Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism
Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism
17 August 2022
46
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Compact front-wheel drive crossovers – what could be more boring? Remnants molded from sedans that traded a balanced taxiing for a few centimeters of ground clearance and a couple of extra liters in the trunk! Insipid, monotonous, but you won’t die of hunger: test drives of such cars are akin to tasting army dry rations. At the same time, any attempt to dilute the dreary imperative of the formula “localization + unification = success” was met with hostility by our market until recently: nuggets like Opel Crossland and Peugeot 2008 left Russia with nothing, and the last bright spot (both on the roads and in sales statistics ) was still the pre-crisis Nissan Juke. But the Chinese suddenly set about saving the Russian B-SUV segment from chronic boredom syndrome. We spent two weeks at Geely Coolray to finally confirm a simple truth: not only pragmatism, but also courage sometimes takes cities.

If in our country car licenses were issued from the age of 13, there would be queues for Coolray. Aggressive body kit with imitation of carbon fiber, “18th” wheels, a large rear spoiler and four exhaust pipes at once – “Culray” really wants to please those who can hardly drive. The design was created by the Geely studio in Shanghai, but the team was international, led by Guy Burgoyne, who at one time helped Peter Horbury at Volvo.
The exterior is the debut work of the young Englishman Jamie Barrett. The first paragraph of this text succinctly expresses the attitude of the British to auto design, but Coolray himself does it even better. According to marketers, the car is aimed at cosmopolitan youth and young families and is designed to “become an extension of their personality.” They are unlikely to begin to think about the ability of the aerodynamic lining on the front bumper to direct oncoming air where necessary. But to us, these influxes of deaf splitters seem like a cheap way to attract attention: regular Coolrey bumpers are much more concise and do not create unnecessary twists.

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalismGeely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

Yes, and a fake spoiler. Geely even found an unexpected explanation for its use: a massive rear wing, they say, is not for downforce, but so that the rear window does not get dirty! (But why then a janitor?) And this is not to mention the “carbon-look” film, beloved by Chinese automakers, which in our Coolray is covered with everything that your hands can reach. There are only two ways to fight kitsch: a) buy a car in the basic Comfort package (and give up the lion’s share of options); b) save up for Tugella.

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

“S” stands for “traffic light racing”
The appearance of the Russian Coolreys, by the way, is no longer very Cool. In China, a model named Binyue (can be translated as “welcome guest”) appeared back in 2018 and has already been updated twice. The first restyling brought a 12.3-inch display on the front panel, and a recent deeper upgrade, along with new headlights and bumpers, gave the BHE15 turbo four models from Aurobay. Crossovers localized in Belarus have none of this, and the model is delivered to us in its “original” form, with a three-cylinder 3G15TD engine and a 7-speed preselective “robot” with two clutches.

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalismGeely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

From the “double chin” on the front bumper is of little use. But it also has almost no effect on the angle of entry: curbs can be forced without fear
And yet the Geely Coolray power unit is the main thing in this car. One and a half liter turbo engine with direct fuel injection Volvo at one time put on the XC40, but here the power is reduced to the “tax-free” 150 hp. With. Allegedly reduced. The fact is that the passport return of the Culray is an old open secret. The same motor in Atlas Pro already produces 177 “horses”, as well as “turbo engines” for the home market. The Chinese did not even change the torque and entered “honest” 255 Nm into the Russian OTTS. Do you get the gist? It is not surprising that the less powerful Coolray on paper gains a “hundred” one and a half seconds faster than the Atlas – the reason is not only in the mass of the car and the box settings, but also in a banal attempt to save the client a couple of thousand rubles.

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalismGeely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

Two girls worked on the interior of the SUV. Kong Mei Song created the look of the cabin, and Gu Mian took care of the selection of materials for finishing (the crimson front panel with fake stitching is her handiwork). The Korean woman says that the decoration of the car is inspired by Star Wars and the cockpits of jet fighters. The “floating” central tunnel is made in the spirit of the same Volvo, and the diagonal buttons with silver inserts are already an attempt to quote Porsche. The steering wheel and transmission joystick (as well as stylistic solutions such as handrails turning into door handles) are unified with the Coolray with the Atlas.

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism
Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalismGeely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

Due to the fact that our editorial office is located in St. Petersburg, furniture magazines will soon be able to invite us as experts in choosing armchairs. Virtually every car we’ve seen makes the 700-kilometer dash between the two capitals twice, so we don’t have to jump to conclusions about backrest profile and cushion padding after a couple of hours behind the wheel. Although my method is also very simple: the less left to Belokamennaya at the moment when the spine required rest, the more comfortable the seat. In the case of Coolray, about 50 km were not enough to reach the capital – very good. Much better than, for example, in Camry.

