise control is also present, and you also get ambient lighting that helps you set the tone of your drive or ride. Automatic climate control is available as is a wireless charging pad which is useful if your phone supports it. Like any future-thinking car, you also get an electronic parking brake with brake hold and helping you find the perfect driving position, you get a nice motorized seat for the pilot.
However, we do with the infotainment that would come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It would have been nice to see on the big display, and we feel it’s something that perhaps Geely could bring to its GKUI in the future? We hope so. It would make this car even more compelling in our opinion.
The list of equipment that the Azkarra has is also quite substantial. You get a total of 6 airbags, which include the driver, passenger, side, and curtain units, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control, and stability control. We didn’t think that health would make its way into the safety category, but it is a worthy inclusion no matter what. A CN-95 air filter is also included in the package and is a nice addition to ease your worrying mind. All in all, it is quite complete in this department.
Driving and Handling
In terms of specs, the Azkarra has a 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder that produces 177 hp and 250 Nm of torque without that electric motor. Now, with the mild-hybrid system, an electric motor is present to give the gasoline engine a boost. With both powerplants turning the wheels, you get a combined power and torque figure of 190 hp and 300 Nm of torque. Substantial and can rival some lower-displacement diesel motors. Power is just adequate for this machine. Granted, it’s not the purpose this was built for, but it has a good amount of low-end torque which is available almost instantaneously thanks to the integration of the hybrid system with the engine. Mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is par for the course, and has a bit of a delay when you step on it.
Turning and taking small roads was not a problem for this compact. We were able to take this through back roads and small streets, and the inclusion of a 360-degree camera made driving and parking it easy. Turning at speed also returned favorable results for a crossover. Well-behaved whether slow or fast, on the highway or over bumps, the steering is light, and going lock-to-lock is not that difficult. We find the D-shaped wheel, which is slightly smaller than other cars, also helps with the ergonomics. You do get some body roll, which is a given, and it remains nimble enough but it could be better. Perhaps the mild-hybrid system is weighing it down a bit.
Going around in the Azkarra in the city yields about 8.5 km/L with traffic. Once you get up to speed in the city, you’re looking at about 13 km/L. Now on the highway, we expected more from the hybrid system, but it remains good at 20 km/L.
We’ll admit, we thought the mild-hybrid system will net us some big gains, but these figures are still respectable.
Going back to the statement we made earlier, “it doesn’t matter where you come from,” Geely is Chinese as you may already know, but it doesn’t really show, at least in relation to the old image of Chinese cars. The brand really sheds that stereotype and buried it with a product that really speaks for itself.
The Azkarra is quite impressive, and for P1,598,000, it comes at a steep-ish price. However, considering that it’s a compact crossover, mild-hybrid, and quite a looker, it’s worth considering. If you’re still on the fence because of that hybrid system, the Premium variant is still an alternative worth looking at. To close, “It matters where you’re going,” and we feel that the Azkarra is a leap in the right direction for Geely.
187 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Geely Azkarra Luxury
Number of Cylinders
Number of Valves
7-speed wet DCT
Max Output (HP)
187 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Max Torque (nm)
300 Nm @ 1,500 rpm
Economy & Environment
Number of Doors
Number of Seats
Safety & Security
Front Passenger's Airbag
Auto Brake System
Electronic Brake Distribution
Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
Electronic Door Locks
Speed Sensing Door Locks
Lane Departure Warning System
Blind-Spot Detection System
Front Parking Sensors
Rear Parking Sensors
Push Start Button
Wheels Metal Type
Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control
USB & Auxiliary input,Bluetooth Connectivity, Mirror linking