I remember back in 2019, I was tasked to attend the brand (re) launch of Geely locally. I honestly didn’t think much of it given that their previous foray into our country was less than stellar, which eventually led to an early and eventual demise.

New distributor Sojitz is a Japanese company who is very experienced when it comes to the distribution of products. They’re also responsible for selling the Fuso brand of trucks locally amongst other things. During the launch, they talked up a big game, with an all-new strategy in terms of branding products, etc. That ultimately culminated in the introduction of their newest offering: the Coolray.

To be honest I scoffed at the ridiculous-sounding name. When the car was eventually revealed though, it caught my attention immediately; it didn’t look like your typical Chinese knock-off design, it was completely original, sleek, and up-to-date. This wasn’t a surprise, given that the Coolray is a product of the Geely-Volvo partnership. Well, more like ownership; Geely does own the majority of Volvo.

2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited image

The rejuvenated Geely brand picked up a lot from Volvo. The brand adopted European styling, quality, and even technology which was showcased by the Coolray engine: a 1.5 liter 3-cylinder turbocharged engine that puts out 177 PS. While there are 1.5-liter engines that do produce less power, those are normally 4-cylinder engines.

The icing on the cake though, was Geely's pricing of the Coolray, with the entry-level variant starting at just above PHP 900,000 and the top of the line-topping in at PHP 1,000,000 plus only.

2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited image

Needless to say, after that launch, you could consider me impressed. Little did I know, everyone else would feel the same as well.

Fast forward 3 years and the Coolray is now as common on our roads. It's not yet at the level of Vios, Mirage, Innova, and Fortuner, but it's getting there. The ingredients that made up the Coolray were just too good to pass off as “Just another China car”. Even well into its product cycle, the Coolray enjoys healthy sales numbers, yet Geely felt the need to update it.

Enter the 2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited.

2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited image

Right off the bat, I need to point out that the Coolray Sport Limited only has a few notable upgrades. Still, I was eager because this would be the first time that I’ll be able to thoroughly drive a Coolray.

Let's start off with the looks: the Coolray still basically looks the same as when it was first launched, the only standout feature in this new trim is the new blacked-out set of 18-inch wheels.

2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited image

Inside is where the majority of the upgrades were placed. The Sport Limited gets driver and front passenger ventilated seats (cooling not heating, thankfully), and at the rear, a power tailgate is now in place for added loading convenience.

2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited image

I have to say the Coolray's design has held up well despite it now being about three years old, despite the new or refreshed competition it still looks “new”. Also, I’m not really a fan of the “blacked out” look in most cases because they tend to look tacky, in the Sport Limited's case I have to say it works. I’d rather they didn’t but it isn’t bad at all.

2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited image

I first drove a Coolray back in 2020, though I can’t necessarily use that as a barometer for how the car really drives because it was a high-mileage pre-production unit. Pre-production units are used by manufacturers to test an upcoming car's capability against the local driving conditions.

So how does a relatively new and fresh Coolray feel?

2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited image

In the city, the car handles and behaves as any new car should. It’s tame, comfortable, and quiet. It's also how it handles its size that amazes me, being a crossover it does have its heft, more so a crossover with 18-inch wheels and a heavy power tailgate motor, and sunroof. Despite those features though, the Coolray was very light to drive, and the steering was light but not completely devoid of road feel.

Driving on the highway though was where I realized where the “Cool” in Coolray came from. I was astonished at how quiet and serene the experience was despite the higher speeds. To be honest, at times it felt like the car was floating and gliding along the expressway. It remains one of my most stress-free and relaxing driving experiences ever, and a big part of it is that engine.

2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited image

As mentioned earlier the engine is a 1.5 liter, 3-cylinder, turbocharged engine that puts out 177 PS and 255Nm of torque, the power is then sent to the front wheels via a 7-speed wet type Dual Clutch Transmission. What’s significant about this engine is that 3-cylinders are often known to have strong vibrations and are noisy due to their uneven nature.

Geely's version though is as smooth and dare I say quieter than most even-cylindered engines out there. On the highway I could barely make out the engine noise, it was almost whisper-quiet, only making some noise above 3,500rpm.

The Coolray features 3 driving modes: Eco, Normal, or Sport. Eco and Normal are pretty straightforward, sport mode took me by surprise. I expected the throttle to be slightly more responsive, what I got instead was something very very aggressive. In Sport mode, the Coolray likes to pounce and surge forward truly giving you the feel of being in something quick, which the Coolray is.

2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited image

Of course, nothing is perfect and these are where I think the Coolray falls short. Firstly, there are no 2nd-row aircon vents, which at this price range is becoming more common now. Also, I noticed that my fuel mileage wasn’t that great, in the city I averaged at best 9 km/liter, and 11 km/liter on the highway. Those figures aren’t bad but could be better, I achieved these numbers by being a “hyper-miler” so imagine if I had driven it normally?

To sum it all up though, the Coolray had always been a good car, its value proposition is unmatched in its class, consider this: The Coolray Limited Sport retails for 1,218,000, the entry-level Corolla Cross non-hybrid is priced at 1,303,000. That price difference speaks volumes, because the Coolray honestly has the quality to match, and offers a better driving experience overall.

2022 Geely Coolray Sport Limited image

If you’re interested in the Coolray Sport Limited do hurry, Geely will only be selling 1,000 examples locally. Although, the Geely Coolray Turbo Sport at 1,198,000 is just as good if not better value overall.

  • Make: Geely
  • Model: Coolray Sport Limited
  • Engine: 1.5-liter DOHC 12-valve Inline-3 Turbo Intercooler
  • Max Power: 177 PS @ 5500 rpm
  • Max Torque: 255 Nm @ 1500-4000 rpm
  • Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • Price as Tested: ₱1,218,000

8/10

Performance

8/10

Design

8/10

Handling

8/10

Comfort

8/10

Value

8/10

Overall