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalismGeely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

And the Coolray will easily take away four people. “On my own” with a height of 192 cm, I sit down with a comfortable margin in my knees, and the Chinese did not regret the two-stage separate heating for the rear passengers. True, the climate control of the crossover is only single-zone
The relaxed posture of the rear riders is the result of a prioritization: Coolray left the fight for the wallets of avid summer residents to others. The trunk holds only 330 liters, but the layout of the compartment is almost correct. In addition, the loading height is relatively low, and the wide opening made it easy to load a road bike (hello, Arkana!).

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalismGeely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

In a five-seat configuration, the Geely Coolray has the smallest trunk in its class: 330 liters. However, if you fold the back of the sofa, the difference with competitors is leveled – the interior is spacious!
Under the start of the motor, both screens come to life – a digital “tidy” and a central touchpad. We have the top Flagship Sport version, stuffed with electronics like R2-D2: a panoramic roof with a sunroof and a blind, all-round cameras, a built-in DVR and an automatic parking system – all this in a car for the price, like Renault on the B0 platform!

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalismGeely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism
Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

Visibility in Geely is not so hot, so all-round cameras come in handy here. The front one is also a DVR: the picture is distorted and blurry, but information about the speed and turn signals on will help to prove the case in court
What did you save on? First, on the suspension. There are MacPherson struts at the front, but a simple semi-independent torsion beam is installed at the back (the BMA platform allows the use of a “multi-link”). Secondly, on soundproofing, although there are no truly quiet cars in this segment. Thirdly, and most importantly, the Chinese tires Linglong Green-Max 4×4 multiplied by zero all attempts of Geely engineers to make a driver’s compact cross.

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

In a tight turn, Coolray turns into C-3PO. In response to steering movement, the front wheels slip and carry the car out, and the tires whine something in Chinese (isn’t it the famous “We’re doomed”?). Suspension settings also contribute: an overly soft chassis quickly kills interest in active driving.
However, the smoothness of the car is still not enough – the different-sized irregularities of the “Culray” drive nervously. The steering column translates the ripples of the road right into your palm, and any flaw in the canvas in a fast turn can move the car to the side. Fine engineering is still not up to the Chinese.

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

The standard design of the digital “tidy” is replete with embellishments. And provokes gambrinism
But the buttons for selecting driving modes really affect a lot here. With them, the character of Coolray changes radically – unlike Atlas Pro, where at least wrap yourself around with a huge “puck”. Pressing the Sport button throws the car forward even with the accelerator pedal unchanged, and the Eco mode allows you to precisely control traction and achieve the declared consumption of 6.5 liters per hundred.
You can also customize your own mode. We did just that. The transmission and instrument design are in “Sport”: now the SUV smartly follows the pedal, delighting the ear with the whistles of a low-inertia turbine (oh, there are not enough paddle shifters at such moments!), And the tachometer indication no longer resembles a glass filled with cold beer. Electric booster – on the contrary, in Eco. After all, just pouring the steering wheel with a tight and uninformative effort does not mean making it more sporty.

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

As a result, we get a carefree car for urban provocations: just line up with an old BMW and step on the gas! The box will quickly and imperceptibly throw off a couple of gears, and the owner of the tired “Bavarian” will then follow you around the city for a long time, demanding satisfaction. Of course, Coolray is more nimble than really fast. But in the flow of the metropolis, such dynamics are more than enough.

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

Outside the city limits, Coolray feels like a frail schoolboy who was forced to dig garden beds for the summer. One and a half liters suddenly begins to be missed: on the highway, the instantaneous consumption indicator flies far beyond the two-digit mark (a 45-liter tank in this rhythm is enough for three hundred kilometers), and the previously turbulent flow of traction dries up just as quickly.
But there are three townspeople per rural resident in our country, and half of Russians do not have a country house. Away from bucolic landscapes, a generation of people has grown up who do not want to waste precious time and money on boring cars. And Geely seems to have understood this first.

What is the bottom line?

Chinese-Swedish? English-Belarusian? Geely Coolray has no nationality. He speaks to the Russian public in Esperanto and sign language – and they gradually begin to understand him. But until recently, this could not have been imagined: a compact crossover with a three-cylinder turbo engine and a “robot” moves the brand into the top five most popular in Russia.
But here it’s not just another attempt by Chinese automakers to do no worse than others – Coolray beats competitors with technological options and best-in-class acceleration dynamics, but finishes off with a bright design and spaciousness in the back. Unheard of audacity? It turns out that all this time she was needed! ..

Geely Coolray test drive: youthful maximalism

17 August 2022
46
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