The month of May saw the launch of Geely’s second car in the Philippines, the Azkarra crossover SUV. It was the first digital launch for the Chinese car brand, followed by the online reveal of the seven-seater Okavango just last month.
Known as the Geely Boyue in its home market, the Azkarra available locally comes in two trims: Premium (PHP1.44 million) and Luxury (PHP1.6 million).
The Azkarra variant is driven by an all-wheel-drive 48V EMS (Electric Motor Synergy) hybrid power mill comprising a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine along with electrified features such as a 48V belt-starter generator, 48V lithium-ion battery module, a 48V-12 DCDC converter, and battery management system. The combined power yields 190hp and 300Nm of torque, and enables the Azkarra to reach 100kmph from a standstill in less than 10secs.
Exterior-wise, the Azkarra exudes a bold look, courtesy of a raised hood and a more pronounced grille displaying the brand’s Expanding Cosmos design philosophy while being bookended by deep-set smart LED headlamps. At the sides, the air intakes are functional and more than just for show, according to Geely, stretching across the horizontal width of the car and thereby enhancing the SUV aerodynamic performance. Out back, smart LED taillamps complement the ones found at the front.
One glance, and the interior of the Azkarra immediately conveys more spaciousness, complete with a harmonious and elegant design. The air vents in particular, display a sort of “wrap-around” look, pushing into the doors and further enhancing the perceived space. Meanwhile, fluid interlacing character lines pepper the cabin to help enhance visual depth throughout.
But perhaps the cabin’s most eye-catching features are the two HD central infotainment panel and full LCD instrument panel, with each seamlessly integrating into the high tech dashboard highlighted with wood grain textured trims.
As you can see, the Geely Azkarra has plenty of outstanding selling points. But should you decide that this is not the vehicle for you, here are your other similarly priced compact crossover alternatives available in the market today.
With the 2020 version of the CR-V, the Honda Sensing safety and driver-assist system is now available for the two higher trims. Honda’s advanced active safety tech bundle includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Also appearing as standard are automatic high/low beam headlights and idle stop-start engine feature.
Powertrain selection remains the same for both the Honda CR-V’s gasoline and diesel variants, with the 2.0-liter i-VTEC engine (152hp and 189Nm of torque) reserved for the low-rung S CVT variant and the 1.6-liter Earth Dreams Technology (87hp, 300Nm) engine for the CR-V’s three automatic gearbox-equipped upper trims.
Built for a wide range of functions, the CR-V has a wide, athletic stance that shows off a confident look that will feel right at home “on a mountainside road or in the chairman’s parking spot.” It sleek lines and sculpted curves lend it a distinct style that’s simultaneously sophisticated and sporty.
The CR-V cabin has gone a long way from the plastic-ridden interior of old. Now, there’s plenty of soft-touch surfaces to behold. Despite the monotonous black theme of the cabin, the texture feels very upscale overall. Infotainment is housed in a 7-inch touchscreen display with navigation and mobile phone connectivity.
The new Toyota RAV4 hosts a much-enlarged grille with a more hexagonal shape. The grille is appended with beefy elements, including the blacked-out lower bumper, boxy fog lamp housings, and silver bumper molding. The sides take on a more angular appearance, with the side cladding more pronounced than in the predecessor. The sheetmetal also receives more sculpting. At the rear, a door garnish (chrome in some variants, and body color in others) has been added, linking the retooled taillights to one another.
Inside, Toyota takes a more streamlined approach with the RAV4’s cabin, with the dash and center console now appearing as one solid element instead of the disparate way they appear in the outgoing model. The touchscreen is also now floating, which helps keep driver’s eyes on the road. Other improved creature comforts include seat heating, 8-way power adjustable driver’s with lumbar support and memory, and a massive panoramic sunroof. The surfaces also come upholstered in softer materials, solidifying the fact that this is the plushest RAV4 model ever.
The new RAV4 boasts a more powerful 2.5-liter engine under the hood, with 206hp and 249Nm compared to the old one’s 178hp and 233Nm capabilities. This new model engine is mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission, sending power to the front wheels. Safety-wise, the new RAV4 basics include seven airbags, ABS, and electronic stability control. the vehicle stability control feature gets updated with the addition of hill climb assist and trailer sway control.
Ford Philippines brought a completely new vehicle model in the middle of this year: the all-new Ford Territory, a vehicle meant as a replacement to the defunct Ford Escape. Made in partnership with China’s Jiangling Motors Corporation Limited (JMC), the vehicle is based on the Chinese car maker’s Yusheng S330 car model and is mainly designed for the urban setting.
