The Okavango just gets better and better

Mere months after the official introduction of the Okavango Crossover Urban, a 7-seater mid-sized version of the Geely crossover, Sojits G Auto, the official delaer of Geely vehicles in the Philippines, wasted no time and brought in the Okavango Urban Plus, a hotter version of the Okavango Urban.

When launched last year, the new Geely Okavango was promised to be a game changer in the industry. Combining the best qualities of a multi-purpose vehicle and an SUV, resulted in an exciting 7-seater mid-size crossover. In the words of SGAP President & CEO Mikihisa Takayama, “The Okavango crossover promises a ‘Wonderfully Distinct’ ride.”

Many have observed that the first Okavango, compared to its Azkarra and Coolray siblings, was a little less on the options. But since, it was a 7-seater, it more than made up for it. Priced competitively, with technology and luxury usually found in more expensive brands, it was worth waiting for.

What’s New

What the first Okavango lacked, the new Okavango Urban Plus now has it, not that it needed these, but it is nicer to have. For starters, most notable is the ADB Matrix LED headlights. Here are the details:

AFS Intelligent Follow Up headlight

  • ALS Headlight height automatic adjustment
  • The LED light source works in tandem with the camera to scan the road conditions ahead (50 times/sec frequency)
  • High beam is automatically activated when there’s vehicle on the opposite side, it also blocks/dims its beam to avoid glare
  • Detects a forward range of 700m
  • Bend Mode: Illuminates the inside part of the road curve determined by steering wheel angle, with 7º inner angle and 15º outer angle
  • Adjust beams in accordance with incline, cargo weight and positioning of the vehicle on the road

3 Illumination Modes

  • Country Mode – Increased intensity, illuminating current and both side of the lane
  • City Mode – Beam is wide and symmetric to prevent glare to other vehicles
  • High Speed Mode – Beam is smaller to avoid glare, also, the angle of illumination is reduced when following another vehicle to minimize glare on the rearview mirror of the vehicle ahead.

A New Display

Another new feature is the 12.3″ full digital gauge cluster. It has a new dynamic look, changing background colors and digital gauges depending on the three drive modes. Blue for Eco, Yellow for Normal and of course, Red for Sport.

Sky is the limit

Now sporty driving will never be the same with the new 60in Panoramic Sunroof. Not just any run-of-the-mill sunroof but a dynamic one.

  • One key open/close for sunroof and sunshade.
  • Tempered glass for extra safety
  • 3-layer shading materials to block out sun rays
  • Rainfall sensor with automatic close function
  • Automatic closing function via keyfob locking

A Rundown

The Geely Okavango Urban Plus boasts a superior interior that’s comparable to more expensive brands. Space, Technology and safety were the primary design considerations here. Sitting 7 adults comfortably is a serious matter, especially for the third row, and the Okavango aced the test. Long trips are made easier and more relaxed – with a 19-seat configuration, 42 storage nooks and a double layer console. Gadgets and cellphones won’t be in the way of anyone. And charger ports for all rows is an added bonus.

The Okavango is cooled by triple-zone air-conditioning system. Allowing the front and rear passengers to select their particular preferred temperature. Equipped with a CN95 filter, it purifies the circulating air for all passengers; a must these days.

Hybrid is it

Still powered by the jointly developed Geely – Volvo trademark engine; a 1.5L Turbo engine with a 7-speed wet-type dual clutch transmission. Classified as a Hybrid, all Okavango units are also equipped with 48V Electric Motor Synergy (EMS) technology. With the combination of the 1.5L gas engine and the, 48V EMS, the Okavango’s power is rated at 190 hp and 300Nm of torque.

You may ask: why the same 1.5L for the three models? What about the weight difference? Well, based on the performance of each model (Coolray, Azkarra and Okavango), meticulous engineering is the main culprit. While they may share the same gas engine, they are geared differently; each with its own set of ratios, taking advantage of the horsepower and torque with different driving purpose.

Safety is utmost with all Geely vehicles and the Okavango is no different. With 6 SRS Airbags, 360-degree panoramic camera with a best-in-class guidance system and dynamic auxiliary lines, speed warning, electronic stability control, hill start assist, central locking with speed-sensing auto lock, and hill descent control will assure peace of mind on every trip.

The Test Drive:

Taking possession of the Black (new Color) Okavango was intimidating at first. Its an unusual color for Geely, which is actually known for bright and unique hues. The black exterior gives it a more serious but elegant look.

Driving around the metropolis, the Okavango gave out a different feel. Or the lack of it. There was no vibration at all, even on asphalt and uneven concrete roads. Outside side was very minimal. With light traffic, it vest to drive on ECO mode; subdued acceleration and quicker upshifts. The 48V Electric Motor Synergy (EMS) takes charge on speeds up to 30kph, hereby conserving gas. Braking and deceleration provides wheel energy recovery for the batteries.

Highway trips is also a cinch.. Normal Mode provides the right power and torque to ove that mid size crossover body to respectable speeds. Overtaking is a cinch. However, once you floor the accelerator, the EMV jumps in to work in tandem with the gas engine, resulting with the full 190hp on command. Nope, doesn’t feel like a 1.5liter engine anymore.

Under normal highway driving, fuel consumption was down to an estimated 16-20km/L (5L/100kms).

Be sure to leave the traction control on at all times. The torque of the Okavango is simply mind numbing. A sudden press on the accelerator will result in tire chirps, especially when hurriedly turning from a corner.

Inside, the leather-clad seats are very comfortable with generous leg and back support. The rear seats also offer more back adjustments. The leg room is also impressive. The third row seats are less spacious as expected , but still provides ample space for regular-sized adults.

The second and third row seats fold all the way down, giving a very wide cargo space, enough for half a dozen boxes. You could even fit a full sized mountain bike inside (with the front wheel detached) with space to spare.

The 10.25-inch HD Infotainment Panel entertainment system is high resolution, which is helpful when the 360º camera is activated. Obstacles are clearly displayed on the monitor. While there is no Apple play and Android options, it has Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Sound quality is impeccable, whether from FM radio or bluetooth connection.

The new Geely Okavango Urban plus has all you are looking and more.

The Okavango is priced at PHP1,208,000 for the Comfort variant and PHP1,328,000 for the Urban variant. The Okavango Urban Plus is PHP1,478,000.00.

2021 Geely Okavango Urban Plus Mild Hybrid

Vehicle Type: Mid-Size Crossover

Specifications

  • Engine: 1.5 Liter Turbocharged Direct Injection Engine with 48V Electric Motor
  • Transmission : 7-speed wet-type dual clutch transmission
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Output: 190 hp/5500rpm
  • Torque: 300Nm/4000rpm

Dimensions

  • Length: 4,835 mm
  • Width: 1,900 mm
  • Height: 1,780 mm
  • Wheelbase: 2,815 mm
  • Max Cargo Capacity: 2,050 L

Tire Size: 225/55/R18

Fuel Capacity: 50 liters

Colors:

  • Storm Gray
  • Porcelain White
  • Luna Silver
  • Marble Black

For more info, visit Geely

Text/Images: Earl Manalansan

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