Though the Ford Territory isn’t going to turn heads, nobody’s going to scoff at it either. For aesthetics alone, you are getting a very American-looking SUV. The overall dimensions are big and bulky, and the lines front to back exude the Ford’s signature design themes. It’s powered by the Blue Oval’s reliable 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine mated to a CVT transmission with Sport mode that delivers more than 141hp and 225Nm of torque. The same engine and transmission pairing is installed on the Territory’s two variants available locally—Titanium+ and Trend.
Infotainment is handled by a 10-inch touchscreen with multi-view function and Apple Carplay-functionality. The display can also be used to adjust the air conditioner and access the 360-degree camera view, among a host of other functions. Safety-wise, the Ford Territory comes with multiple airbags, ABS-EBD, hill climb assist and traction control, among others. But that’s not all—Ford has also installed blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with forwarding collision warning, lane departure warning, and autonomous emergency braking into the Territory.
Now more toned and muscular than before, the latest Subaru Forester’s heftier size is evident in its entire structure. Dimensions-wise, it's now 15mm longer in body compared to its previous generation. Don't be fooled by the slightly rugged and aggressive stance, though. The Forester is still as strong and capable in performance and features as you know it.
The Subaru Forester comes with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, 16-valve boxer engine that can churn out 154hp and 196Nm of torque. This engine gives the vehicle a lower center of gravity, delivering a better sense of balance, stability and less vibrations compared to the V-type or in-line engines in the same class.
Get inside the Forester, and you'll be treated to a laidback but classy interior space. Even the fabric seats look elegant. Spaciousness is also noteworthy. Everything is designed for efficient use of space--even the front and rear seats are modified for wider space. There's also impressive room above and below even for those of taller stature to move about. Creature comforts include one-touch folding switches in the cargo area, touchscreen infotainment control, voice recognition, steering wheel controls and a high-grade multifunction display that links to a premium Harman Kardon audio system.
Aside from a bevy of advanced safety features, the Forester also comes with Subaru’s signature EyeSight driver assistance system that monitors traffic movement, optimizes cruise control, and warns the driver if the vehicle strays outside the lane, among other high-tech functions.
The Chevrolet Trax is more attractive than ever with its retooled front fascia that's highlighted by the new design of the halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights, and LED taillights. At first glance, one can’t be faulted if the Trax is mistaken for the first-generation EcoSport, because they share a lot of the same design cues. Fortunately, there’s enough on hand to make the Trax stand out on its own against its fellow American brand sibling.
While the Trax and EcoSport are both subcompact crossovers, the Trax is the longer model of the two, as its body sits atop a 2555mm wheelbase. Inside, the revised center instrument panel radiates stylish curves that complement the dashboard, heavier seat bolsters, and more to help dress it up. Meanwhile, the fold-flat front passenger seat allows for multiple seating configurations and room for items up to 8 feet long. A 1080p Full HD DVR Dashcam with Smartphone Viewing and Control App houses much of the Trax’s control systems.
As for the powertrain, the Trax runs on a 1.4L ECOTEC 4-cylinder TURBO engine with 140hp and 200Nm of Torque mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Advanced safety features include Responsive Safety Suite with Keyless Entry, 6 airbags, hill start assist, hill descent control, anti-lock braking system, electronic stability control, engine drag control, traction control, roll-over mitigation, anti-theft alarm, and more.
Chery wades into uncharted with the Tiggo 8, a luxury 7-seater people-carrier propelled by the same 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine found in the Tiggo 7, with the same power ratings of 145hp and 210Nm. The car relies on a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission for shifting.
As the topmost Chery SUV offering, the Tiggo 8 it gets more premium styling than its peers, beginning with a bolder front end and a more prominent “starry sky” grille, sandwiched by LED automatic headlamps (halogen in the lower trims). The rear gets a distinct light strip design for a more upscale look.
Inside, the Tiggo 8 hosts a fully-digital instrument cluster and an integrated 10.25-inch touchscreen at the center of the dash, with 1920x720 resolution. The rest of the interior boasts leather-wrapped seats and steering-wheel, a 6-way power adjustable seat, and dual zone auto climate control. Upmarket convenience and safety features include hill descent control, electronic anti-theft security system, engine immobilizer, keyless entry with sensing tailgate, tire pressure monitoring system, and 360- degree HD panoramic view camera.
Photos from Geely, Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet, Chery, Subaru, Honda